Asthma is the most common childhood disease and it affects children from all walks of life, all socio-economic levels, and is often under-diagnosed. Airways in the lungs become inflamed, narrowing the path for oxygen.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates more than 300 million people suffer from the debilitating effect of asthma. In poorer countries, asthma is regularly untreated.
Though doctors and scientists don’t understand what actually causes asthma, they have worked diligently to narrow down the most common triggers for attacks. Allergy induced asthma episodes are common because 70% of those who have asthma also have allergies.
Primary Triggers for Asthma
- Genetic predisposition
- Inhaled environmental pollution such as smog and chemical irritants
- Dust and pet dander
- Tobacco smoke
- Mold, pollen, and grass clippings
At the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, researchers discovered a link between a fungus called Alternaria alternata and the occurrence of asthmatic episodes.
The fungus is common in the commercial growth of certain fruits. Produce that is infected – though not rotted – can trigger an attack when specific proteins known as Alt 1 and Alt 5 are present as well. These proteins lower the natural defense of the fruit – kiwi in this study – against the fungus.
The fungal spores are allergic to the protein, many asthmatics are allergic to the spore, and the combination of all three may be one of the primary causes of allergy induced asthma attacks among children in the United States.
Until more research is done, knowing that seemingly ripe and healthy kiwi contain Alternaria alternata, those with asthma should use caution when consuming the fruit.
There is currently no cure for asthma but doctors at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York suggest specific foods to lower inflammation in the lungs and boost your body’s defenses against asthma.
The “Big 8” Antioxidants to Control Allergy Induced Asthma
- Glutathione! Found in rich supply within the fantastic avocado, glutathione is considered one of the most crucial antioxidants to your body. The monounsaturated fats of avocados are also excellent for lowering LDL “bad” cholesterol and raising HDL “good” cholesterol levels.
- Vitamin D! Those with severe asthma are often vitamin D deficient. Though dairy products tend to be fortified with this essential vitamin, many asthma sufferers have allergies that prevent the consumption of too much dairy. Your best source is sunshine! 10 minutes of sun on your hands and face a day will provide all you need!
- Khellin! One study in the UK found that sufferers who consumed 3-5 apples each week lowered their occurrences of attack by more than 30%. Khellin, a flavonoid found in apples, has been shown to open up breathing passages.
- Vitamin C! Citrus, broccoli, tomatoes, leafy greens, and cantaloupe boost your body’s vitamin C levels. A Japanese study of preschool children found that those with the highest levels of this particular vitamin suffered the least attacks.
- Allicin! Found in abundance in garlic – a powerful food with many benefits – as it breaks down in the body, it produces a by-product that destroys free radicals and could aid in the reduction of asthma attacks.
- Beta-carotene! This antioxidant is converted to vitamin A when you consume it in the form of carrots, green peppers, sweet potatoes, and fruit with bright colors. Initial research found that making sure you get enough beta-carotene helps with exercise-induced asthma attacks.
- Caffeine! When consumed in coffee, it works as a bronchodilator that improves the passage of air in and out of the lungs. Black tea appears to have the same effect. One study found that participants who consumed coffee had improved airway function for up to four hours.
- Omega-3! Found in flax seeds and fatty fish such as salmon and tuna, omega-3s are good for you all the way around. Constriction of bronchi triggers asthma and the omega-3 and possibly magnesium seem to relax the muscles of the lung, keeping them open for better airflow.
Allergy induced asthma attacks link two of the most dangerous chronic illnesses. Each year, more than 250,000 people die as a result of an asthma attack and nearly all of those deaths are preventable.
The “Big 8” Food Allergies Linked to Asthma
- Cow’s milk
- Tree nuts
A diet high in nutrients is the first step to boosting your immunity, lowering inflammation, and controlling your asthma symptoms.