Washington DC: Regular consumption of vegetables such as celery, carrots, parsnips, and parsley may reduce the impact of air pollution on human bodies, according to a study.
The researchers from the University of Delaware in the US analyzed how apiaceous vegetables protect the body from the accumulation of acrolein, an irritant to the lungs and skin with a strong unpleasant odor that is abundant in cigarette smoke and automobile exhaust.
They investigated how apiaceous vegetables — a family consisting of vegetables such as celery, carrots, parsnips, and parsley — which are rich in phytonutrients, alleviated acrolein-induced toxicities through a series of tests.
The findings, published in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, demonstrated that acrolein-induced oxidative stress might be decreased and its consequences minimized.
The study found “that apiaceous vegetables supported detoxification through an increase in antioxidant enzyme activity,” said Jillian Trabulsi from the University of Delaware.
”The results suggest that apiaceous vegetables may provide protection against acrolein-induced damages and inflammation because, in the liver, the vegetables enhance the conversion of acrolein into a water-soluble acid for bodily excretion,” Trabulsi said in a statement.
The next step was to determine a reasonable dosage amount for humans.
”When we calculated this, we determined the actual daily calorie amount of apiaceous vegetables for humans is roughly 1 and 1/3 cups per day,” said Jae Kyeom Kim, assistant professor at Delaware.
”It doesn’t require a high intake to see a difference, and this is an achievable amount in daily life,” Kim said.
The research team stressed the importance of implementing behavioral changes in diet as a solution to combat the buildup of toxicants derived from air pollution.
”Research has identified that it is the totality of nutrients in fruits and vegetables that support beneficial health outcomes, rather than a single nutrient,” Trabulsi said.
”Focusing on a healthy whole food diet is more impactful than relying on individual supplements,” the researcher added.
People who are exposed to air pollution suffer from a variety of health problems.
Illnesses such as pneumonia or bronchitis are examples of short-term repercussions. Irritation to the nose, throat, eyes, or skin as well as headaches, dizziness, and nausea are all symptoms of air pollution. Air pollution’s long-term consequences can continue for years or even a lifetime. They can even result in premature death.