by Marshaneil Soumi D’ Rozario | 04 August, 2018
Recent research by French health institutes INSERM, claim that the symptoms of asthma are 30 percent less likely to appear in a person that has a healthy diet. For men who already have asthma is 60 percent less likely to have problems controlling their symptoms if they stick to a healthy diet. For the women who have asthma, a healthy diet reduces the symptoms by 27 percent. Despite the plethora of cross-sectional data about fruits and vegetables, there is a lack of longitudinal studies and analyses to form a causal link between these foods and asthma prevalence. Dr. Vinitha Krishnan, Nutritionist, Fortis Malar Hospital shares her views regarding this subject.
According to her, “There has been no conclusive evidence about the role of specific nutrients, food types, or dietary patterns past early childhood on asthma prevalence and reduction in symptoms. But, for such people who have a proven track of developing allergic symptoms to certain non-vegetarian food, a vegetarian diet would be the choice. The Mediterranean diet (plant based) in children may prevent asthma or wheeze, but randomized controlled trials are lacking”.
She further adds that, “A balanced diet with more emphasis on vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids may prove beneficial.” A good diet is an important part of your overall asthma treatment plan. Just like regular exercise, a healthy diet is good for everyone. Epidemiologic studies have suggested that asthma is more prevalent among obese than lean individuals. People who are obese are more likely to have more severe asthma symptoms. Up to 70% of all people with asthma also have GERD (reflux of stomach acid), which can make asthma more difficult to control. Apart from weight loss, cutting down on alcohol and caffeine is often all that is necessary to eliminate GERD. Keeping physically active is the icing on the cake.
Diet for asthma need to be tailor made for individuals. But in general, maintenance of an Ideal body weight, avoiding foods that trigger allergic reactions like, milk, shell fish, peanuts, fruits and vegetables preserved in sulphite, and those that thicken phlegm. Keeping a safe distance from processed, canned foods, chocolates and deep fried foods and having an early dinner can keep an asthma patient physically active. Developing allergic reactions to food is individualistic, maintaining a food diary may help identify the food that triggers the allergic reactions. In her opinion, “Studies show that adoption of a low sodium diet for a period of 2-5 weeks may improve lung function and decrease bronchial reactivity in adults with asthma”
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