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Allergies, Asthma and Eating right!

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Glorious Spring has sprung and with all the blooms(pollen) allergies are more pronounced. One of the primary causes of Allergies unfortunately leads to Asthma, which is on the rise. The Centres of Disease Control and Prevention in the U.S. found that 1 in twelve people suffers from it in data released for the period of 2001 to 2011. An increase of 28% was noted for that period. There is a definitive correlation between Allergies and Asthma.

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory illness which effects the air passages. Air is carried to the lungs via the nasal cavities and mouth. The inflammation causes the airways to become swollen and with the muscles tightening around those area, less flows to the lungs. Symptoms may include: Difficulty in breathing, coughing, wheezing, whistling sound on breathing, feeling clogged up, being tired when doing any physical activity or not being able to breathe easy whilst sleeping.

Unfortunately, there is no permanent cure, but certain foods may alleviate or prevent an asthma attack. However, even that is not an exact science, as some foods such as milk, with one of the best sources of Vitamin D, which eases symptoms of asthma, causes an allergic reaction in some people who is lactose intolerant and could also cause wheezing or coughing. Other food that may cause an allergic reaction include fish, soy, eggs & peanuts.

Because Allergies seem to diminish or flare up as we grow older, eating for Asthma has to be a personal expedition and if you are uncertain what to consume it is always best to consult with your doctor first.

Other contributing factors that may be the cause of Asthma can be found in exposure to Smoke and tobacco, Environmental factors, like air pollution, being obese, Stress, tension, and depression, Genetics, Lung infection during childhood, Premature birth, heartburn and even exercise.

Food that may alleviate include:

  • Apples: A study found that people eating two to five apples a week had a 32% lower risk of asthma than people who ate less. It is thought that flavonoids may be responsible. One flavonoid in particular, khellin, has been shown to open up airways.
  • Fish: Fish, such as, tuna, salmon and sardines which is rich in Omega chain fatty acids which aid against inflammation and thereby asthma may prove to be effective. Studies from Australia suggest people suffering from Asthma, who ate fresh cold-water fish several times a week gained relief from wheezing and experienced increased lung capacity.
  • Garlic: Garlic has anti-inflammatory properties & contains allicin, an exceptionally powerful antioxidant. A 2009 study revealed that as allicin decays in the body, it produces an acid that destroys free radicals, thereby aiding against allergies and asthma.
  • Cloves: 5-6 Cloves, boiled in half a glass of water, followed by adding a spoon of honey. Taken twice daily, it is thought to be an excellent remedy in alleviating the symptoms of asthma.
  • Black Coffee/Tea: The Caffeine, present in coffee may relieve the symptoms of asthma. It is believed to help clear air passages and is a drug that is very similar to theophylline. Theophylline is a bronchodilator drug that is taken to open up the airways in the lungs and therefore relieve the symptoms of asthma.
  • Fig Leaf tea: With the natural chemicals present in fig leaves it has been recommended for several respiratory conditions like bronchitis, and it is also used to prevent and lessen the symptoms of asthmatic patients. You can also soak some dried figs in water, overnight. Eat them in the morning on an empty stomach.
  • Ginger: Because Ginger inhibits airway contraction and normalizes airways, it enables proper breathing. It contains oleoresins which clear excess mucus in the windpipe and lungs, thus fighting infection. Make a juice with equal quantities of ginger, pomegranate, and honey. Consume it 2-3 times a day for effective results.
  • Eucalyptus Oil:Acts as a decongestant and carries germicidal properties, thereby clearing the airways. Put a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil in a cup of boiling water and take its steam as it will help in opening up the nasal passages and air passages.
  • Flax seeds: Also high in Omega-3 fatty acids and magnesium, combatting inflammation- it has a beneficial effect for asthma sufferers.
  • Carrots: Famous for containing beta-carotene, an antioxidant carrots are also regarded high in the relief for asthma as preliminary studies have shown. Beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body, may reduce the incidence of exercise-induced asthma.
  • Citrus Fruits: Is high in Vitamin C, which is a potent antioxidant that may ward off lung damage by fighting free radicals.

There are also various herbal remedies in the market that can be used to alleviate asthma, ask your pharmacist what is available and what would work the best for you.

As with all things in life, try to maintain balance as over-consumption may induce some other ailment.

Enjoy a glorious springtime with all its blossoms in all of its glory!

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