With an increase in environmental pollutants, rate of obesity, use of preservatives, adulteration of food and stress levels, there has been a sharp rise in asthma, allergies and gastroesophageal reflux disease. Conventional medication, manages the problem, however, asthma needs to be treated at its roots, to prevent flare-ups. Food can be extremely powerful and beneficial in fighting asthma and providing relief without any side- effects. Let’s look at few potent food choices that can provide relief and help in managing asthma.
1. Garlic and Onion: These are nature’s very own antibiotics to treat asthma. Onion and garlic stimulate the excretory organs, for assimilation of food to strengthen the lungs. Onions are very rich in a powerful anti-inflammatory compound called quercetin that helps relieve allergies. A prominent researcher Dr. Walter Dorsch, found that onions have a direct anti- asthmatic effect due to the presence of thiosulphates that have very active anti-inflammatory properties.
2. Magnesium: Studies show that magnesium relaxes the muscles of the respiratory tract. In fact, children who are deficient in this mineral are at a higher risk of developing asthma. Dark green vegetables are highest in magnesium, and are packed with chlorophyll. Include 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds in your daily diet. Also figs, anjeer, banana, cashews and dark chocolate are good sources of magnesium.
3. Round flaxseeds: This is one of the most powerful foods of the universe. Two tablespoons of freshly ground flaxseeds or flaxseed oil can treat acute asthma very effectively. Flaxseeds are loaded with anti-inflammatory omega 3 fatty acids.
4. Vitamin D: Decreased levels of this very important nutrient has shown prevalence of asthma in children and adults. Several studies show association between low levels of viatmin D and decreased lung function. Try to get natural sunlight daily so your body can make up for the deficiency, also add supplements if needed.
Vitamin C foods: Vitamin C helps in decreasing the inflammatory responses in the airways and also lessens the spasms of the bronchial passages. Research also suggests that vitamin reduces wheezing and breathlessness. Eat mangoes, guava, tomatoes, papaya, oranges, amla, and green vegetables.
5. Licorice root: It has been used historically to treat asthma. It has been used in Chinese medicine to improve lung function, reduce bronchial secretions and energize the body. Tea made with licorice root is helpful to relax the bronchial tubes.
6. Turmeric: Curcumin present in turmeric is very effective in bronchial asthma. It dilates blood vessels for better air flow. It also lowers the activity of inflammatory enzymes LOX and COX 2 to provide relief from asthma. Mix 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper powder to a glass of water. Drink this first thing in the morning to get relief from breathing disorders.
Food is very effective in treating several diseases. Similarly certain inflammatory foods need to be eliminated, that may provoke allergies:
1. Avoid diary: Even if you don’t have allergies to dairy products still avoid them, completely as they encourage mucus production and block your airways.
2. Sugar, junk food & processed food: These are all inflammatory foods that encourage allergies and trigger asthma.
3. Do not eat cold food and chilled water as this will tighten your air ways. Eat smaller meals to keep pressure off your diaphragm.
4. And finally fear, anxiety, and stress trigger asthma attacks. Keep stress levels low as it has become a major cause of modern day diseases.
About the Author
Shilpa Arora ND is a renowned Health Practitioner, Nutritionist and certified Macrobiotic Health Coach. She has to her credit Doctorate in Natural Medicine. She is currently based in Delhi NCR region, successfully running her Nutrition Studio with individual consultations, offering life style programs supported by the most up-to-date clinical research.Disclaimer:
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