Studies have shown that the number of people with asthma has increased significantly over the last three decades. Many health professionals fear that our diet could be to blame for this recent trend. The results of recent clinical studies are showing an apparent correlation between poor diet and asthma. Nowadays, more people are eating processed and otherwise unnatural foods. In contrast, the people who have been eating healthy and nutritious meals are keeping their risk of developing asthma quite low in comparison.
However, only a few doctors have outrightly acknowledged the existence of a link between diet and asthma. Despite this, researchers are finding that certain food items and nutrients seem to be effective in preventing, and even treating, asthma cases. If you have been diagnosed with asthma and live near Birmingham, AL, you may wan to check out Achieve’s Upcoming Asthma Clinical Trial to see if you qualify!
Managing Asthma Symptoms: There are Foods to Avoid!
If you are wondering how to moderate your asthma more naturally, there are certain diet modifications which can serve as a very viable option. Clinical research on asthma has shown that a diet rich in antioxidants and other nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, vitamin E, flavonoids, selenium, magnesium, and beta-carotene can help to limit the symptoms of asthma. In fact, antioxidants likely play a key role in lowering your risk of asthma, because they eliminate the harmful free radicals in the body (this helps to protect the cells from damage).
Current studies conducted on children and teenagers show a correlation between strong lungs and a diet that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and fruits. As you could probably guess, the results from the kids that were not getting enough vitamin C, vitamin E, and omega-3s were unfavorable; in fact, they showed a significantly high rate of sub-par lung function. Given these results, some medical researchers were interested in determining if the Mediterranean diet (this is a diet that calls for a lot of fruits, vegetables, and nuts) could have any benefits for these asthma patients. As expected, the Mediterranean diet showed real promise as method to help prevent and manage asthma symptoms. Due to its high antioxidant and vitamin content, this diet could be a viable option for anyone.
Now, I would not be surprised if you’ve been thinking that it is strange that our diet could have such an impact on this type of condition. Frankly, this is a reasonable question to ask, as asthma is a condition that deals with a constriction in the bronchial tubes (F.Y.I. these are in your lungs, not in the digestive system). However, for many asthma patients, their condition can be worsened by additional mucus and inflammation in the airways. Now, there are certain food items which can decrease inflammation in the body. Things like turmeric and ginger both have these anti-inflammatory properties.
Besides eating certain foods, asthma patients should also try to avoid other food items. Dairy products, for instance, can be quite detrimental to their condition. Some doctors recommend that their asthma patients eliminate these dairy products from their diet. Things like milk, fried foods, and animal protein can increase the amount of mucus produced in the body. Asthma patients may also want to think about staying away from polyunsaturated vegetable oils as well as hydrogenated oils.
Now I assume that, given the flow of the first two paragraphs, you realized pretty quickly just how important a healthy intake of omega-3 is. Now that we have gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about extra-virgin olive oil as a main source of fat. That’s right, if you aren’t already using extra-virgin olive oil in your cooking, then it is high time that you start to do so (don’t worry, it really is quite good!). Also remember to eat some type of organic fruit or vegetable daily. Asthma clinical studies have shown that carrots, apples, tomatoes, and other leafy vegetables all have beneficial effects for patients.
Lastly, make sure that you are drinking plenty of water! Now, I am sure that you have been hearing this since you were a kid, but it holds true. Plenty of water helps to keep the secretions of the respiratory tract more fluid. To put this in perspective for you, the Mayo Clinic suggests that women should be drinking at least 9 glasses of water per day and men should be drinking up to 13!
Herbal Treatment for Asthma
If you are an asthma patient, and you have never heard of butterbur root extract; you should go look it up. In a recent clinical study, 80 participants were given butterbur root extract over the course of four months. These participants had been on asthma medications for their condition when the clinical study started. The results showed that the butterbur helped to decrease the frequency, severity, and duration of asthma attacks in the participants. During the course of the study, more than 40 percent of the participants were able to decrease their medication usage.
Food Allergies and Asthma
Food allergies are another factor that can complicate asthma symptoms. It is important to identify what your potential food triggers are, so that you can effectively avoid them whenever possible. Some common food items that can cause allergic reactions include soy, corn, gluten, and sugar. If you are worried about what type of foods could cause you issues, you can always try an elimination diet. An elimination diet can be very beneficial for a number of different conditions.