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Nutritionist Susie Kearley explains how our home harvests can help reduce the effects of modern-day pollution on our health

One of the biggest health hazards to hit the headlines in recent years has been the alarming rise in air pollution levels, resulting in repeated breaches of European air quality regulations. This year, the annual air pollution limit had been breached in London by January 5.

Last year, the Government’s chief medical officer, Dame Sally Davies, said that diesel cars should be phased out because they’re a big contributor to the pollution problem. Urgent action of some kind is needed: Government estimates suggest that air pollution leads to around 50,000 premature deaths in the UK every year, and new research published in January 2017 found that people living near busy roads have a higher risk of developing dementia than those who don’t.

In May 2016 the World Health Organisation reported that more than three million people worldwide die prematurely because of air pollution. Dr Annette Pruss-Ustun, one of the authors, said at very high levels, pollution can be ‘catastrophic for health’ because it causes lung problems, breathing difficulties, asthma, headaches, sore throats, and has been linked to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.

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About Kitchen Garden Magazine

This month - Keep fresh, harvest and storage tips plus grow grapes and soya beans. Wow factor - Try globe artichokes and cardoons. Feeling drained? Share the highs (and lows!) of gutter gardening. Herbal treats - make a handy herb box and visit a grower's paradise. Fun with fungi - a beginners guide. Plus pruning for fruit, cash savers, feed your soil the organic way and fantastic exclusive videos in our custon iPad edition.