Have Asthma? Try These Foods To Help Easier Breathing

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Written by: Brandi Monasco

As someone who has lived with asthma for over 20 years, I can tell you that it is not all fun and games. It is a scary and potentially dangerous condition to have. That is why I am always on the lookout for anything to help with my asthma; herbs, essential oils, specific allergens to avoid, you name it.

Roughly 26 million people in the United States alone suffer from asthma. It is a condition that swells and narrows your airways and produces extra mucus and gunk, making it harder for you to breathe. Some of the symptoms of asthma include wheezing, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, coughing and chest tightness.

It does not take much for asthma to flare up. In fact, it can be anything from a whiff of a certain pollen to a sudden shot of cold air to narrow your airways. Asthma cannot be cured, but it can be controlled and the food that you eat is one way to control it.

The main battle with asthma is inflammation. When you have an asthma attack, your airways become inflamed, making it harder for you to breath. When it is harder for you to breath, your body releases “clouds” of free radicals that can harm your cells and make the inflammation even worse. And because it is the inflammation that constricts your airways, you need to fight against the inflammation.

To aid in fighting against inflammation, you need to make sure that you are getting adequate amounts of ANTIOXIDANTS. Eating foods such as fruits and vegetables is the best way to get those antioxidants.

There are 2 major antioxidants that have a special power against asthma; vitamin C and vitamin E.

Your body does not store vitamin C, so it is important that you eat food that contains it. You can get vitamin C from broccoli, bell peppers, pineapple, oranges and cantaloupe.

The University of Maryland Medical Center states that it is suggested to take a vitamin C supplement daily to help keep your airways open. One study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition states that since oxidants are produced by inflammation in the airways, taking 1,000 to 2,000 milligrams of vitamin C daily can help protect against inhaled oxidants and therefore, decrease the risk of inflammation.

Vitamin E also targets free radicals that are inhaled from air pollution, which is a common asthma trigger. Vitamin E also stimulates the release of chemicals that help the muscles in your airway relax.  Vitamin E prevents the release of inflammatory cytokines, which are molecules that basically aid in the process of inflammation.

According to Mayo Clinic, children with lower levels of vitamin E in their system had poorly controlled asthma. Studies have also shown that asthma patients that have a higher consumption of vitamin E have less asthma symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing and cough.

The best way to ensure that you are getting enough vitamin E in your diet is by eating sunflower seeds, chard and mustard or turnip greens.

Do you have a favorite remedy for relieving and preventing asthma? Please share with us in the comments below!

Source, Source, Source, Source, Source, Source

Source: The Doctor’s Book of Food Remedies. (2007). New York, NY: Rodale.

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Brandi Monasco

Brandi Monasco

Health Advocate at Gettin' Healthy
Brandi Monasco is a freelance writer, graphic designer and social media manager from Texas. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts and has recently found a new love for health and nutrition.
Brandi Monasco
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