Over 5 million people in the UK now suffer from asthma, 1 in every 10 children and 1 in every 12 adults is asthmatic and the problem is escalating. The cost to the NHS is 900 million a year. Asthma affects the bronchial tubes leading to our lungs resulting in periods of wheezing and shortness of breath. Pollution from traffic fumes and overuse of pesticides is, without doubt, a contributing factor, and during school holidays incidences of attacks are reduced as there is less traffic.
Other atmospheric pollutants such as pollen, cigarette smoke, and car exhaust fumes can all be triggers as can house dust mites and moulds. Stressful situations and chronic exhaustion can also trigger an attack as can eating foods to which you have a sensitivity (such as sulphur dioxide, used as a preservative in many dried fruits). You can also suffer exercise-induced asthma. There is also a link between parasites and asthma.
People who tack paracetamol every day are twice as likely to suffer asthma, and if you take it twice weekly you are 80% more likely to be affected.
Which Food to Avoid in Asthma –
- There is a strong association between asthma and dairy products, especially in children.
- Any foods to which you have an intolerance will make you more susceptible to attacks. For details of good tests see Allergy.
- Reduce intake of meat, eggs and full-fat dairy produce, which increase mucus production.
- Sodium-based salt in any food (some people can have an attack after eating too many crisps).
- Some mass-produced, ready-prepared salads, dried fruits, wines and beers contain sulphur dioxide, which is known to trigger problems in sensitive individuals.
- Avoid sodium benzoate, which is frequently found in soft drinks.
- Generally, avoid all mass-produced pre-packaged foods. See General Health Hints.
Which Food is Good for Asthma –
- Green leafy vegetables, fresh fruits, and honey are rich in magnesium – which helps the airways to relax and a lack of magnesium is linked to breathing problems. Brown rice, avocados, spinach, haddock, oatmeal, baked potatoes, navy beans, lima beans, broccoli, yogurt, bananas, soya beans, are unrefined nuts are all rich in magnesium.
- Include more lentils, garlic, and onions in your diet, which help fight infection and clear the lungs.
- As asthma is often linked by nutritional physicians to a ‘leaky gut’ include plenty of fresh ginger in your diet, which is very soothing. Cabbage also helps heal the gut.
- Eat oily fish three times a week, which is rich in vitamin A. this can reduce the severity and frequency of attacks. Sweet potatoes and pumpkin are also high in vitamin A.
- Use extra-virgin, unrefined olive and sunflower oils in salad dressings and include plenty of linseeds (flax seeds), pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds in your diet.
- Turnips, cauliflower, apples, pears, cherries, grapes, kale, and green tea are all great foods for the lungs.
- Try rice, almond or oat milk as non-dairy alternatives to cow’s milk, but only if you are not sensitive to these milk – some people are intolerant of almonds.
- Buy a juicer and make yourself a carrot, ginger, cabbage, radish, apple, and celery mix – drink immediately. Try different mixes daily, which is a great way to get health-giving nutrients into the body.
- Vine-ripened tomatoes are rich in lycopene, which is great for the lungs (and prostate). Cooking in a little olive oil helps release the lycopene.
- Sprinkle turmeric on your meals or add to cooking, as this herb has anti-inflammatory properties and supports the immune system.
- After an attack drinks plenty of fluids to help break up mucus so that it can be expelled.
- Children who eat more fresh fruits and vegetables are known to suffer fewer attacks.
- Eat more edible white membranes in lemons – containing limonene- which is great for the lungs.
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Asthma Home Remedies –
- Take a good quality multi-vitamin daily; plus a multi mineral containing 200-400mg of magnesium; plus 200mcg of selenium as low levels leave you more at risk form an attack.
- Vitamin C in ascorbate form. Take 1 gram 3 times a day with meals to help open the airways.
- Take Vitamin B6, 150mg a day; B12, 1000-2000mcg a day; plus a B-complex. Asthma medication depletes B Vitamins, especially in people who are sensitive to sulphates.
- The enzyme bromelain taken 1000-4000mcu a day helps to reduce mucus production and ease breathing.
- Take 60mg a day of natural-source beta-carotene if you suffer exercise-induced asthma.
- The herb ginkgo biloba – 120-240mg standardized extract, or 3-4ml of tincture, taken daily – has been shown to improve circulation and decrease asthma symptoms.
- Oralmat is an extract of ryegrass in a liquid formula that has been shown to support healthy respiratory function by strengthening defenses against toxins in the lungs. An Australian study in mild to moderate asthmatics showed a considerable lessening of symptoms, for some after only a few days of use. Three drops should be placed under the tongue 3 times daily (hold 30 seconds or longer). Children should use one drop instead. NC
- Bronchial-dilating herbs such as euphorbia and grindelia help open the airways. Take 15 drops of each herb 3 times daily in juice. NC
- Try Respiratory Drops made from ginger, myrrh, garlic, Echinacea, and lobelia – 15 drops a day. This helps to expand the airways and keep the respiratory tract clearer. OP
Useful Tips for Asthma –
- Avoid chlorinated pools as exposure to chlorine can constrict the airways.
- Use an ionizer in any room in which you are going to spend any length of time, as it can reduce the amount of pollen and dust in the air.
- Try to avoid antibiotics during the infant years, which have been linked to an increased risk of developing asthma in later life.
- Acupuncture has proved useful for many sufferers.
- To check for food and environmental allergens, consult a kinesiologist who can determine what foods and environmental agents you should avoid. Kinesiology is not 100% accurate but thousands have found it a good indicator of which food s and other factors are causing the most problems.
- It’s incredible how many people suffer breathing problems simply because they are not using their lungs properly. Most asthmatics benefit from tuition in proper breathing techniques. Every 20 minutes or so remember to take a deep breath down into your lower-abdomen area.
- Shallow breathing is associated with being stressed. Learn relaxation techniques or consult a hypnotherapist who can teach you how to relax.
- Take gentle exercises such as yoga, T’ai Chi, Swimming or walking. Exercise reduces stress and helps you to breathe which should help to reduce the incidence of asthma attacks.
- Have a regular massage using essential oils of chamomile and lavender.
- Stress is a major factor in asthma – stay calm!
- It may be worth consulting a chiropractor as blocked airways may link back to nerve compression in the spine.