Consuming More Plant Based Foods Can Lower Risk of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

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Snoring is not just annoying; it can actually be a serious threat to one’s life in certain situations. Instead of immediately considering buying a new mattress, experts recommend that changing one’s diet might be the most effective way to treat severe snoring. A recent study conducted in Australia found that adding more plant-based foods to one’s meals could significantly reduce the risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea.

OSA causes breathing cessation at night

In addition to producing loud snoring, obstructive sleep apnea poses significant risks as individuals experience sudden cessation of breathing episodes during the night. This condition further disrupts sleep patterns, leading to multiple awakenings and heightened fatigue. Moreover, obstructive sleep apnea amplifies the likelihood of developing various health complications, including hypertension, stroke, cardiovascular diseases, and Type II diabetes.

The recent discoveries indicate that adhering to a diet abundant in nutritious plant-derived foods could potentially aid in the prevention or control of obstructive sleep apnea. This could be attributed to the beneficial effects of plant-based diets on mitigating inflammation and addressing obesity-related concerns.

According to Dr. Yohannes Melaku, a professor at Flinders University in Australia and co-author of the study, dietary patterns abundant in anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants, while limited in detrimental dietary factors, have the potential to impact adipose tissue, inflammation, and muscle integrity, factors pertinent to the risk of obstructive sleep apnea.

Plant based diets lower risk of OSA

The study involving 14,210 participants from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey gathered data on dietary habits, distinguishing between healthy plant-based diets rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes and nuts, versus diets high in animal products such as animal fat, seafood, eggs, dairy, fish, and meat. Another group followed an unhealthy plant-based diet consisting of salty foods, potatoes, refined grains, sugar-sweetened drinks, and desserts. Participants also completed a questionnaire regarding obstructive sleep apnea.

Findings show a 19% lower risk of obstructive sleep apnea in those with plant-based diets. Vegetarians also experienced reduced snoring risks. However, an unhealthy plant-based diet increased apnea risk by 22%. Dr. Melaku emphasizes personalized dietary interventions for sleep apnea management.

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