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Saturday, September 12, 2020

Asthma and Food

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The food you eat truly cannot completely cure asthma. But several researches suggest that food could have beneficial or adverse effects for asthmatic people. If you have asthma, take note:

Food Allergies

Food allergies can cause the symptoms of asthma, specifically the swelling and thereby the constriction of the air passages. Knowing whether you have food allergies is a great way to determine whether it’s the cause of the asthma attacks you’re experiencing. Some of the most common food that causes allergies with asthmatic symptoms include cow’s milk, eggs, peanuts, fish, wheat, soy and shellfish like shrimp, salads, and fresh fruits.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are free from preservatives and chemicals that are believed to bring about the symptoms of asthma. They are also good sources of antioxidants such as beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E which fight cell-damaging free radicals that may cause lung irritation and inflammation.

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Vitamin D

Severe asthma is often associated with low vitamin D levels so replenishing yourself with vitamin D may just relieve you of the symptoms of asthma. You can get vitamin D from the sun, milk, eggs, and some fish.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight can worsen the symptoms of asthma. Learn to control and maintain a healthy weight so as to improve the symptoms you have.

Avoid These Chemicals in Food

Several chemicals found in food were reported to have caused the symptoms of asthma. These include:

  • Sulphites
  • Tartrazine
  • Benzoates
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • Salicylates

As for specific foods, there are those that act as bronchodilators and open up the airways, and those that act as bronchoconstrictors and constrict the airways. Reach for bronchodilator foods to relieve yourself of the symptoms of asthma, and avoid bronchoconstrictors to prevent asthma attacks.

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 Bronchodilators

  • Caffeinated drinks such as coffee and tea can significantly improve airway function for up to four hours. This is believed to be due to the structural similarity between the drug caffeine and theophylline, a bronchodilator drug.
  • Apples contain the flavonoid khellin which has been shown to open up airways.
  • Citrus fruits such as orange and grapefruit are rich in the antioxidant vitamin C. Antioxidants fight damage-causing free radicals that may cause lung irritation and inflammation.
  • Carrots are rich in another antioxidant known as beta-carotene thereby warding off lung damage by fighting free radicals.
  • Flax seeds have high levels of magnesium which is said to relax the muscles surrounding the bronchi thereby opening up the airways.
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Bronchoconstrictors

  • Eggs are one of the most common food allergies that could bring about asthma attacks. Egg allergies are more common for children and people usually outgrow them.
  • Salt contributes to the inflammation of the bronchi and the constriction of airways by causing fluid retention. This includes other sodium-rich foods as well.

Shellfish, much like eggs, are common food allergies that cause the symptoms of asthma. And for shellfish, people do not usually outgrow them.

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