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Can Diet Help With Asthma?

9 months ago

7280  0
Posted on Dec 31, 2020, 7 p.m.

Having asthma can be challenging, while there is no magic bullet so to say to cure this condition making some lifestyle changes may help you to reduce or somewhat control your symptoms of asthma, and your diet is probably the easiest way to start.

Most dietitians recommend starting by adding fresh fruit to your diet, which has been shown to help. It may also help to keep a food diary to keep track of what you are eating and understand links between your diet and symptoms, such as if you notice eating spicy foods triggers reflux symptoms similar to asthma symptoms. 

Maintaining a healthy diet is essential to maintaining a healthy body weight, those with asthma who are also overweight tend to take longer to respond to treatment when hospitalized. Patients with asthma who are overweight could benefit from losing at least 10% of their body weight according to research published in the Annal of the American Thoracic Society. 

A study published in Lung found that children in Peru who followed the heart-healthy Mediterranean style diet plan were less likely to develop asthma. This meal plan is rich in healthy fats like olive oil, fatty fish, whole grains, and fruit, but when it comes to asthma, not all fat is created equally as a study published in BMC Public Health found that children who ate more butter and fast foods were more likely to have asthma. Focusing on plant-based fats and omega-3 fatty acids may be a better route, as these options are associated with a reduction in inflammation in those with asthma according to a study published in Allergology International. 

Anti-inflammatory choices are great for managing asthma. Flax seeds are a good nutrient-dense option as they are a rich source of anti-inflammatory, omega-3 fatty acids according to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. To add these to your diet grind them in a spice or coffee bean grinder to sprinkle 1-2 teaspoons into smoothies, cereals, soups/stews, or use as a salad topping. 

Berries are potent inflammation-fighting food choices that also provide fiber, antioxidants, and a variety of vitamins in the mix according to the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Eating a variety of berries will provide a range of antioxidants to your inflammation-fighting arsenal, fill your grocery cart with cherries, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, and more. 

Beans contain prebiotics that help to promote a healthy gut microbiome which can go a long way to helping reduce inflammatory diseases which includes asthma, according to a study published in Clinical & Translational Immunology. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine recommends eating a half cup of beans every day to provide your gut with the beneficial bacteria it needs to thrive. 

Ginger may help to relieve asthma symptoms because it contains certain components that might help to relax the airways according to a study published in the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology. Ginger can be added to smoothies or in stir fry, or on top of wild rice to get the benefits of ginger along with the fiber and nutrients from the fruits and vegetables. 

Turmeric/curcumin offers more than flavor and color to foods, this spice may also help to quell the inflammation associated with asthmatic airways according to a study published in the journal Inflammation. This spice can be added to tea, smoothies, soups/stews, salsa, and so much more.

Much like other leafy greens, spinach is loaded with vitamins and minerals such as folate which could be important to those with asthma, as a study published in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society found that children who didn’t get enough folate and vitamin D were 9 times more likely to experience one or more severe asthma attacks than those with adequate levels. 

Pomegranates may be tricky to eat, but they are worth the effort as they provide a potent dose of antioxidants that may help to reduce inflammation in the lungs. Additionally, a study published in BMC Research Notes found a link between pomegranate juice and lower amounts of lung tissue damage. 

Tomatoes are a low calories source of antioxidants that are worthy of adding to an asthma-fighting diet, and according to a study published in PLOS ONE they may even help to relax your airways. 

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