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Asthma Diet

Although food allergies may trigger asthma in a small number of people, it is advisable that you eat a healthy diet and avoid those foods that trigger asthma. Asthma generally starts or is associated with inflammation as well as congestion of the mucous membrane of the nose. The patient gets a few bouts of sneezing and as a consequence, a running nose and watery eyes. This problem spreads to the throat and then on to the bronchial tubes thus causing asthma.

Turmeric works both as a preventive and a curative for this ailment. As a preventive, the patient can regularly use one teaspoonful of the turmeric powder mixed with two teaspoonfuls of honey twice daily on an empty stomach. He can also take one teaspoonful of turmeric mixed with a cup of warm milk twice a day. If it is used before or at the onset of a nasal problem, the manner during the attack will reduce the intensity or acuteness of the attack and bring quicker relief.

The patient should take a very light diet, especially at night because of inactivity, when the body is at rest the power of digestion and metabolism become very sluggish. So asthma patients should as a rule, be careful to take very light food at night or even avoid taking any food at all. Apart from ginger, he should use some other digestive stimulants such as black pepper and long pepper. Half a teaspoonful of powdered long pepper or ginger added to milk, tea or coffee before boiling or straining is also advised.

Foods to Avoid in Asthma

Some foods can provoke asthma attacks (according to your susceptibility), by causing an allergic reaction.

1. Foods containing the additives benzoates (E210-19), sulphites (E220-8) or gallates (E310-12)
2. Foods, drinks and snacks containing colorings E102, E104 and E110
3. Cider, wine and beer
3. Foods containing yeast or mould, such as bread, blue cheeses and some food colorings and preservatives
4. Cow's milk, cereals (wheat), eggs, fish, soy, and nuts (especially peanuts)
5. People with asthma are also recommended to avoid Royal Jelly products as they may trigger symptoms.
6. Ripe bananas, oranges, lemons, cold drinks, sour fruit juice, sour fruits and pickles should not be used.
7. Constipative vegetables such as potatoes, arbi (colocasia) and legumes of different types are harmful for the patient.
8. White meat, red meat and fish in small quantities may be eaten; sea fish should be avoided.
9. The patient should avoid rice and eat wheat instead. Refined wheat flour however is not advisable because is becomes a little constipative.

Foods Helpful in Asthma

Some foods can help to control the severity of an attack. One of the best-known foods for doing this is coffee, due to the caffeine.

Some Foods can actually dilate air passageways, by thinning the mucus and opening them up for freer breathing. The foods in this category include the spicy, pungent foods like chili, hot mustard, garlic and onions. These hot foods work by stimulating nerves, resulting in the release of watery fluid in the mouth, throat and lungs.

Some foods can control inflammation of the airways because of their anti-inflammatory components. Foods that help to do this include onions, fatty fish (fish oil is a proven anti-inflammatory high in omega 3 fatty acids) and vitamin C-packed foods.

Eat foods rich in the B vitamins such as green leafy vegetables and pulses and good sources of magnesium such as sunflower seeds and dried figs. Asthmatic patients should take wholemeal bread, maize, jawar and bajra (millets) which are very useful. Among vegetables, spinach, bitter gourd, pumpkin, green banana and green papaya are recommended. Among fruits, grapes, raisins and papaya preferably those prescribed in yoga.

Garlic, ginger, asafetida, cumin seed, turmeric, long pepper, black pepper, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves are recommended. Cow’s milk is preferred to buffalo’s. Goat’s milk is very useful for asthmatics.

Foods That May Protect Against Asthma

Some foods have been found to help protect against asthma and improve lung function.
People who eat fruit and vegetables had the healthiest lung function. Vitamin C and E are also believed to help reduce the severity of the inflammatory response in the lungs of people with asthma. A diet that includes a high level of nutrients can also boost the immune system and help ward off colds and flu – both common asthma triggers.

If you think you have a food allergy, contact your doctor or nurse for further advice. Remember, just avoiding your triggers alone is unlikely to control your asthma. You need to take regular asthma medicines as well.

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