Asthma and Nutrition
Asthma is a major health problem in many parts of the world. It can cause permanent damage to tissues of the airways by inflammation. Keeping the airways clean and taking prescribed medication are the two most important treatments for asthma. But now, research is increasingly revealing the positive influence of proper nutrition on asthmatics.
The underlying perspective of these studies is based on the view that asthma is caused or furthered by the deficiency of certain nutrients. Nutritionists are working out adequate nutrition plans for asthma patients. These plans inform on what to take in what form, the importance of the food item and its connection to asthma.
Benefits of Proper Nutrition
There are several nutrients that, if taken regularly in proper quantity, relieve symptoms of asthma to a notable degree. These include antioxidants, antihistamine, and anti-inflammation nutrients. Some of these are briefly described here.
Antioxidants are naturally found in fresh produce like vegetables and fruits. They are more effective than vitamin pills commonly taken by people. Antioxidants defend the body against free radicals that are the cause of irritation and inflammation commonly observed in asthmatics.
Natural sources of nutrition that contain folic acid include whole wheat foods, peas, dried beans, spinach, beets, asparagus, liver, and oranges etc. Asthma patients are deficient in folic acid so they need to increase their intake of these foods.
Fish oil is good against inflammation but asthma patients should avoid taking it if they have previously experienced any allergies with fish. Eating fish twice a week is the best natural way to get the required amount of fish oil.
Magnesium helps in smoothing the muscles of esophagus and in relaxing bronchial tubes (airways). Asthmatics have a chronic deficiency of magnesium, which they can make up for by adopting nutrition including milk, dairy products, nuts, green leafy vegetables, and whole grains.
Commonly called Vitamin B5, pantothenic acid boosts the immunity by helping in the formation of antibodies. Naturally it occurs in milk and dairy products, whole-grain cereals, sweet potatoes, eggs, fish, mushrooms, and legumes.
Quercetin is natural anti-histamine (anti-allergic) and anti-inflammatory agent, found in plant extract and is available in form of supplements.
Multivitamins with B complex
One of the most common deficiencies of asthmatics is in vitamins of the B group, especially B6 and B12. This deficiency can be overcome by nutrition including multi-vitamin supplements.
N-Acetylcysteine is an antioxidant that helps asthma patients by thinning the mucus in the airways. It is available in nutritional supplements.