The best foods for asthma
Move over winter and welcome Spring! Yes!!! Thank goodness winter is long gone as we had a series of bugs floating around our place and it's had a domino effect. As soon as Noah gets better, then Oscar gets the bug, of course Zali then drinks out of his cup and then she goes and sneezes all over Mietta, so winter this season was spent at our new local GP. Out of all the kids (besides Zali's chin gash - flying over her bicycle handle bars!), Oscar was the one who experienced a bad case of asthma. He had to spend a few days at The Tweed Hospital, and then, after meeting with our GP, we knew exactly how to manage Oscar's asthma plan and gave his school a copy of the info as well. It's pretty scary seeing your little one breathless, but with the right information and tools it's easily manageable. Thank goodness for these GP professionals who are required to know 22,000 different illnesses - thankful they're only a phone call away.
I'm also a true believer (as I have a mild case of asthma too) that eating good food can also help eliminate any further complications. Experts advise magnesium intake may be associated with a decreased risk of asthma. It has been linked to better lung function and reduced wheezing in people with asthma. The effects of a high magnesium diet on asthma patients are due to the ability of magnesium to help smooth muscle cells stay relaxed. Just another amazing reminder of how good the right food can be for you!
The best foods for asthma
Apples - always a favourite in our household but a British study found that, even after controlling for other factors, people who reported eating two to five apples a week had a 32% lower risk of asthma than people who ate less.
Cantaloupe - High in vitamin C, which is a potent antioxidant that may ward off lung damage by fighting free radicals. One study of preschool children in Japan found that those with the highest intake of vitamin C were less likely to suffer from asthma than those with lower intake.
Carrots - Super famous for containing beta-carotene, another great antioxidant. Preliminary studies suggest that beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body, may reduce the incidence of exercise-induced asthma.
Flaxseeds - Are high in magnesium, which is another helpful ingredient as it relaxes the muscles surrounding the bronchi (the airways, and so keeps them open.) Constriction of the bronchi is what triggers an asthma attack so we want them relaxed at all times.
Avocados - The most important antioxidant of them all - it's called glutathione. Experts in general hail the health-promoting qualities of antioxidants far and wide. Their role in the body is to protect cells against the damage inflicted by free radicals.
I'm so fortunate our kids love to drink juices, so I get them to eat whole fruit or we juice plenty of fruits that are high in vitamin C and antioxidants. Besides the goodness in a glass, we find juicing is kind of therapeutic as well – something fun and easy to do in the kitchen together and each of them have a favourite of their own!
Oscar's Green Asthma Juice
2 celery sticks
1 cup of spinach leave
1 juice of a lemon
1/2 tap ginger
Place all ingredients in a juicer and watch the magic happen!
So there you have it - antioxidants and magnesium intake may be associated with a decreased risk of asthma. A high dietary intake of magnesium has also been linked to better lung function and reduced wheezing in people with asthma. Also, magnesium is needed to maintain adequate levels of potassium, another mineral that has been associated with improved lung function and a reduced incidence of asthma. Potassium is found in a variety of foods, with root vegetables and beans being particularly good sources of this anti-asthma mineral.
We are truly blessed to live in such a beautiful country and I thank my courageous parents from Former Yugoslavia who took the leap of faith and migrated to Australia in the 70's. Australia is a great place to raise kids – sunshine, gorgeous beaches, open spaces, limited pollution and so many delicious fruit and vegetables at our fingertips to give our bodies all the goodness we need to keep moving and grow stronger.
Other than Oscar's asthma scare with his virus over winter, there’s been nothing serious in our family, although now spring is in the air, Adrian and Noah have both been sneezing their heads off. Hayfever can be so annoying if not managed correctly, thankfully a trip to the doctor helps as they both get the proper management and right information.
GPs do such a special job in helping parents identify potential issues of all kinds in young children (even finding nits going by the recent Royal Australian College of General Practitioners' TV campaign). Exercise and good eating are great ingredients in the foundations of healthy living but modern medicine makes real changes that save and improve lives – every day. It’s a good reminder to appreciate the work your GP does for you and your family.
Do you appreciate yours?