By: Dr. Brahmananda Nayak
Asthma is a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways in the lungs, causing several health hazards; difficulty in breathing being the most prominent one. Suffering from asthma makes one curious about various factors like food choices, allergies or medications that might influence the severity of the disease.
Though there’s no evidence if a specific diet impacts the frequency or severity of asthma attacks, but following a healthy diet improves overall health and helps in calming the symptoms. Also, obesity is a major risk factor for developing asthma and obese people may get more severe attacks that more difficult to treat.
What should be on your plate?
A nutritious diet rich in Vitamin D, beta-carotene, magnesium, omega-3 and potassium is quite helpful in relaxing the symptoms of asthma.
Salmon contains a high amount of Omega-3 fatty acid that provides an anti-inflammatory effect and counters bronchial inflammation. Salmon also contains magnesium which is an asthma fighting mineral and helps in keeping the airways open.
The caffeine content of coffee is chemically very similar to theophylline, a drug used to treat asthma. For people suffering from asthma drinking coffee every day could help relieve some of the symptoms.
Kale is an excellent source of vitamin C. It possesses a unique ability to block free radicals responsible for causing contractions of smooth muscles in airway passages. It also helps in alleviating existing asthma symptoms.
Carrots are loaded with beta-carotene, an antioxidant that’s converted to vitamin A in the body, which boosts the immune system against asthma attacks.
Avocados contain the highest known concentration of the antioxidant called L – glutathione, which guards the lungs against airway stress and tissue damage. Avocado is an excellent anti-asthma food that helps protect cells against free radical damage and detoxify the body of pollutants and other harmful substances.
Food items such as spinach, ginger, turmeric, apple, china seed etc. also helps in easing symptoms and reducing frequency of attacks.
What do not deserve a place in your plate?
Though curd is a high nutritive food, easy to digest and rich in good bacteria, yet it should be avoided if you have asthma. It is considered as a mucus-forming food, which can trigger the production of mucus and thus cause congestion making it difficult to breathe freely.
Asthma is the inflammation and tightening of the airways, and salt can contribute to inflammation by causing fluid retention. Moreover, excessive intake of salt can strip the body off potassium, a mineral that has been associated with improved lung function.
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