About 20 million Americans suffer from asthma, a chronic lung condition. It accounts for one-fourth of the annual U.S. emergency room visits. Inflammation in your lungs’ air passages causes constriction or bronchospasm. Shortness of breath, chest tightening, wheezing and coughing can occur and vanish without warning.
Your doctor may prescribePulmicort Flexhaler, Pulmicort Respules or Pulmicort Turbuhaler to help prevent asthma attacks. But research shows that making healthy food and beverage choices also can make life easier for your lungs.
1. Sip Caffeinated Coffee to Decrease Airway ConstrictionStudies found that the caffeine in coffee can help relax, open and clear constricted bronchial tubes so they can carry air into the lungs. Participants were able to breathe easier for up to four hours. The stronger the coffee, the better your results should be. If you aren’t a coffee drinker, substitute hot black tea, Diet Coke or Red Bull for similar relief.
2. Enjoy Vitamin-C-Rich Citrus Fruits and Juices to Reduce Wheezing
The anti-inflammatory effects of vitamin C powerhouse citrus fruits and juices including orange, lemon, lime and grapefruit can reduce wheezing. In a recent study, adults who ate little or no fruit and skipped citrus were significantly more likely to experience wheezing and gasping. Whether you eat a sweet orange or drink refreshing lemonade to get your Vitamin C, asthma relief is a welcome bonus.
3. Savor Avocados’ Detoxifying Compound to Avoid Pollutants
Avocados boast a high concentration of glutathione, an amazing health-promoting compound that detoxifies foreign substances such as pollutants. This antioxidant also protects cells from free radical damage. Without glutathione, other antioxidants can’t function efficiently. So keep creamy guacamole on hand for easy snacking, or add avocado slices to sandwiches and salads.
4. Munch on Carrots to Gain Asthma Relief From Beta-Carotene
A study found that women who ate the most carrots had a 20 percent lower risk of asthma than those with the lowest intakes. Beta-carotene’s antioxidant properties help ward off cell damage and decrease exercise-induced asthma symptoms. The vitamin C in this crunchy favorite also makes breathing easier. Snack on carrots with the deepest, darkest orange color to get the highest beta-carotene levels.
5. Crunch Antioxidant-Packed Nuts and Seeds to Breathe Easier
If you aren’t allergic to nuts and seeds, using them in foods and snacks can help control your asthma. The antioxidants in vitamin-E-rich almonds and sunflower seeds can reduce inflammation to increase your airway radius. They also help combat cell-damaging free radicals. Nibbling on walnuts and flax seeds that are high in omega-3 fatty acids also may reduce your asthma symptoms.