For asthma patients, diet plays an important role. A correct diet can help reduce the hyperactivity of the immune cells so that they are less reactive to allergens and air pollutants. There are certain foods that help to neutralize the free radicals produced, which reduces the frequency or severity of asthma attacks and improve the function of the lungs. Right diet definitely has a positive effect on people suffering from asthma.
Asthma patients should always eat less than their full capacity as it bears down upon the chest, resulting in a feeling of over-fullness and uneasiness. The dinner should be light and had quite early, at least two hours before going to sleep. Asthma patients should eat slowly and chew their food properly. They lose a lot of water through fast and labored respiration, especially during an attack. Therefore they should drink plenty of water (six to ten glasses daily), but avoid drinking during meals.
Diet for asthma patients should ideally contain a limited quantity of fats, carbohydrates and proteins (they are acid forming). Patient should have good quantity of fresh fruits, green vegetables, salads of raw vegetables like tomatoes, beets, carrots, cucumber, lettuce, and wheat bread with one or two green vegetables slightly cooked. Seasonal fruits and vegetables are food to include in diet for asthma patient.
There are certain foods such as chili, garlic and onions that stimulate nerves and causes watery fluids in the mouth and throat, thus relieving the irritation. Foods anti-inflammatory in nature control inflammation of the airways. These foods should be a part of an asthma diet. Omega 3 fatty acids are good anti-inflammatory agents and are found in walnuts, flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, soybeans, cod, dark green leafy vegetables, and mackerel. Vitamin E is also beneficial for asthma. Coconut, grapes, soybean, tomato, sunflower oil and ghee are a good source of this vitamin.
Patient should avoid foods that are known to produce an allergic reaction or which are known to produce indigestion or flatulence. Avoid rice, black gram (urad dal), ladies fingers, bananas and certain other foods. These food items are known to precipitate asthma attacks, especially when consumed in large quantities at night. Similarly, spicy and fried foods, pickles, chutneys, curd, sweets and dairy products should usually be avoided especially at dinner. Strictly prohibit the consumption of alcohol and tobacco (in any form especially smoking).
Diet for asthma patients should contain spinach, garlic, ginger, onion, dry grapes, soybean, carrots, turmeric, spearmint, lesser cardamom, Indian gooseberry, cheese, sesame etc. The patient should consume a high fiber diet to avoid constipation. Food items that are rich in fiber are barley, millets, oatmeal maize, whole-wheat, apple, guava, figs, orange, drumstick, carrot, and bengal gram.
1. Turmeric (haldi) acts both as a preventive and curative treatment for allergic asthma. Take half a teaspoon of turmeric with warm milk to reduce the intensity of attack. You can also take turmeric along with honey in the morning on empty stomach to reduce the intensity of attack.
2. Soak 15 fresh dry grapes with seeds (large raisin) in 150 grams of water at night. In the morning, remove the seeds and chew them. In the remaining water add a little sugar and drink it. If this treatment is continued for a month, the lungs are strengthened and toxic wastes removed from the body, thus decreasing the frequency of asthma attacks.
3. Do not eat curd or banana in excess quantity. Curd obstructs the channels of circulation due to its heavy nature. Avoid rice, sour foods, oils, watermelon etc.
4. Prepare a mixture by adding one gram of dry ginger (saunth) powder and one gram of black pepper (kali mirch). Take this mixture along with a teaspoon of honey.
5. Regular chewing of fennel (saunf) helps expel infected mucous from the chest. It also relieves tightness in the chest.
6. Take raisins along with almonds (badam), black pepper (kali mirch) and a little butter at night. This helps in good sleep without disturbance due to cough. Old patients should warm this mixture before taking. It is more beneficial in winters.
7. Boil five cloves (laung) in 125 ml of water. Add one teaspoonful of honey and drink the mixture two or three times a day.
8. Garlic (lahsun) is a valuable herb for relieving asthma, cold, flu, chest infections and ear infections.
9. Figs (anjeer) are very beneficial for asthma patients. It serves as a very good tonic for old people.
10. Dry pomegranate (anar) peels and keep in a jar. Boil some part of the peel and two raisins in 250 ml of milk. Drink this milk two times a day. This mixture is good natural remedy for children who are unable to remove sputum from the chest.
11. For a one-year-old child suffering with asthma, prepare a paste of five leaves of holy basil (tulsi) and add honey. If the child is less than a year, give two drops of holy basil leave juice with honey.
12. Boil half a teaspoon of fenugreek (methi) seeds in 250 ml of water. When one-third water is left, remove from flame and filter. Add one teaspoonful of honey and one teaspoonful of ginger (adrak) juice for patients, especially during winters.
13. For dry mucous in the chest, boil 20 grams of linseed, or flaxseed (alsi) in 300 grams of water. When one-third water is left, sieve and add some sugar candy. Drink one teaspoonful of this mixture every hour until you are not relieved. Mucous is expelled through this method.