Your diet is a powerful tool which can help you to stay well if you have been diagnosed with asthma. An asthma diet avoids certain foods that are likely to worsen your symptoms, and includes others that can open up your airways, prevent infection, and improve your energy levels.
Research Demonstrates that a Vegan Diet May Be Beneficial for Asthma Sufferers
Studies indicate that a vegan diet supports the health of the respiratory and immune systems. Researchers concluded that a meat and animal product free diet resulted in fewer infections among participants, better breathing, and elevated energy levels.
Vegans do not eat meat or consume any animal products. Gelatin, eggs, butter, milk, and yogurt are examples of animal products which vegans do not consume. Vegans eat a diet rich in simple, plant based foods.
A vegan diet contains adequate amounts of protein and other nutrients. The only nutrient which vegans are unable to obtain in adequate amounts diet is vitamin B12. Take a high potency vegan multivitamin. Be sure that it contains adequate levels of Vitamin B12 and you will be meeting your nutritional needs if you follow a healthy vegan diet.
Is a Vegan Diet Heathy for Me?
Vegan diets are quite healthy and offer many benefits for you and your entire family. Some people make the switch to veganism all at once, while others gradually increase their consumption of whole foods and plants based meals.
Whole foods are foods which are eaten in the form most similar to how they take when they grow. For example, a fresh carrot is a whole food. The carrot in a package of carrot cake mix is no longer in a whole food state.
Most, if not all, of the health benefits of foods are removed when foods are highly processed and packaged. On the other hand, plant based diets are nutritional powerhouses. They are especially helpful if you have asthma because you are exposed to fewer compounds which exacerbate your symptoms and diminish your well-being.
The Dangers of Processed, Prepackaged Foods
When you eat non-organic, prepackaged, processed foods, you are being exposed to a multitude of food-coloring pesticides, preservatives, and ingredients with names that are too long to pronounce. Every one of these compounds has the potential to cause an allergic or sensitivity reaction in your body. In a nut shell, when you eat a processed food, you are being barraged by a multitude of potential allergens. Your body responds to each one and enters a chronic state of inflammation. The result is poor energy, difficulty breathing, and lowered resistance to illness.
Healing Benefits of a Plant Rich Diet
While most diet experts, focus on foods which reduce mucus production when recommending health diets for people with asthma, I believe that it is essential to focus on the body as a whole. Eliminating foods, such as whole milk dairy products, is important to reduce the production of mucus. However, asthma effects your entire body, not just your respiratory tract.
Plant based foods improve the health of your entire body. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, and seeds contain a wide array of vitamins and minerals that improve your health in general. They are rich in antioxidants, plant pigments, and other compounds which vitalize your entire body. Of course, if you are sensitive to any of these foods, you should eliminate them.
Did you know that most of your immune system is based in your digestive tract? If your digestive system is not working at an optimal level, you will be more likely to suffer from allergic reactions, fatigue or exhaustion, and respiratory infections. Plants contain some of the most important compounds to ensure that your digestive and immune systems are working at optimal levels.
Follow an Elimination Diet
If you are eating a healthy diet and are still experiencing symptoms, consider trying an elimination diet. To do this, keep a record of your symptoms for one week. Then eliminate the food which you think that you may be sensitive to for a week. Continue to record your symptoms. After a week, reintroduce the food to your diet unless it is clear that the food was problematic. Record your symptoms. Are your symptoms worse when you eat that food? Are they unchanged? Are they better? Use your findings to determine whether or not you should continue to eat that food. It is likely that you will need to eliminate food groups during your elimination diet, not just specific foods. Common causes of sensitivity include foods rich in gluten, strawberries, fish and other sea foods, eggs, and dairy.
A Rotation Diet is an Option
Some people are able to eat a broader range of foods by using a rotation diet. For example, you may be sensitive to citrus foods if you drink orange juice every day. However if you drink a glass of orange juice every four days, you are able to enjoy it. Simply eliminate the offending food most days and only consume it a couple of times each week, always several days apart.
Healthy Foods for Asthma
- Magnesium Is Great for Relieving Asthma Symptoms. Magnesium is a mineral which is needed for every process of the body. It has a relaxing effect throughout the entire body, including the respiratory tract, and emotions. Great sources include dried beans and peas, bananas, brown rice and molasses.
- Drink Coffee to Ease Shortness of Breath. Who ever thought that coffee can be used as medicine? Emergency health care providers, that’s who! If you are experiencing mild shortness of breath, try drinking one cup of strong black coffee. Coffee contains compounds, similar to bronchodilators, which relax tight air passages. Of course, you should seek medical advice if the coffee or your medication does not relieve the shortness of breath.
- Honey Enhances Immunity. If you know that you are not allergic to honey, obtain some local honey .Consume it daily. A teaspoon or two is sufficient. Local honey can help your body to build up immunity to airborne allergens, such as pollen, in your area.
- Garlic, Ginger, Herbs, and Spices contain Concentrated Levels of Healing Compounds. All herbs and spices are rich in healthy, tissue repairing antioxidants. Garlic and ginger improve immune health and enhance your resistance to infection. They support the health of your entire body, especially your respiratory tract.
- Eat Low fat Yogurt if You Are Not Sensitive to Dairy Products. Regular consumption of low fat yogurt can reduce sensitivity to grass pollens. Symptoms are less frequent and reduced in intensity. Yogurt contains probiotics which support the health of your digestive and immune systems. It is a good source of calcium and protein. If you are following a vegan diet, try kefir instead.
- Eat Plenty of Dark Green, Leafy Vegetables. These vitamin and mineral packed foods support liver health. Your liver plays an important role in preventing flare-ups of asthma. The liver deactivates toxins. It produces an enzyme called histaminase which deactivates histamine. This results in decreased inflammation of the respiratory tissues and improved immunity. If histamine is deactivated, chronic inflammation lessens, and ongoing improved health may ensue.
Avoid these Foods if You Suffer from Asthma
Limit your consumption of coffee, salt, red wine, radishes, and processed foods. If fresh fruits and vegetables are unavailable, use frozen ones instead of canned when possible. Avoid packaged foods, especially nutrient poor ones such as cookies, chips, white flour, and “junk “foods. Do not eat foods which you are sensitive or allergic to.
A Healthy Diet for Asthma
By incorporating some of the dietary tips suggested here, your breathing may improve, you will have fewer infections and flare ups. One of the best advantages of a healthy diet is that your energy levels will rise. Living with asthma can be draining. As a result, many people feel anxious or exhausted. By changing your diet, you may find that your level of wellness increases dramatically and the quality of your life improves.