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Asthma

Asthma is a respiratory disease characterized by swelling of mucous lining, spasm and constriction of bronchial passages which causes narrowing of air passages and therefore, difficulty in breathing. The narrowing of air passages causes the asthma symptoms of attacks such as wheezing, cough, shortness of breath and tight chest. These symptoms can range from mild to life threatening. Asthma attack can usually be controlled with a combination of drugs and environmental changes.

In the west, one in every seven children and 4% of the adult population are thought to suffer from the disease. There are many factors that may trigger the attack like mites, cigarette smoke, household sprays, cold air, stress and exercise, pollen, animals, and some foods and food additives.

Though foods are less likely to be the cause of asthma attacks, studies show that there are foods with more sensitizing effect than others. Sulphites, commonly found in squashes, wines, beers, cider, vinegar, dried fruits, quick-frozen shellfish and some ready-to-eat salad are triggers as well. Azo dyes such as tartrazine found in drinks, sweets and other commercial products may also contribute to asthma attack. Asthmatic reactions are possible only to those sufferers with food allergy or intolerance.



Asthma can begin at any age, the best thing you can do is to avoid it by protecting yourself against it. Diets low in fruits and vegetables accumulates less anti oxidants and therefore gets higher risk for asthma. A rich diet in antioxidant such as vitamin C, E and selenium can strengthen your immune system against asthma attack. Research shows that people who eats healthily has less risk of having an asthma attack than those who don't.

Asthmatics can follow certain dietary precautions to minimize attacks. Researchers found that Omega-3 fatty acids from fish and linseeds can protect adults from asthma. However, too much intake of Omega-6 fats in children makes them susceptible. Asthmatics should cut down the salt consumption as salt can increase the reactivity of airways. They can eat more magnesium-rich foods because magnesium-rich foods can reduce the reactivity of the muscles in airways and of certain allergy cells.

The most effective method to minimize asthma attack is identifying triggers, such as pets or aspirin, and limiting or eliminating exposure to them. Eat healthily to strengthen the immune system can protect asthmatics against asthma attack. Asthma food avoidance or elimination diets should only be carried out if food allergy or intolerance causes asthmatic reactions. However it should be done upon medical supervision to avoid serious reactions. Asthmatics should seek proper medical treatments from qualified physicians.