Originally posted in Standard Digital, Wednesday Life 4th May 2016
Asthma is a chronic lung-disease which causes inflammation and narrowing of the airways, bringing about wheezing, difficulty in breathing, chest tightness and coughing. Asthma flare ups can be mild for some people while for some, they can be serious and even life-threatening.
A nutritional approach towards asthma can also help to reduce severity of symptoms or reduce frequency of attacks. Allergic reactions to food often exhibit in a similar manner as asthma symptoms. As such, food allergens are best avoided to reduce likelihood of these attacks. Foods that trigger allergic reactions, especially in children, need to be identified early and healthy alternatives opted for.
Since asthma symptoms come about due to inflammation of the airways, consuming a diet rich in anti-oxidants like Vitamin A, C and E will help in preventing inflammation caused by free radicals in the body. Brightly colored fruits and vegetables should therefore be consumed in plenty. In fact, most people with frequent asthma attacks are often found to have low levels of Vitamin C.
Research also shows that people with severe asthma have low Vitamin D levels, and thus consumption of Vitamin D sources as fish, milk and egg yolk might help improve asthma symptoms.
For asthmatics, being overweight has also been shown to worsen its symptoms. Keeping a healthy weight is encouraged for those who are overweight or the obese encouraged adopting healthy ways of losing weight.
Regular exercise is also encouraged as this helps to reduce stress which is a common asthma attack trigger. Engaging in relaxing exercises such as yoga might therefore be helpful.