The Culinary Nutrition approach to helping control or decrease ailments is by using foods that have been scientifically proven to affect that disease. Since we eat three meals a day, it's our best defense for everything related to our health. On the surface, asthma might appear to be a failure by the lungs, but all the wheezing and shortness of breath might actually be traced back to what we eat!
You may have heard of an “anti-inflammatory” diet in the news or from your doctor. Studies now links chronic inflammation as a root cause in many illnesses including Alzheimer’s, arthritis, asthma, cancer, high blood pressure, and diabetes. I think this is great news! That may sound strange; but, that’s because some sources of inflammation can be easily avoided. Certain foods increase, and others foods decrease inflammation, so ultimately we have the say with every meal we eat.
If you are one of the 25 million people who suffer from asthma, this information has the potential to improve your whole life. Asthma is an illness categorized as chronic inflammation of the upper respiratory airways, and for asthmatics, airways are chronically inflamed, swollen, and/or constricted. There hasn’t been enough studies to show asthma is directly caused by certain foods, but it is safe to suggest that certain foods should be avoided due to their known inflammatory response.
Avoid these common inflammatory foods:
• Gluten and wheat
• Sulfites like those found in wine
• Preservatives and other chemical additives
• Omega-6 fatty acids
In addition to the listed foods, decrease or do away with soda, fried foods, refined foods like white flours, margarine and other trans fats, and processed meats. However, the same way that these foods work against your lung health, there are other foods that will work for your health! The following foods are specific for inflammation in the upper respiratory system with the ability to support asthma sufferers.
Top 5 Anti-inflammatory Foods
Rich in anti-inflammatory omega 3 fatty acids. Hemp seeds complete protein too; great for a vegan diet.
Berries contain the antioxidant quercetin, found in richly colored fruits which has both anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties. Delicious and beautiful!
A fresh aromatic herb that is anti-inflammatory and rich in rosmarinic acid which promotes airway openings. It’s remarkable isn’t it, that a plant like this can support our health so powerfully?
High in magnesium, this mineral relaxes smooth muscles including those around the bronchial airways. Throw spinach in a smoothie, soup, or salad mix.
A medicinal spice is a powerful anti-inflammatory that has also been shown to inhibit allergic responses. It’s an easy addition to most savory dishes and adds a beautiful color.
It’s said, "We are what we eat" -- and who wants to to be full of inflammation? So, let’s take our health into our own hands at every meal, and craft a delicious and healthy way of life where everyone can breathe a little easier.