Treating Asthma With a Whole Food Plant Based Diet
A study looked at the effects of removing fruits and vegetables from the diet had on asthma. Subjects in the study were placed on a low fruit and vegetable diet for 10 days and their asthma and lung functioning significantly worsened.
The subjects were restricted to having one serving of fruit and two servings of vegetables per day, which is typical of Western diets.
The study consisted of two phases and the second phase was to determine the effects of adding fruits and vegetables to the diet had on asthma. The subjects consumed 5 servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit and the diet significantly improved their lung function and reduced their asthma.
Consuming more fruits and vegetables was supportive of lung function and protective against asthma because the consumption increased the antioxidant levels within the lungs.
Increased antioxidant intake from fruits and vegetables increased the antioxidants in the lung lining that protects the lungs from the external environment, protecting the lungs from oxidative damage.
Oxidative damage to the lungs leads to asthma, excess mucus production, airway muscle constriction and hyper-responsiveness, and death of lung cells. The increased intake of vitamin C, vitamin E, flavonoids, and carotenoids obtained from fruits and vegetables protected against oxidative stress stemming from environmental factors like air pollution and from the consumption of pathogens and toxins in meat, dairy, and processed foods.
A whole food plant-based diet is highly protective against asthma because it reduces the intake of toxins that cause oxidative damage, while the diet is loaded with plant foods that contains nutrients and phytonutrients that protect against cell damage.
 L G Wood, M L Garg, J M Smart, H A Scott, D Barker, P G Gibson. Manipulating antioxidant intake in asthma: A randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 96(3):534 – 543.