Asthma is a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is also related to seasonal, environmental or food allergies. “Asthma Attack” occurs suddenly in response to stimuli that irritate the immune system and air passageways and it is characterised by difficulty breathing and narrowing of the airways leading to the lungs (including the nose, nasal passageways, mouth and larynx).The blocked or inflamed airways that cause asthma symptoms can usually be cleared with help from certain lifestyle changes and treatments.
Although asthma medications can help control symptoms in the case of an emergency attack, they can actually sometimes make asthma symptoms even worse long term due to how they affect the endocrine system and the immune system. Asthma medication – Advair, for example, contains the long-acting beta-agonist (LABA) salmeterol. A 2006 analysis found that regular use of LABAs can increase the severity of an asthma attack. Researchers estimate that salmeterol may contribute to as many as 5,000 asthma-related deaths in the United States each year. Research shows some asthma drugs might also contribute to mood changes, acne, osteoporosis, yeast growth and Candida and weight gain — plus over time they might hinder normal immune functions that make allergic and asthmatic reactions more frequent.
Dietary and lifestyle interventions, accompanied by natural supplements don’t require taking prescription medications or even using inhalers.
Dietary intervention to prevent Asthma
- Cruciferous vegetables: Broccoli, broccoli sprouts, Brussels sprouts and other contain many antioxidants and a key compound called sulforaphane. Sulforaphane appears to increase a broad array of antioxidant enzymes, which may help the compound’s effectiveness in blocking the harmful effects of air pollution.
- Quercetin foods: Garlic, onions and mustard seeds are considered natural antimicrobials. They may help to fight bacterial infections and improve overall immune health thanks to quercetin – antioxidant, which inhibits inflammation.
- Raw milk and cultured dairy. The healthy probiotics in raw milk strengthen the immune system, and research shows that probiotic foods improve digestion and help stop allergic reactions that occur as proteins and other allergens pass through the digestive lining.
- Prebiotics and high-fiber foods: whole grains, nuts, beans, seeds and raw vegetables. Plant fibres help us eliminate toxins and feed healthy probiotic bacteria.
- Omega-3 foods: oily fish, such as mackerel, sardines, orange roughy, salmon, trout and tuna, chia seeds and flax seeds. Omega-3s help lowers the incidence of asthma significantly because they reduce airway inflammation and immune system reactivity.
- Carotenoid foods: oranges or red colour fruit and vegetables, like root veggies, sweet potatoes, carrots, leafy greens and berries. Carotenoids are the basis of vitamin A, which is involved in the maintenance of healthy mucous membranes that line the air passageways. The severity of asthma correlates with low vitamin A, so increase your intake of things like.
- High-folate foods include green leafy vegetables, beans and nuts. Folate (vitamin B9) reduces allergic reactions and inflammation. It might be capable of lowering wheezing by regulating inflammatory processes as well.
- Foods with vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid): chicken liver, salmon, avocado, broccoli, sunflower seeds, sundried tomatoes, corn and mushrooms. Pantothenic acid is involved in adrenal function, and stress plays a large role in asthma. It’s needed in larger quantities by asthmatics because they seem unable to utilise this vitamin correctly.
- Vitamin C foods: leafy greens, citrus fruits, cruciferous veggies and berries. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and helps detoxify the body, which is why some research suggests that consuming more vitamin C reduces wheezing and inflammation.
- Vitamin E. Vitamin E is another powerful antioxidant found in nuts, seeds and healthy plant oils.
- Magnesium foods: greens, nuts, seeds, beans, cocoa and certain ancient grains. Magnesium has been shown to reduce the severity of asthma attacks and symptoms like muscle-spasming anxiety. It’s been found that magnesium can induce bronchial smooth muscle relaxation and allow air to get into and out of the lungs more easily.
Foods to avoid
- Food preservatives and food colouring can trigger asthma attacks. Avoid MSG, tartrazine (yellow food dye), sulphites and sulphur dioxide, to name just a few.
- Processed foods high in sugar contributes to the overgrowth of yeast or candida Albicans. Yeast can be a trigger itself, but worse, it steals valuable nutrients from the digestive tract.
- Refined/processed vegetable oils and hydrogenated fats contribute to the presence of dangerous free radicals in the body.
- Powdered and pasteurised infant formulas are significantly more at risk of developing asthma and allergies than those who are breastfed.
- Hidden food allergies are often triggered by asthma attacks. The most common food allergies are to pasteurised milk products, gluten, soy, eggs and nuts.
- Animal products treated with hormones and antibiotics as well as pasteurised foods and drinks and Farm-raised fish are laden with chemicals that correlate with increased incidence of asthma.
- Vitamin D, which seems to slow declining lung function and supports immune health. It also stops lung “remodelling,” the narrowing of breathing passages over time. Calcitriol, the form of vitamin D we make in the body, is a natural anti-inflammatory, yet many people are chronically low in vitamin D due to spending less time outside and eating low-nutrient diets.
One 2007 study discovered that poor diets and the lack of vitamin D among mothers were the determining factors in whether their children suffered from asthma, independent of the child’s own vitamin D intake after birth.
A 2009 study on vitamin D deficiency in newborns with an upper respiratory infection (URI) confirmed a strong, positive correlation between newborns’ and mother’s vitamin D levels. Over 87 percent of all newborns and over 67 percent of all mothers had vitamin D levels lower than 20 ng/ml, which is a severe deficiency state.
A Recent study, which tested 435 children and 658 adults with mild to moderate asthma, found that those taking vitamin D supplements experienced fewer severe asthma attacks, required less use of oral steroids for treatment and also reduced their risk of needing to be hospitalised for acute asthma attacks.
- Vitamins C: Increases immunity and acts as an antioxidant, reducing free radical damage and inflammation.
- B vitamins: Help support cognitive functions and immune health. Vitamin B3 and vitamin B12 have been found to be low in asthma patients but are nutrients that lower antihistamine levels and reduce wheezing.
- Zinc: Supports adrenal health and aids the body in coping with stress, which has been tied to worsened asthma symptoms.
- Magnesium: Can help reduce asthma symptom severity, including pain, anxiety and emotional stress.
Find your local practitioner to help you to manage Asthma or other chronic condition.