The airways become narrower when they are inflamed, which can cause a respiratory disease called asthma. It is one of the most common chronic respiratory diseases affecting both children and adults. While there are no specific factors that cause asthma, it is often linked to occupational, environmental, and genetic factors. It is challenging to treat asthma as the flare-ups of respiratory diseases are unpredictable. However, there are ways to temporarily treat the symptoms and control the condition’s flare-ups. A person suffering from asthma may produce excess mucus, experience constant wheezing, and have trouble breathing. The affected person may also experience tightness in the chest.
Superfoods that can help relieve the symptoms of asthma:
Honey is known to treat the symptoms of asthma as it gets rid of the phlegm in the throat, thereby clearing the passage and helping the affected person breathe better. Mix a teaspoon of honey in a cup of warm water and drink it at least three times a day. It also prevents and treats gingivitis. Honey also reduces cholesterol levels by digesting the pre-accumulated fats.
For better results, mix three tablespoons of honey, half a tablespoon of cinnamon, and one tablespoon of lemon juice into some warm water for an energizing shot.
Avocados contain high levels of L-glutathione which protects the cells from free radical damage (such as histamine). This fruit is also known as the “master of antioxidants” and can be prepared in a variety of ways. It is great to treat the symptoms of asthma, such as wheezing and chest congestion.
This dark green leafy vegetable is rich in vitamin C. In fact, it has more vitamin C content than a whole orange. The nutrients present in kale reduce muscle contraction in the airways, helping one breathe better. Kale is also loaded with high levels of vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, and an antioxidant phytochemical called beta-carotene, which helps in alleviating the symptoms of asthma.
Caffeine such as tea, coffee, and cocoa can open up the airways in the lungs for up to four hours. This helps alleviate the symptoms of asthma-like chest tightness, wheezing, and breathlessness. They can immediately treat asthma attacks and the symptoms by helping one breathe easily.
Another dark green leafy vegetable, spinach is considered as the king of superfoods. Spinach is loaded with beta-carotene, vitamin E, vitamin C, zinc, potassium, iron, calcium, and magnesium. People suffering from asthma usually have lower levels of magnesium. Hence, a diet rich in magnesium can help with airway resistance and provide relief from wheezing and chest tightness.
Garlic reduces airway inflammation, as it obliterates lung congestion, and fights lung infections. It is rich in vitamin C, which neutralizes the molecules that cause airway constriction. Make a healthy concoction by crushing two to three cloves of garlic in two cups of hot water. Boil until the liquid gets thicker and drink this first thing in the morning to keep the symptoms of asthma at bay.
It is an immune-boosting food and has been used for medical purposes for centuries. Ginger provides relief from the symptoms of asthma by keeping the respiratory tract in check through airway-muscle relaxation. It also regulates calcium levels, thereby preventing the chances of asthma attacks.
Although not a superfood, water plays an essential role by keeping the symptoms of asthma in check. Dehydration causes the airways in the lungs to constrict. This develops excess mucus, resulting in asthma attacks. However, make sure the water you drink is clean and uncontaminated. Consider using some type of a filter or purification system.
Does a diet make a difference when suffering from asthma?
Several doctors, nutritionists, and health experts suggest that there is no specific asthma diet that can eliminate the symptoms of asthma. However, certain changes in one’s diet can help ease the symptoms:
Eating junk food and being overweight or obese can worsen asthma. Eliminate or limit comfort food as it can provide relief from the symptoms of asthma. Consult a fitness or nutrition expert to understand how to maintain a healthy weight.
Superfoods are rich in antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E and beta carotene, which may help reduce lung inflammation and swelling caused by cell-damaging chemicals, free radicals.
Having a food allergy can trigger an asthma attack. Sometimes, allergic food reactions can worsen the symptoms. Some allergy-triggering foods that may worsen asthma include peanuts, tree nuts, soy, shrimp, and shellfish.
Sulfites, a compound, is used as a preservative and can trigger the symptoms of asthma in some people. It can be found in dried fruits, pickles, wine, fresh and frozen shrimp, and packed foods.
It’s also recommended to decrease the intake of salt (sodium). Eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the symptoms of asthma. It is important to make informed choices about the foods to include and avoid in one’s diet when suffering from asthma. Avoid the known food triggers and have a balanced diet to improve the symptoms of asthma and one’s overall health. However, it is also important to consult a doctor and nutritionist before including certain foods to avoid complications.