It’s a pleasure to have on board professionals who like to share their knowledge with GHP’s readers. Their wealth of knowledge comes to any lay person’s aid on days like today – World Asthma Day.
One of the most acute and predominant ailments affecting children and adults alike, asthma continues to hamper daily living. This is more so for those who aren’t aware of basic things like what to eat and what to avoid.
I’m truly grateful to Huda Shaikh, Clinical Nutritionist and Founder of Nutribond, for sharing her expertise on Asthma in today’s blog post, as a guest blogger.
What is asthma?
Asthma is a chronic disease which can inflame and narrow the bronchus leading to difficulty in breathing and formation of mucus in the airways.
All of us have heard about it and know that it does have a particular cure. While there is no particular food which can eliminate or cure asthma, there are certain foods which can definitely help in controlling the number of attacks a patient can experience.
Research is still trying to uncover how certain foods can trigger asthma and which ones can help to curb it.
Though each and every person is different and the reactions would differ too, here are a set of foods which can be prove to be helpful during the course of asthma.
Foods an asthmatic can say YES to
￼ Yes, you heard it right! Just like the popular adage, consuming 2-5 apples in a week can keep asthma at bay. And guess what, this claim has actually been backed by a British study. It is also believed that apples are rich in flavanoids, which in turn help in opening up airways. As we know, it is due to inflammation that the airways are blocked with mucus and cause asthma.So what are you waiting for? Grab an apple or add it to your bowl of mixed fruits and you are good to go.
Why flaxseeds? Flaxseeds are loaded with Omega 3 fatty acids, an essential fatty acid, which is necessary for lubricating and nourishing various organs of our body. Lungs being one of them. Various studies have advocated the same.Also, flaxseeds are rich in magnesium, selenium and Vitamin B1 which can help in relaxing the bronchial muscles and constriction of the bronchi is considered to be a major reason leading to an asthmatic attack. So sprinkle it onto your salad, fruit bowl to add to your rotis to reap its umpteen benefits.
Don’t like the flavor or smell ? Never mind, take a look at its benefits and then decide for yourself. Garlic fhas been known to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Allicin is a potent antioxidant which is found in garlic and is capable of warding off free radicals. Research has shown that it can help with asthma too.Add some chopped garlic to your salad, dal, soups, grilled chicken, veggie rice and forget the smell just focus on its never-ending benefits.
Oranges are a great source of Vitamin C, a potent anti-oxidant which helps in the removal of free radicals from the body. Free radicals are responsible for lung damage and studies have shown that people who consume vitamin C-rich foods are at a lower risk of suffering from asthmatic attacks.So opt for citrus fruits like kiwi, melon, guava, strawberry and veggies like spinach, broccoli and bell peppers. Make sure to add orange in smoothies, puddings, salads and you can even make a healthy dip out of it.
￼Bugs Bunny loves carrots. You know why? Because it is capable of boosting immunity. How? It is a great source of beta carotene, an organic red-orange coloured pigment which is converted to vitamin A. Beta carotene is not just a pigment but also a powerful antioxidant which helps fight free radicals. It keeps asthma attacks at bay. This extends beyond carrots to cantaloupe, sweet potato, spinach, red pepper, pumpkin and tomatoes.Add carrot to your soups, smoothies, juices, salads, muffins, vegetable kebabs or you can make some baked carrot chips too.
Foods an asthamatic should say NO to
Many people with asthma are unable to tolerate milk as it leads to wheezing, coughing and other respiratory issues. Hence, milk is best avoided.
Salt can lead to inflammation and fluid retention, ultimately leading to higher chances of asthmatic attacks. Avoid packaged, processed, restaurant food and obviously ready-to-eat foods.
Peanut allergy is common and hence if you are allergic to peanuts then there are higher chances of you having an asthmatic attack. Peanuts are the worst for people suffering from asthma, hence read food labels carefully!
- Chemical preservatives or food colorants
Food additives and dyes like sodium sulfite, potassium metabisulfite, MSG, carmine and many more such can act as triggers for asthma. These are mainly found in processed and preserved foods like pickled foods, dried fruits, wine, beer, bottled and packaged lime juice.
If you are allergic to shellfish for any other reason, then it is best avoided as it can lead to asthmatic attacks. Unlike any other allergy, shellfish allergy is a lifelong allergy.
Huda Shaikh is a Nutritionist and Founder of NutriBond. She’s certified in Dietetics with an MSc in Clinical Nutrition. She regularly blogs and consults via www.nutribond.co.in
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