It is a condition in which the airways temporarily narrow in response to some stimuli, which commonly do not affect the airways in normal lungs. Asthma is characterized by recurrent attacks of coughing, wheezing, and breath shortness that can range from mild to life-threatening.
While experiencing such attacks, the small airways in the lungs suddenly become clogged with mucus as well as other secretions. But, if not cleared, the blockage can result in suffocation.
According to studies, the greatest underlying cause of asthma is a chronic inflammation and thickening of the bronchial tubes and nasal passages contributing to significant muscle spasms, air passage constriction and consequent breathing difficulties.
Which are the main asthma symptoms?
Even though asthma can be developed at any age, it most often begins in childhood, in the first five years of life.
When an asthma sufferer comes in contact with trigger matters, the airways narrow and he/she develops breathing difficulty accompanied by wheezing. But, not all asthma attacks produce wheezing.
For example, mild asthma in very young children, may result only in a cough. However, in older children, it may lead to cough only when exercising or exposed to cold air.
On the other hand in severe attack, breathing actually becomes visibly difficult, as well as wheezing becomes louder because the sufferer breathes faster and with greater effort, thus gasping for breath.
What is asthma caused by?
Airway obstruction is usually triggered by abnormal sensitivity to chemical substances, which inflame airways, thus making them swollen as well as stimulating the muscle cells in the airway walls to contract when they should not. Also, continuous steroid use may trigger this.
Asthma can be caused by inhaled allergens like pollens, particles from dust mites or feathers, as well as animal dander.
In addition, asthma attacks can also be triggered by cigarette smoke, cold air, fumes or perfumes, emotional distress, and viral infections.
Diet and lifestyle suggestions
You can prevent flare-ups by avoiding them, when you know what triggers your asthma attack. To explain you more deeply, an asthma attack triggered by food usually happens for several minutes or an hour or so after eating the offending food. But, some reactions may take a day or more to appear, making it difficult for you to pin-point the culprit.
So, by avoiding foods that may aggravate, maintaining your health at an optimum level, you can actually keep asthma away.
In case of asthma avoid these foods:
- All animal products like cow’s milk, eggs, meat ( pork, beef, chicken, mutton and fish), and dairy products;
- Soft drinks;
- Sodium and monosodium glutamate;
- Vegetable oils, for instance safflower, corn oil, and sunflower seed oils;
- Pure alcohol can help asthmatic constriction to a certain degree. However, the alcohol we drink is rarely pure, but is usually is used as an additive in beverages, like wine, beer, or distilled spirits.
Include these foods as they can help:
Consume or juice plenty of fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C and antioxidants.
Fish oil rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like tuna, salmon, sardines, and mackerel.
Moreover, in an emergency, drinking brewed coffee, not instant or processed coffee, containing caffeine, or tea, containing theobromine, was proven to be an effective bronchodilators as they help relax and open up the bronchial tubes.
It is important to know that hot, pungent foods, which provide instant relief are spicy mustard, chilli peppers, onion, and garlic as they have anti-asthmatic and anti-inflammatory effects.
These are suggested healing foods to prevent an asthma attack:
Carrot is one of the perfect food choices in dispelling excessive mucus from the body. Consume carrot juice on its own, or add a few celery for its super cleansing power.
Beetroot and pineapple contain very powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Consume them regularly as they are beneficial for decreasing the frequency of the attacks. Plus, add guava juice, strawberries, blueberries, cranberries and most berries in your diet since they have very high content of antioxidants. But, most asthma sufferers cannot stomach citrus fruits so these should be avoided.
Here are some suggested combos (just for one portion):
6 celery ribs + 2 green apples + a bunch of spinach + ¼ lemon + a bunch of parsley
8-10 kale leaves + ¼ pineapple + 1 fennel + ½ lemon + 3-4 radish (pungent)
2 medium-sized beetroots + 1 cucumber + 3 lemongrass sticks + ½ lemon
1 cucumber + ¼ pineapple + ½ lemon + ½ bunch of watercress + 2 capsicums (yellow/red)
2 cups of strawberries + 1 pomegranate + 1 cup of cranberries
A squeeze of lemon juice + 1 oz of wheatgrass juice