Are You Asthmatic? These Foods May Help You

Every one of us might have a different taste in food items. We all know how our food habits can impact our health. When it comes to maintaining a healthy life, people often start with having a healthy diet and doing regular exercise. We all know that diet plays an important role in maintaining a healthy life. 

Eating unhealthy is making our immunity weak. It is reducing our ability to fight against infections and diseases.

What foods are good for asthmatics?

Omega-3 fatty acid

Omega-3 fatty acid (also known as omega-3 fats or n-3 fats) has many health benefits. It is a type of essential fat which means, it cannot be synthesized by our body and therefore we have to depend on outer sources for it. It is shown to be beneficial in many health conditions like diabetes, stroke and other heart problems, allergies, and inflammatory problems like rheumatoid arthritis.

Omega-3 fatty acids provide a protective action against asthma symptoms. They help to reduce inflammation and build immunity. Consuming foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids may help to reduce the symptoms of asthma.

Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids are

  • Fish
  • Flaxseeds
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Walnuts
  • Green leafy vegetables

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an important vitamin required for our normal body functions. It is soluble in water. It helps in combating infection. It shows anti-inflammatory, wound healing, antioxidant and immune-building properties.

Since asthma is an inflammatory condition of the airways, taking vitamin C may help reduce the inflammation and symptoms of asthma.

Vitamin C-rich foods include

  • Fruits- lemon, orange, grapes, strawberries, papaya, tomato, kiwi, etc.
  • Bell peppers
  • Vegetables- broccoli

Magnesium

Magnesium is an essential element present in our body. It helps in maintaining bone health, acts as a stress buster, keeps blood sugar and blood pressure under control and maintains muscle and nerve functions.

It is responsible for various physiological functions of the body. Magnesium (Mg) shows anti-inflammatory, anticholinergic, antihistaminic, and bronchodilator effects. Mg is also involved in the production of nitric oxide, which is responsible for vasodilation (widening of blood vessels). 

Abnormal levels of magnesium may not be noticed until it's extremely less or high, which may lead to various health problems. Deficiency of magnesium results in the release of inflammatory mediators that may cause sinusitis, asthma, bronchitis and COPD. Hence, magnesium may play an important role in managing inflammatory conditions like asthma.

Many people take calcium supplements with the wrong assumption of having calcium deficiency, whereas the body might be magnesium deficient. This happens because the deficiency of these elements shows similar symptoms, such as weakness, muscle or joint pain, muscle spasms, fatigue, a sensation of pins and needles, etc.  

There are various foods that are rich in magnesium, such as-                    

  • Green leafy vegetables like spinach, mustard leaves, kale, etc.
  • Dark chocolate
  • Avocados, dried figs
  • Nuts- almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, peanuts
  • Lentils, beans, peas, soybeans, tofu
  • Seeds- flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds
  • Wheat, oats, barley
  • Fish
  • Fruits-banana, guava, papaya, blackberries, grapefruit, kiwi, etc.                                

Vitamin D

People with asthma may get benefit from vitamin D due to its immune-building properties. Many studies have shown that asthmatic people have low levels of vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency in asthmatics can cause increased inflammation and exacerbations, which may lead to poor asthma control and worsening of asthma symptoms. Vitamin D is also known as the sunshine vitamin because the body can produce vitamin D when it is exposed to sunlight. Apart from this, there are some foods that may be a source of vitamin D, such as-

  • Dairy products- milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.
  • Egg yolk
  • Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, etc.
  • Fruit juice like orange
  • Cod liver oil

Vitamin A

People with low levels of antioxidants are associated with allergic conditions like asthma. Consuming foods rich in antioxidants may help to reduce the inflammation and symptoms of asthma. Vitamin A has antioxidant properties.

Foods rich in vitamin A include:      

  • Vegetables- carrots, broccoli, spinach, sweet potato, bell peppers, green peas, pumpkin, green leafy vegetables, etc.
  • Fruits- mango, kiwi, orange, etc.
  • Milk
  • Egg yolk, fish, salmon, etc
  • Avocado

Herbs

There are many herbs that show a positive effect in managing asthma. These herbs help to reduce inflammation and relax the airways. Most Ayurveda medicines for asthma contain one or more of the following herbs.

  • Turmeric
  • Tulsi
  • Mulethi
  • Ashwagandha
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Adulsa
  • Honey
  • Bhumi amla
  • Pippali
  • Thyme

References:

  1. Adams S, Lopata AL, Smuts CM, Baatjies R, Jeebhay MF. Relationship between Serum Omega-3 Fatty Acid and Asthma Endpoints. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 Dec 25;16(1):43. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16010043. PMID: 30585204; PMCID: PMC6338947.
  2. Kaur B, Rowe BH, Arnold E. Vitamin C supplementation for asthma. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009 Jan 21;2009(1):CD000993. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD000993.pub3. Update in: Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013;10:CD000993. PMID: 19160185; PMCID: PMC6176494.
  3. Ogeyingbo OD, Ahmed R, Gyawali M, Venkatesan N, Bhandari R, Botleroo RA, Kareem R, Elshaikh AO. The Relationship Between Vitamin D and Asthma Exacerbation. Cureus. 2021 Aug 18;13(8):e17279. doi: 10.7759/cureus.17279. PMID: 34462708; PMCID: PMC8389855.
  4. Allen S, Britton JR, Leonardi-Bee JAAssociation between antioxidant vitamins and asthma outcome measures: systematic review and meta-analysisThorax 2009;64:610-619.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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