Allergies & AsthmaThere is a direct link to allergens for some sufferers of asthma and common triggers are house dust mites, feathers, cockroaches, animal dander, exercise, pollens, smoke, cold air and sulphites. However, it may also present in people without any defined allergies. Due to the high incidence of allergic triggers for asthma it is advised to identify and avoid any possible allergens including food allergens to effectively manage asthma. Following a diet high in antioxidants particular vitamin C and vitamin E is beneficial. Antioxidants are found in high amounts in fruits and vegetables but other sources include nuts, seeds and wholegrains. Vitamin C is found in berries, citrus fruits and leafy greens. Vitamin E is found in nuts, seeds and plant oils. Primary exclusions from the diet are trans-fats, processed foods, foods high in sugar, preservatives and food colourings.
Important aims of managing asthma are reducing inflammation, increasing immune function and reducing airway hypersensitivity.There are several key nutrients that can help with the condition of asthma. These nutrients include vitamin C, magnesium, omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin D.
- Vitamin C is a powerful support for immune function and reduces free radical damage and inflammation. Stress, smoking, pollution and alcohol consumption increase the need for vitamin C. An increase in bronchial reactivity is associated with a low intake of vitamin C.
- Magnesium relaxes bronchial airways and therefore reduces symptoms of asthma as well as associated symptoms such as anxiety, emotional stress and pain.
- Omega 3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and have been shown to reduce symptoms of asthma.
- Vitamin D supports immune function and recent research shows it is beneficial in reducing the severity of asthma.