Contributed by – Preksha Buttan
Did you know that one in every 10 people in the world who suffer from asthma is from India? Unfortunately, asthma doesn’t have a cure yet although treatment options have evolved which can help patients keep this condition under control. While medications can help you in living with asthma, there is another way in which you can reduce the acuteness and frequency of attacks.
A well-balanced diet can help keep your body and mind healthy, and it might just help ease your asthma symptoms. While there’s no particular diet recommended for asthma patients, we’ll tell you 12 foods you need to include in your diet that can help you deal with asthma.
What is the connection between food and breathing?
Our body needs oxygen for all of its functions including chewing and digesting food. During your digestion process what happens is that sugar, fiber, fat, and protein in the food are broken down with the help of oxygen and energy is released as the final product. And the waste is exhaled in the form of carbon dioxide. Now, different types of food need different amounts of oxygen and produce different amounts of carbon dioxide. Foods rich in fat produce less carbon dioxide as compared to the amount of oxygen they use. On the other hand, foods rich in carbohydrates consume more oxygen and produce more carbon dioxide. Thus, for asthma patients, a diet rich in healthy fats and low in carbs will be good. An added bonus of eating healthy is that it’ll help you lose that excess weight and maintain your body which can further help in minimizing asthma symptoms.
Foods to eat to deal with asthma
Here’s another reason to love apples especially red apples. Apples have natural antihistamine and inflammatory effect which can help in asthma. Hence, those dealing with asthma must have at least 3 to 5 apples in a week.
Avocados are the newest trend in health food – avocado salad, dip, toast everywhere you go there is a recipe for avocado. Well, the hype is justified because avocado really is one of the best forms of good fat. Also, avocados have an antioxidant called glutathione. Glutathione helps in preventing tissue damage and safeguards your lungs. So, now you have more reasons to add avocado in any form in your diet.
Bananas have potassium and antioxidants which are helpful in improving lung functions. Children who wheeze might benefit from them. But, do be a little mindful if you are following a low carb diet because bananas are one of the most carb-rich foods.
Carrots have an antioxidant called beta-carotene which is converted into vitamin A by the body. This may reduce the odds of exercise-induced asthma. Moreover, vitamin A will also take care of your eyes and immune system.
There are many theories on whether caffeine is good for health or not. But as far as caffeine for asthma is concerned, it may open up your airway which is helpful for asthmatics. But make sure to have it in moderate amounts only.
Berries have ample amounts of antioxidants in them. They can be extremely beneficial in the fight against inflammation. Adding berries of different colors into your diet will give you different types of antioxidants that your body will love.
Flaxseeds have magnesium and omega 3 fatty acids in dense amounts. Magnesium relaxes the muscles around bronchi and opens up the airways. And omega 3 fatty acids may also benefit those with asthma. Hence, you can add flaxseeds into your diet in any form.
You must be anyway using ginger for a lot of reasons. Here’s one more. Components of ginger might open the airways and provide some relief to asthmatics. So, start adding ginger to more and more foods.
The amount of effort needed to open pomegranates is worth it because of the amount of antioxidants they provide. These antioxidants improve lung health which asthmatics benefit from.
Spinach is such a superhero vegetable that it has a cartoon dedicated to it (Yes, it’s Popeye), so its no wonder that you should include more of it to your diet. But, for asthmatics, it is doubly beneficial because spinach has Folate – which can reduce the chances of asthma attacks.
Tomatoes are rich in antioxidants and have a high amount of vitamin C which is good for asthmatics. The juice they have can help in opening the airways. The fact that they are low in calories is an added bonus here.
Indian cuisine is incomplete without the use of turmeric and now it is becoming popular globally (hello turmeric latte!). The reason why turmeric is considered beneficial is its most important component – Curcumin which may reduce the inflammation of the lungs. Check out more benefits of turmeric here.
A piece of advice – Although fresh fruits and vegetables are good for our health, it is always recommended to consult a specialist before bringing a major change into your diet. There could be possibilities of you being allergic to something or the other. So, to prevent any kind of complications, get yourself tested and consult a dietician.
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