Nearly 25 million Americans suffer from asthma and it is the most common chronic condition among children. Conventional treatments include steroids and asthma inhalers which can have nasty side effects. Here are some natural foods to ease symptoms.
According to the Asthma And Allergy Foundation of America, asthma accounts for one-quarter of all emergency room visits in the U.S. each year, with 1.75 million visits. In addition it accounts for over 10 million out-patient visits and just under half a million hospitalizations each year.
These figures are staggering and the annual cost of asthma to our economy is estimated to be nearly $18 billion as a result of medical treatment and loss of earnings due to illness or death (i).
It is estimated that 300 million people worldwide suffer from asthma and approximately 250,000 deaths related to the disease occur annually. By the year 2025, it’s believed that the number will grow by another 100 million or more (ii).
The usual symptoms are shortness of breath and wheezing. Prescribed medications cost the economy millions and can take a toll on our health as they can have many unwanted side effects.
Fresh organic fruits and vegetables will always be beneficial to our bodies and their function. These natural foods are rich sources of antioxidants, such as beta carotene and vitamins C and E, which can help reduce lung swelling, chest tightness and inflammation caused by cell-damaging chemicals known as free radicals.
Here are five of the most beneficial:
Research has shown that children who ate a banana each day had a 34% lower chance of going on to develop asthmatic symptoms such as wheezing. Bananas are one of the best sources of pyridoxine, commonly known as vitamin B6. Pyridoxine goes on to produce compounds which been shown to help relax bronchial muscle tissue.
Kids love bananas and they can be added to cereals, smoothies or just eaten from their skin for a nutritious and energy giving health boost.
Avocados contain a substance called glutathione which is known to protect cell damage from free radicals. It also works to detoxify the body of pollutants which can lead to breathing problems. They are also a rich source of vitamin E. Avocados can help in stabilizing blood sugar levels, improving cardiovascular health and protect the eyes against age related degeneration.
They are a powerhouse of nutrients and are a fantastic addition to a salad or added to a smoothie, or again eaten straight from the skin.
Garlic is another super-food as it has so many health benefits, including maintaining cardiovascular health, preventing cancer, and reducing high blood pressure. It is beneficial for asthma sufferers due to the high levels of vitamin C and it’s powerful antioxidant properties. Vitamin C neutralizes free radicals, unstable molecules that cause contraction of airway smooth muscles in asthma patients.
Raw garlic reduces the amount of histamines produced in the body so easing any allergic reactions in asthmatics which normally promote inflammation.
Garlic can also boost the ability of the body to create prostacyclins. These are lipid molecules that help keep the air passages of the lungs open and thus promote easy breathing in asthma sufferers.
4. SUNFLOWER SEEDS
Asthmas patients will benefit from eating sunflower seeds on a regular basis. They are packed full of nutrients including potassium, magnesium and vitamin E. In addition one cup contains a third of the daily recommended amount of selenium which is a mineral linked with a whole raft of health benefits but in particular is known to help individuals that struggle with asthma by reducing the various symptoms such as shortness of breath and wheezing.
Sunflower seeds are relatively calorific but eating these mild nutty seeds in small amounts regularly will help keep healthy lungs and airways.
Parsley loosens phlegm and will help rid the airways of a build up of mucus. Eating parsley can relieve any tightness across the chest muscles and soothe sore throats that can be aggravated by coughing bouts when the mucus has been expelled.
It is a tasty herb versatile enough to use in many dishes or added to a juice or smoothie. Parsley leaf can also be made into a herbal tea.
These are just some of the natural treatments for asthma which can provide relief without over-reliance on chemical packed inhalers and steroid treatments. However, consult your health practitioner before stopping conventional treatment.