The Mediterranean diet has the potential to prevent children from developing asthma, medical researchers have claimed.
The report, published in the medical journal Thorax, surveyed almost 700 Cretan schoolchildren.
Children who ate a traditional Mediterranean diet of olive oil, whole grains and grapes suffered far fewer instances of asthmatic wheezing and were less likely to develop respiratory allergies.
The report wrote that "children in Crete consume high quantities of locally produced fruits and vegetables" and this may be one of the roots of their unusually high resistance to asthma.
Dr Paul Cullinan, of the Royal Brompton Hospital, summarised the report’s findings to the BBC by saying that "the message of the study is that foods with high antioxidant levels are good for you".
The health benefits of a Mediterranean diet have recently come to the fore of popular dieting philosophy and paperbacks have been released with titles like Mediterranean Women Stay Slim, Too: Eating to Be Sexy, Fit, and Fabulous!.
Thorax's study suggests that there may be some medical basis for the popular trend towards taking Mediterranean eating habits more seriously.
Independent advice on private healthcare