By Dean L. Jones, CPM
Over 18 million U.S. citizens suffer from Asthma, a chronic respiratory illness characterized by a narrowing of the airways. Take a quick look at some well-known people who have Asthma, such as Jerome “The Bus” Bettis, former NFL running back, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Olympic track and field medalist, Greg Louganis, Olympic diving medalist, Dennis Rodman, former NBA forward, Emmitt Smith, NFL running back, Dominique Wilkins, “Human Highlight Film” former NBA forward, Kristi Yamaguchi, Olympic figure skating medalist, Martin Scorsese, film director, Liza Minnelli, actress/singer, Billy Joel, musician/performer, Kenny G, saxophonist/composer, and Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States.
Asthma attacks cause muscles in the lungs to constrict and limit the ability for a sufferer to obtain air. Limiting asthma attacks can begin with avoiding eating foods that instigate allergies or sensitivities, such as eliminating processed sugar in the diet greatly helps because when eaten it inflames the airways that can trigger an asthma attack. Dr. Sonja Kiersten, researcher from the Nestle Institute in Lausanne, Switzerland, made the connection between processed sugar consumption and over-reactive airways. Dr. Kiersten’s research conducted experiments showing how when mice were fed sugar water they were twice as reactive as the mice that drank plain water to have inflamed and obstructed airways. The same mice also became addicted to the sugar water fairly quickly, while the mice that drank plain water were satisfied sooner and for longer.
Along with sugary-filled foods, dairy, white flour products, oranges, bananas, and all refined carbohydrates should be eliminated because they are considered to be mucus-forming and the excess mucus can trigger or worsen asthma. Lowering the risk of asthma attacks surround the avoidance of allergens, since allergens cause inflammation of the bronchial tubes that can be big contributors to asthma attacks, commonly associated with pollens, pets, dust mites, and pollution.
Sound nutritional advice emphasizes eating whole, unprocessed foods, and those items high in protein, low in carbohydrates and completely void of processed sugars. Most animal products contain a substance called arachidonic acid that increases inflammation and may worsen asthma symptoms. Accordingly, it is easy to get needed protein from soy and vegetable-based sources instead of animal meat. As a final point, garlic and onions contain quercetin and mustard oils, which have both been shown to reduce inflammation for everybody and consuming them regularly is especially beneficial to asthma sufferers.
Cold foods such as ice cream and popsicles, and cold drinks can shock the bronchial tubes into spasms and should be eaten with caution. Over-the-counter pain killers such as aspirin may also cause asthmatic reactions in certain individuals. Finally tobacco, the food additives BHA and BHT and the amino acid tryptophan have all also been associated with asthma and bronchitis and should be avoided completely to avoid inflammation in various parts throughout the body.
Mr. Jones, Marketing Strategist, Southland Partnership Corporation (a public benefit organization), contributes his view on healthy eating practices of foods & beverages.