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20Dec

Asthma is known to affect millions of people worldwide. It can be triggered by various environmental factors including dust mites, animal fur, smoke and even pollen. For asthmatic patients, the airways in the lungs are very sensitive to irritation and may become inflamed easily, making it harder to breathe. This condition cannot be cured, but it can be managed effectively through the use of asthma inhalers, the most widely prescribed form of treatment. Inhalers provide a dose of preventative or relieving medication directly to the lungs to relax the airways.

How else can patients manage their symptoms better?

Recent studies published in Nature Medicine have reported that vegetables and wholegrain foods may be effective for treating asthma. According to tests carried out on mice, a diet rich in fibre may help reduce inflammation in the lungs, which is one of the primary symptoms of asthma. It is said the increase of processed food consumption may be contributing to the development of this condition.

High fibre diet could help improve asthma symptoms

High fibre diet could help improve asthma symptoms

Researchers have suggested that an answer may be in making a simple dietary change. Consuming foods high in fibre allows a certain kind of bacteria in the stomach to thrive. Bacteria that can feed on soluble fibre produce more short chain fatty acids, which are easily absorbed into the blood. In the tests carried out on mice, it was found that these fatty acids acted on the immune system making the lungs more resistant to irritation. Although the results are not conclusive, this should come as positive news for asthma patients. By adding more fibre to their diet, their symptoms may be reduced.

Can eating a healthy diet help asthma patients?

Lots of wholegrains, fruit and nuts could help people with asthma

Lots of wholegrains, fruit and nuts could help people with asthma

Though no conclusive research has been carried out into this area, some researchers claim there are certain things patients can do to alleviate asthma symptoms. However, almost all researchers agree that there are no miracle diets to cure the condition. Here are six quality sources of fibre that patients can add to their diet:

Wholemeal and wholegrain: Stick to wholemeal and wholegrain labels when buying bread, pasta and rice. These provide a higher source of fibre.

Beans and legumes: Unless they have been coated in sugary sauces, all beans and legumes are a great nutritional choice. They are high in fibre and contain antioxidants.

Nuts: Walnuts, pecans and almonds contain the most fibre.

Oats: Another great source of fibre. Add some of the aforementioned nuts into a bowl of porridge and enjoy a fibrous breakfast.

Fruit and vegetables: One average sized apple alone contains 2g of fibre. Having a diet rich in fruit and vegetables is a basic recommendation for most people.

Jacket potato: eating the skin is the important part. One small jacket potato has around 3g of fibre.

Eating a diet high in fibre is very important for digestive health too because it helps with weight loss and lowering cholesterol levels. According to NHS recommendations, people should be eating 18g of fibre on a daily basis. However recent stats have shown that most people only eat 14g.

  

Ruth

An allergy and health writer and freelance copywriter, Ruth is passionate about helping those with allergies and food intolerances take control, embrace their condition, and learn to live with and love who they are. It can be very lonely finding you have allergies and discovering what helps you can be a life long journey. What works for one person won't work for another, so after trying nearly every allergy treatment under the sun and finding hours of research necessary to keep abreast of what's going on, Ruth started writing her blog, What Allergy? in April 2009. Ruth has life threatening allergies herself to all nuts, all diary, tomatoes and celery and knows first-hand what it's like to have an anaphylactic attack. Voted in the Top 5 UK allergy blogs by Cision UK in 2011, What Allergy is packed full of interesting articles, hints and tips and product reviews which are a must read for anyone with allergies, food intolerances or sensitivities, asthma and eczema. From subjects such as "What is celery allergy?" to "Surviving a holiday abroad with allergies", it's packed with useful and interesting information. You can register free for a weekly newsletter by visiting her website http://whatallergy.com/ and also keep in touch by following her on Facebook and Twitter.

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