Many philosophers believe that food is the best medicine; Hippocrates believed in that too. Despite the advances in medicine, healthcare technology, new surgical procedures, and medical discoveries, there are many diseases that still don’t have a cure. Scientists, doctors, and researchers are working against time to find a cure to many diseases like cancer, arthritis, asthma, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, etc. Sadly, the number of people affected by these diseases are increasing. Additionally, the financial costs involved to treat these incurable diseases is mind boggling. As a result, the effort to manage these diseases effectively with alternate and targeted therapies, genetic coding, diet, and lifestyle modification has gained popularity.
Among other methods, diet change and lifestyle modifications are the least expensive. However, making these changes can be difficult. Modifications in one’s diet and lifestyle in addition with medication and frequent consultation with doctors is usually ideal. This works particularly well among young children suffering from chronic ailments like asthma.
Asthma affects both children and adults. A child affected by asthma has to learn to manage the condition for the rest of their life. Although it is difficult, it is not impossible. Moreover, the use of corticosteroid inhalers for extended periods can cause a toll on one’s body. With developed studies, it is now certain that certain foods and dietary patterns do influence asthma and its symptoms. Foods can trigger the condition or worsen it. Similarly, some foods can improve the symptoms and help an asthmatic child or adult lead a better life. However, this doesn’t cure the condition, it merely helps reduce the symptoms.
Top foods that help reduce inflammation
This is an antioxidant and is commonly available in various fruits and vegetables. A healthy dose of fruits and vegetables can boost immunity and protect one from cough and cold. Vitamin C also has anti-inflammatory properties, which protects one from asthma. Those who have a vitamin C deficiency are more prone to asthma attacks than others. Bell peppers, green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, broccoli are helpful. Along with that, fruits like strawberries and kiwi, citrus fruits like grapefruit, lemons, and oranges are all excellent sources of vitamin C.
Recent clinical trials link lower levels of vitamin D to an increased risk of asthma in both children and adults. This impacts immune cells and also reduces the chances of inflammation in case of a respiratory infection. Vitamin D is naturally available in seafood like salmon, sardines, herring, tuna, oysters, and shrimp. Cod liver oil supplements are a great source of vitamin D. Additionally, mushrooms, orange juice, soy milk, and cow’s milk contain a significant amount of vitamin D. If someone is allergic to any of these foods, they must avoid them as it could trigger the condition. In such cases, vitamin D supplements can be consumed after consulting a doctor. Moreover, spending a few minutes every day in the sun can also help significantly.
Magnesium relaxes the muscles around the lungs, bronchi, and airways and directly impacts breathing.
beta-Carotene keeps the immune system healthy and is great for people with cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and Alzheimer’s. Beta-Carotene gets converted to Vitamin A, which helps reduce exercise-induced asthma. beta-Carotene is available in carrots, green pepper, sweet potatoes, and apricots.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Preliminary research suggests that Omega-3 fatty acids could have beneficial effects on asthma. Seafood and flax seeds have these acids in abundance.
In addition to this, the following foods should be consumed as well.
A beneficial compound called flavonoids found in apples help reduce inflammation in the airways. Particularly, khellin, a flavonoid that is abundant in apples, clears the airways and helps with breathing. However, one needs to eat at least 2-5 apples a week.
Moderate amounts of caffeine can clear the airways, as it is considered to be a bronchodilator. Airways can remain dilated for about four hours after consuming a cup of coffee.
Garlic has anti-inflammatory and healing properties. This has been time tested for many ailments, from viral infections to arthritis. Garlic contains allicin, a powerful antioxidant, which produces an acid that destroys free radicals that attack the immune system. A stronger immune system helps reduce asthma attacks.
It is important to understand that food alone cannot be used to treat asthma. It only serves as a supplement along with proper medication. Food and diet play a crucial role to ensure that the symptoms do not worsen and help maintain the quality of life.