These Foods Improve Asthma
While there's no specific "asthma diet," some studies have found that people who eat nutritious meals have a lower asthma risk. In addition, people who already suffer from asthma may find that eating certain foods can help to repair the damage that's been done to their respiratory systems.
Properties in Foods That Help Asthma
Some of the benefit of fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods for asthma seem to stem from the following properties:
- Alliums: These are chemicals that exist in produce such as onions, garlic, shallots, and leeks they can help you head off inflammation that typically occurs with asthma.
- Antioxidants: These properties naturally occur in fruits and vegetables and include vitamins A, C, E, carotenoids, selenium, grape seed extract, and coenzyme Q10. All of these can help prevent damage to the lungs and also repair some of the damage that's already been caused by asthma. For best results, some experts suggest incorporating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: There are different views on how effective this lipid (which is contained in some fish) is in treating asthma. Research has shown that in some cases, it could have a preventative effect in children, particularly when their mothers use it in the latter stage of pregnancy. However, the benefits of using fish oil in adults to prevent or treat asthma doesn't seem to be significant. Nonetheless, it does have other positive health properties, so it's worth talking to your doctor to see if you should add omega-3 fatty acids to your diet.
Following RDA Guidelines
When deciding what to eat for asthma in order to make the most of these types of properties, a good place to start is by following the recommended dietary allowance (also called RDA) of the vitamins and minerals needed for good health and a strong immune system.
Why Foods Are Better Than Supplements
If you're finding it hard to meet the recommendation guidelines by eating enough fresh fruits and vegetables, you might take a multi-vitamin or supplements. However, this won't provide the same level of benefits as you would get when you turn to whole foods as your source for key nutrients. This is because many antioxidants work together in fruits and vegetables and can have a bigger impact on your health than if you took them individually.
Play It Safe
See your doctor and let him create nutritional recommendations designed for your specific health needs. Remember that when eating foods to help asthma, you'll still need to avoid your triggers, monitor your symptoms, and take your medications as directed.
Patel, BD et al. "Dietary Antioxidants and Asthma in Adults." Thorax 61 (5) (May 2006): 388-93. Web. 21 June 2012.
Pierre, Colleen. "The Anti-Asthma Diet." Parents.com. N.D. Web. 17 June 2012.
University of Maryland Medical Center. "Asthma." N.d. Web. 22 June 2012.
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