Recent research has shown that asthma sufferers are on the rise the world over. In the United States alone 9 million children and 34.1 million adults are suffering from asthma. The most alarming fact which was reveled through recent studies is that, the number of asthma patients in the United States is fast increasing. Across the globe, 300 million people are suffering from asthma.
A chronic inflammation or narrowing of the airways can lead to an asthma attack. In people who are predisposed to an asthmatic attack, such an inflammation of the air passage can cause them to gasp and wheeze for breath. This periodic and often sudden swelling of the air passage can be triggered by many factors including excessive stress, pollutants in the air, cold air and dust mites to name a few.
Food and Asthma
Most people are unaware of the fact that many food items can trigger an asthma attack. However, people who suffer from food related asthma attacks are relatively few in number. In fact, only five percent of all asthmatics; suffer from an asthma attack due to a food allergen. Anyhow, it is extremely important to have an idea of and avoid foods which trigger asthma attack.
While some foods can trigger an asthma attack, there are other, more beneficial foods which help to control asthma attacks. Keeping a track of these foods can benefit asthma patients vastly. There are many ways of using certain food items to control and prevent asthma attacks. While some foods help to reduce the mucous production which can clog the air passage, there are other foods which help to increase saliva production which in turn helps to thin the mucous, that blocks the airways.
There are other foods which act as natural anti-inflammatory agents which help to control and prevent an asthma attack.
Foods for Asthma
Instead of solely depending on medication to control asthma, many health practitioners are turning to holistic methods including diet to control the problem of asthma. While there is no complete cure for this condition, incorporating certain types of food can help to control and prevent asthma attacks a great deal.
Eating a diet that is rich in antioxidants can also help to reduce the number of asthma attacks in a year. Through this article, we will examine some of the beneficial foods which help to control asthma attacks.
Eat plenty of green, yellow and orange vegetables as they are rich in antioxidants. The antioxidant which is present abundantly in these vegetables is carotenoid. This particular antioxidant helps to reduce inflammation and protects people from frequent asthma attacks.
Vegetables that are high in vitamin A can also help asthma patients. In fact, a recent survey has indicated that people, who ate plenty of vitamin A rich vegetables, had fewer asthma attacks than their counterparts. Some of the vegetables that have high amounts of vitamin A are Swiss chard, collard greens, bell peppers, winter squash, kale and sweet potato.
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Besides Vitamin A, vitamin C rich vegetables have also been known to reduce the number of asthma attacks in people who are predisposed to this health problem. Raw bell pepper, raw cabbage, cooked cauliflower, cooked Brussels sprouts and baked potatoes are rich in vitamin C.
People with asthma should definitely eat plenty of kale, as it is a rich source of Vitamin E which helps to fight inflammation. Another vegetable, which can help to prevent asthma attacks, is spinach. Spinach is a rich source of magnesium. Research has revealed that people, who take minimum of 400mg of magnesium per day, can significantly reduce their chances of suffering from an asthma attack.
The anti asthmatic and anti-inflammatory properties of onions are well known. Onions are rich in prostaglandins, which prevents bronchial obstruction and stops the release of histamines.
Eating plenty of vitamin C rich fruits, can significantly lower asthma attacks in a year. Asthma sufferers who ate vitamin C rich fruits or juices rich in vitamin C had fewer episodes of asthma. Some of the fruits which are rich in vitamin C include oranges, kiwi, grapefruit, blackcurrant, papaya, cantaloupe and black currant.
Another fruit which can benefit asthma patients are apples. Apples either eaten whole or taken in the form of juice can significantly reduce the number of asthma attacks.
If you want to control your asthma problem the natural way, then eat plenty of citrus fruits. Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C. Some of the citrus fruits which help to reduce asthma attacks include oranges and lemons.
Consuming fruits which are rich in vitamin B6 can also help to lower bronchial inflammation and prevent an asthma attack. Vitamin B6 rich fruits include bananas, avocadoes and custard apples to name a few.
Berries like goose berries and raspberries are rich in Vitamin A, B, C and E. So eat plenty of berries as well.
Eat plenty of whole grains, if you want to lower the frequency of your asthma attacks. Whole grains are excellent sources of fiber and magnesium. Eating foods rich in fiber can help to bring down obesity levels and incidentally lower the risk of obesity related asthma.
Whole grains contain abundant amounts of magnesium. Eating magnesium rich foods, can significantly reduce the number of debilitating asthma attacks in a year. To heal asthma, eat plenty of whole grain cereals like oats, whole grain breads, bran muffins, cooked barley, whole wheat, cooked millet and fortified whole grain breakfast cereals.
Fatty fish is a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Research has shown a direct link between Omega- 3 fatty acids and asthma. Many asthma patients have benefited vastly from eating foods which are rich Omega-3 fatty acid. One of the best sources of Omega-3 fatty acids is fish. But when we talk about fish we are only talking about fatty fish and not shell fish which is extremely harmful for asthma patients. Examples of fish which are loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids include herring, salmon, trout, halibut, albacore tuna, mackerel and sardines. Fatty fishes are also rich inn magnesium, another power mineral which can help to heal asthma.
Nuts and Seeds
Selenium rich nuts like Brazil nuts and omega-3 fatty acids rich nuts like walnuts and almonds should be incorporated into the daily diet. Flaxseeds and sunflower seeds contain good amounts of mega 3 fatty acids.