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An apple a day keeps allergies away

A Mediterranean diet rich in fruits, vegetables and nuts may protect kids against allergic rhinitis—hay fever—and asthma symptoms. British researchers assessed the dietary habits, respiratory symptoms and allergic reactions of nearly 700 children between ages 7 and 18 on the Greek island of Crete. The outcome? Children whose daily diets included oranges, apples and tomatoes were protected against wheezing and allergic rhinitis. Kids who snacked on nuts, which are rich in vitamin E and magnesium, at least three times a week wheezed less, too. On the flip side, eating lots of margarine doubled the children’s risk of asthma and allergic rhinitis. Diet, the researchers concluded, seemed to provide the strongest protection against hay fever and helped the children avoid asthma and skin allergies. The study was published in the journal Thorax.