Asthma is a very common affliction in the United States: nearly 20 million people have been diagnosed with asthma of which 9 million are children! Asthma has been around for thousands of years; it was recognized by the Greeks, and Egyptian papyri have been uncovered that bear inscriptions describing hundreds of asthma remedies. Asthma has a myriad of contributing causes. What may cause one person's asthma may not be a factor for another person.
Asthma and Diet
- Doctors are not really sure what effect exactly the diet has on asthma. However, a healthy diet is good for everyone, and obesity can make asthma more severe.
- Doctors suspect that a poor diet may have an influence on asthma. This is because the incidence of asthma has been increasing, at the same time that our diets have changed dramatically.
- Many studies have indicated that children who were raised on a healthy diet had a lower incidence of asthma than malnourished children.
- However, attempts to treat asthma with vitamin therapy have not been successful. This may indicate that good nutrition is essential to preventing asthma before it starts!
Tips for a healthy diet:
Fruits and vegetables are essential.
- Most people do not eat the recommended 5-7 servings per day.
- Eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables to get the most nutrients.
- Choose fresh, brightly colored fruits and vegetables, because these have the most nutrients.
Make sure your diet is rich in antioxidants.
- Antioxidants are important chemicals that prevent cell damage.
- Fruits, vegetables, and garlic, green tea, whole grains, and soy are all good sources of antioxidants.
Eat things that have Omega-3 fatty acids.
- These are found in some fish and flaxseed.
Learn the difference between good fats and bad fats.
- Everyone needs a certain amount of fat in their diet. However, there is a big difference between good and bad fats.
- Good fats: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats
- Bad fats: saturated and trans fats
- Get as much of the fat in your diet as possible from good fats.
All carbohydrates are not evil!
- Everyone knows that refined sugar, bleached flour, and starchy processed foods are basically devoid of nutrition. Avoid these carbohydrates whenever possible.
- However, complex carbohydrates are essential to healthy brain function and high energy levels.
- Look for sources of carbohydrates from fruits, vegetables, peas, beans, and whole grains.
Watch your calorie intake
- If you take in more calories than you burn every day, you will gain weight. Keep your caloric intake at a level appropriate for your age and gender.
- This is approximately 2,000 calories for adult women and 2,500 calories for adult men.
- You may require more or fewer calories depending on your level of activity.
- Up to 2% of asthma sufferers also have severe food allergies.
- If you have known food allergies, avoid these foods!
- Some people are hypersensitive to preservatives found in many processed foods.
- If you are sensitive to preservatives, eat fresh, raw foods, or special foods without preservatives.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder
- Up to 70% of asthma sufferers have this condition, also known as GERD.
If you have GERD:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- void alcohol and caffeine
- Eat smaller meals
- Don't eat before bedtime
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