Sunday, December 28, 2008

Asthma and Diet

If you or you know someone who has asthma you know how scary it can be to have an asthma attack. I would like to believe that we can at least make the attacks less severe or less often by what we eat, drink, breathe and put in our environments. The following is a synopsis of an article I read regarding asthma and diet.

Asthma is the result of triggers causing swelling of tissues in the air passages of the lung making it difficult to breath. Symptoms include wheezing, shortness of breath and coughing.

There are some foods that trigger asthma:

Foods containing the additives:

Benzoates (E210-19) which can be in soft drinks and chewing gum.

Sulphites (E220-8) or gallates (E310-12) which can be found in deli foods.

Cider, wine and beer

Foods containing yeast or mold such as bread and blue cheeses.

Foods, drinks and snacks containing coloring E102, E104 and E110 which are yellow colorings.

Cow milk, wheat, eggs, fish, soy and nuts, especially peanuts.

BHA (Butylated hydroxyanisole), BHT (Butylated hydroxytoluene) which can be found in some breakfast cereals.

There are foods that help with asthma:

Coffee can help control the severity of attacks.

Foods that dilate air passages by thinning the mucus and opening them up for freer breathing:

Spicy foods such as chili, hot mustard, garlic and onions.

These work because they stimulate nerves resulting in the release of watery fluid in the mouth, throat and lungs.

Foods that control inflammation of airways:

Onions, fatty fish (fish oil in high in omega -3 fatty acids) and vitamin C packed foods. Eat plenty of foods in “B” vitamins such as green leafy vegetables and magnesium rich foods such as sunflower seeds, green vegetables and dried figs. These help relax airways.

Some asthmatics are found to be deficient in niacin, vitamin B6 and C.

Other helpful foods:

Antioxidants such as Vitamin A found in liver

Beta-carotene found in brightly-colored fruits and vegetables such as apricots, carrots, red and yellow peppers, dark leafy vegetables, spinach

Vitamin C rich foods such as citrus fruits

Vitamin E found in foods such as olive oil

These foods, vitamins and minerals may strengthen the lungs defenses by getting rid of free radicals. These potentially harmful substances (free radicals) are generated as part of the inflammatory response to air pollution or allergens that affect asthmatics.

Research indicates that people with low magnesium levels are more susceptible to attacks. Research also indicates that fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines and cod help protect against asthma. Omega-3 fatty acids have an anti inflammatory effect.

If you take anything away from this article take away the fact that what you eat and breath have an affect on your body. Also it is very important to read labels of what you consume or expose yourself and others to either by eating, drinking, breathing or by what you are applying to skin. Also, consult a physician for optimal health and care plans regarding any asthma condition.

Internet source:

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