Improving your diet reduces inflammation, which in turn helps your lungs feel better. With Asthma your airways are always under inflammation. Many foods can potentially cause or worsen inflammation. That is why changing diet is a good way to help control asthma.
Sometimes asthma attacks and the inability to breath can feel overwhelming, discouraging any attempt to change our habits and general health for the better. Without a positive mindset, changing habits to improve one’s general health becomes an even greater challenge.
It requires hard self discipline to change habits and make healthier choices. The ultimate goal is to retrain the body to make healthier choices instead of actively forcing it every time to make these decisions.
The toughest manager is always yourself. Employees who constantly face a boss who only shouts and expresses disappointment will hardly feeling motivated. Likewise, learning how to support and encourage oneself will have a positive impact on cultivating and internalizing healthy habits.
Remember that the goal is to stay positive, and start by changing habits slowly instead of forcing everything at once. If you set your near-term expectations too high, you will likely encounter frustration and inevitably drop out of the process. After a month of making just one healthy change, you will not only feel better but further encouraged to tackle the next healthy habit.1. Make a List
If you want to do something more actionable without planning or trying extreme diet changes, make a list of what you eat. If you have superhero discipline, write this list at the beginning of every day. If you have photographic memory, compile your list every night before going to bed. If you want to start off this self-discipline in a more realistic, manageable way, just make a note of what you ate on your phone by the end of each day (hint: set a daily alarm to you remind you!). This will make you more conscious of your food choices, and also allow you to take note of where you can improve.2. Drink More Water
Your lungs need water to function. Keeping the right hydration balance is highly beneficial in addition to your normal Asthma Therapy. Dehydration in fact can cause your body to release histamines! Try to drink 8-10 glasses of water every day.3. Cut out Soda and Sugary Drinks
Studies have shown that it may not be preservatives, but high fructose corn syrup in many of your sodas and sweet drinks that are causing inflammation. Cutting out soft drinks and other beverages with a high-sugar content may be highly beneficial to controlling asthma.4. Elimination Diet
Try to eliminate things slowly from your diet that you normally eat. In particular try to avoid processed foods. Common types of processed foods we eat are found in grains, cereals, and dairy products. (Take a look at the nutrition label: if the ingredient list includes many preservatives and artificial flavors, it is most likely a highly-processed food). In rare cases you may also have salicylate intolerance, which means that a lot of anti-inflammatory foods can cause inflammation in your body. For a more detailed (and strict!) step by step plan, please visit Healthline’s awesome guide. How to Do an Elimination Diet and Why5. Mediterranean Diet
With a high intake of fruits and vegetables, the Mediterranean Diet has great anti-inflammatory potential. Originally identified in the 1950’s and 1960’s, it was quickly associated with a lower death rate from heart disease. It comes from southern coastal European countries including Italy and Greece.
Meals are based on a wide variety of:
- Wholegrain Cereals
Compare this to the Western diet which values convenience and contains a lot of:
- highly processed foods
- refined grains
- processed meats
- red meats
- sugary desserts and sweets
- fried foods
- high-fat dairy products
Due to low intake of fruits and vegetables, the western diet can create a very inflammatory environment in our body due to lack of antioxidants. In contrast, the Mediterranean diet contains a lot of of anti-inflammatory nutrients such as unsaturated fatty acids. (naturally found in avocados, olive oil, salmon, almonds, etc.)6. Ketogenic Diet
This is a strict low carb diet that turns your body into a fat burning machine. I would recommend trying this last because of the high-degree of discipline it entails. Additionally high fat intake is also associated with an increase in airway inflammation. In contrast, fruits, vegetables and their antioxidants may lower airway inflammation.
When your body goes into a ketogenic state it is high effective for weight loss. Depending on your body, you will need to keep your daily carb count below 15-50g. Everyone enters Keto at a different level of daily carb intake, with highly physically active people able to eat more and still retain Ketosis.
As this diet eliminates many food groups, it requires a lot of planning. The Keto diet may also be hard on the wallet. Foods that fit well into a Keto diet, tend to be a lot more expensive in the United States such as steak, avocados, and seafood. Many types of food are cut out entirely with this diet, including potentially inflammatory food groups such as grains, sugar, some fruits, and tubers.
The upside to this diet is that all of the foods you eat will be highly satiating due to higher protein and fat content. Fatty fish and leafy greens are great for providing a boost to your body’s natural anti-inflammatory ability. However, try to avoid cheese and mushrooms, even if only temporarily, because the mold in these foods may trigger an asthma attack. For more information I recommend our friends at Healthline again: 16 Foods to Eat on a Ketogenic Diet
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