- This year marks the 20th anniversary of World Asthma Day.
- According to Asthma Society of India 25% of Indians suffer from allergies
- Garlic and onions are considered nature's remedies for asthma.
Asthma is very common among Indians as well. According to the Asthma Society of India, 25 per cent of the Indian population suffers from allergies. This figure might not seem very intimidating on its own, but according to the WHO, "over 80% of asthma deaths occur in low and lower-middle income countries." This is a worrying fact and one which surely needs more attention than it gets. As is stated by the WHO, "Asthma is under-diagnosed and under-treated, creating a substantial burden to individuals and families and possibly restricting individuals' activities for a lifetime."
With the increase in urbanization, the menace of pollution, rise in obesity, use of preservatives and adulterants in food and the rising stress levels, breathing diseases are only expected to rise.
Here are some diet recommendations from macrobiotic nutritionist and health practitioner Dr. Shilpa Arora that may help people suffering from asthma:
1. Include More Garlic And Onion:Onion and garlic aren't just great for adding flavour to your food- they have a number of health benefits as well. According to researcher Dr. Walter Dorsch, onions have a direct anti-asthmatic effect. This is because onions are rich in thiosulphates with anti-inflammatory properties. Both onions and garlic are nature's own remedies for asthma.
2. Eat More Magnesium Rich Foods: Magnesium has been known to relax the muscles of the respiratory tract and hence, addition of magnesium-rich foods in your diet may help you against asthma. Some of the foods that are rich in magnesium are pumpkin seeds, banana, cashew nuts, dark chocolate and dark green vegetables like broccoli.
3. Include More Flaxseeds In Your Diet: Flaxseeds may help you in your fight against asthma as it's considered to be very effective anti-asthmatic. You can either eat the seeds after roasting them or soak them and then consume them. You may even add ground flaxseed powder in your milkshakes and smoothies or include flaxseed oil in your diet.
Also Read: 5 Yummy Ways To Add Flaxseeds To Your Diet
4. Eat Foods Rich In Vitamins D and C: A deficiency of vitamins D and C may lead to increased risks of developing asthma in kids and adults. Including foods rich in vitamin D and C may remedy this. Vitamin D-rich foods include fatty fish like tuna and salmon, cheese, egg yolks, etc. Vitamin C has anti-inflammatory properties and may reduce spasms in the bronchial passageways. Foods rich in vitamin C include tomatoes, papayas, oranges, gooseberries and green vegetables.
5. Add More Turmeric To Your Diet:Turmeric is a spice with many benefits. But one of the lesser known benefits of the bright yellow root spice is that it may help fight bronchial asthma. A glass of water containing a bit of turmeric and a bit of black pepper is considered as an effective remedy against asthmatic disorders.
6. Keep Dairy Consumption To A Minimum: Dr. Arora says that excessive consumption of dairy products may be avoided, even if a person is not allergic to dairy. This is because dairy may trigger production of mucous, blocking airways.
7. Avoid Sugary And Processed Foods: Foods with excessive sugar or foods that are processed are inflammatory in nature and may encourage allergies and trigger asthma. Consumption of these foods must be completely avoided if you are suffering from asthma or are at risk of developing asthma.
8. Avoid Drinking Chilled Water Too Often: According to Dr. Arora, eating cold food or drinking chilled water can tighten the airways. She further recommends eating smaller meals to keep the pressure off your diaphragm.
Besides these, finding ways to keep your levels of stress and anxiety to a minimum may also go a long in way in your fight against asthma and related disorders. So on World Asthma Day 2018, let us all pledge to make these small dietary adjustments to our diet and also educate our family and friends about the same.