There is no definite diet for asthma, but a combination of asthma-friendly foods help suppress asthma symptoms. A healthful and nutritious diet is important for everyone and same goes for asthmatics.
[Read: Best Foods for Asthma Sufferers]
Several studies have supported the idea of Mediterranean diet, which encourages increased intake of fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and unsaturated fatty acids to control asthma symptoms. A research panel of experts from National Heart and Lung Institute, University of Crete, Venezelio General Hospital (Crete) and the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (Barcelona) suggested that Mediterranean diet could help protect one against respiratory allergies and asthma.
A proper dietary regimen helps asthmatics to:
[Read: Diet to Control Asthma Symptoms]
Foods High in Vitamin C
A Yale University research found that asthmatics who took 500 mg supplement of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) for two days experienced reduced shortness of breath and wheezing significantly after working out. Ascorbic acid had a protective affect owing to its ability to accelerate metabolism of histamines, a chemical compound that makes respiratory airway swell. As a matter of fact, a glass of freshly squeezed orange contains 100 mg of ascorbic acid. Besides citrus oranges, other good sources of vitamin C are strawberries, kiwi and broccoli.
The researchers at the University of Indiana gave asthmatics omega-3 fatty acid supplement daily for three weeks. They found that fish-oil supplemented diet improved their lung function by decreasing the inflammation in the body. Salmon, tuna and mackerel are among other food options for asthmatics to improve their lung function.
Coffee, Tea, Dark Chocolate
According to a Tel-Aviv University study, drinking caffeinated beverages before exercising (about 3 cups of strong coffee for an average-size person) helps improve breathing. Caffeine is a muscle relaxant that fights natural tendency of an asthmatic’s lungs to spasm and constrict after exercising.
Natural Foods and Spices
Garlic and onion must be a part of an asthmatic’s diet since these have powerful antioxidants present in them that can help remove free radicals that contribute to asthma and its symptoms.
Natural spices such as basil, fenugreek, sage, coriander and oregano not just add to the flavour, but also relieve asthma symptoms owing to their antioxidant properties to neutralise the free radicals. Moreover, addition of these spices in your meals restricts the production of pro-inflammatory chemicals such as leukotrienes.
An important lesson learnt here is that foods can’t cure asthma permanently, but are capable of reducing its symptoms to a great extent. A diet of an asthma patient should never consist asthma triggering foods.
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