Extra Help with Relieving Asthma
When there is a family history of eczema, asthma, migraines, hayfever or allergies the condition is said to be atopic or inherited and is linked to a deficiency of GLA or gamma-linolenic acid. Non-symptomatic people can make these from omega 6 oils, which are found in many nuts and seeds, but other oils may also have a beneficial effect on the immune system and healing such as those found in:
- Cold fish; salmon, mackerel, trout, sardines, herrings
- Linseed or flaxseed and its oil (good in dressings)
- Pumpkin seeds – as snacks instead of sugary foods or toasted in salads
- Green leafy vegetables; spinach, watercress, cabbage, broccoli
- Eat a diet consisting primarily of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, oatmeal, brown rice and whole grains. The diet should be relatively high in protein, low in carbohydrates and contain no sugar. Include green tea, apples, onions and garlic in your diet – these contain quercetin and mustard oils, which have been known to inhibit an enzyme that aids in releasing inflammatory chemicals.
- Eat lightly; large meals can cause breath shortness by making the stomach put pressure on the diaphragm.
- Drink plenty of water (with lemon juice if possible) to rid the body of toxins and mucus.
- If they affect you, avoid gas-producing foods such as beans or cabbage, as they may put pressure on the diaphragm and exacerbate the symptoms of asthma.
- Do not eat ice-cream or drink extremely cold liquids; cold can shock the bronchial tubes into spasms.
- Look out for effects after eating the following foods that have shown to commonly trigger asthma attacks; alfalfa, corn, peanuts, soy, eggs, beets, carrots, colas, cold beverages, dairy products (including milk and ice cream), fish, red meat (especially pork), processed foods, salt, spinach, chicken and turkey, white flour and white sugar. If you suspect that any of these are causing allergic symptoms, try eliminating them from your diet for two weeks. After this time, reintroduce them in a significant amount to see if there is an adverse reaction.
- Many people with asthma are sensitive to food additives known as sulphites (contain sulphur or sulphite in the name). They are used in restaurants, fast foods and processed foods to prevent discolouration and bacterial growth in green salads, cut and sliced fruit, frozen shellfish and in any other food to a lesser extent.
- Strong feelings of anger, anxiety and depression may be an important cause of asthma attacks; unfortunately many drugs used to treat asthma cause jittery nerves, insomnia and mood swings.
- Regular exercise is beneficial but be careful of cold air, which may trigger attacks.
- Walking ideally 2 miles per day is necessary for digestion, liver clearance as proper circulation depends on strong calf and thigh muscles.
- Lowering stress with yoga and learning to breathe through your nose aids circulation and increases lung oxygenation and capacity.