Asthma’s symptoms may be lessened by vitamin C from fruits and vegetables like oranges, strawberries, kiwi, broccoli and bell peppers; omega 3 fatty acid or fish oil from cold water fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel; caffeine; and chicken soup. A chronic lung condition and a major cause of childhood death, asthma, an allergic attack, on the other hand can be triggered by foods and drinks like mushrooms, cheese, soy sauce, tea, vinegar, salad dressings and certain fruits and vegetables like eggplant and mangoes.
In many asthma cases, food allergies are the trigger. Heredity has been suspected to play a major role in asthma. Symptoms of asthma include wheezing, tightness of chest and labored breathing. Asthma causes muscles that control airways to the lungs to constrict, causing bronchospasm.
Foods and Nutrients that Fight Asthma
Although no food can prevent asthma, its complications can be lessened by certain nutrients found in many foods:
• Fight Asthma with Vitamin C – Fruits and vegetables are especially rich in vitamin C, especially oranges, strawberries, kiwi, broccoli and bell peppers. Vitamin C helps promote a healthy immune system, and may reduce wheezing in asthmatic children. Aside from vitamin C, fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants for a healthy lung. A Yale University research found that subjects taking 500 mg of vitamin C, for only two days, significantly reduced wheezing and shortness of breath after workout. This finding might be helpful to asthmatics. It is recommended that asthmatics eat 5 to 10 servings of vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables.
• Fight Asthma with Omega 3 Fatty Acid – Omega 3 is a fatty acid found in cold water fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines. Omega 3 fatty acid’s anti-inflammatory properties fight allergies, of which asthma is a result, and can reduce bronchial inflammation. In an article entitled 18 Foods that Fight Asthma, Bill Phillips and the editors of the Men’s Health section of Yahoo! Health write that University of Indiana researchers studied subjects on a three-week supplementation of omega-3 in the forms of EPA and DHA. They observed that “fifteen minutes after exercising, subjects on this fish-oil-supplemented diet experienced better lung function than those taking placebo.” This finding is certainly valuable to the overall ongoing asthma research.
• Relieve Asthma with Caffeine – Caffeine is a muscle relaxant, and dilates the airways. It counters an asthmatic lung’s tendency for spasm and constriction, especially after exercise. Coffee is the prime caffeine source for asthmatics, who should be cautious about tea and chocolate, because although they may contain caffeine, other ingredients in them might exacerbate asthma attacks.
• Relieve Asthma with Chicken Soup – Broth, particularly chicken soup, helps thin bronchial mucus, lessening the symptoms of asthma.
Vitamin C from fruits and vegetables; Omega 3 fatty acids from fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines; caffeine and chicken soup – these are nature’s nutrients helpful in relieving asthma. They are much easier to obtain than medications, and they are natural.
18 Foods that Fight Asthma. Bill Phillips and the editors of Men’s Health section. Yahoo! Health (website). Accessed December 29, 2011.
Foods that Harm, Foods that Heal. The Reader’s Digest. 2004. New York. 416 pages. Hardbound.
Chicken Soup photo by TheGirlsNY at flickr.com
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used for diagnosis or to guide treatment without the opinion of a health professional. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a doctor for advice.