5 Asthma Superfoods

Asthma super foods are foods that could help you if you have asthma.

If you have asthma, keeping an emergency inhaler and other treatments on hand can help quickly relieve symptoms so you can breathe easier. But there is evidence that foods containing certain compounds may reduce asthma symptoms. These asthma “superfoods” contain nutrients and minerals—beta-carotene, flavonoids, magnesium, potassium, selenium, vitamin C and vitamin E—which may reduce lung inflammation or swelling that can lead to asthma.

“Many of these foods are what you’d find in a healthy diet,” says Kaveh Bagheri, MD, FACP, FCCP, pulmonary medicine specialist affiliated with Sharp Grossmont Hospital. “So for people living with asthma—or anyone in general—maintaining a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables may help lessen asthma symptoms.” Here are five asthma superfoods:

Apples
The saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” may ring true for asthmatics. A study found that after surveying more than 1,400 participants ages 16–50, apple consumption had a protective effect against asthma. The effect could be due to the high concentration of flavonoids in apples, which are known to possess strong anti-inflammatory properties.

Avocados
Antioxidants have many health benefits, such as protecting cells against damage from unstable molecules known as free radicals. In the case of asthma, free radicals can cause airway smooth muscles to tighten, leading to asthma.

Avocados are rich in antioxidants, particularly vitamin E and glutathione. Glutathione is an important antioxidant because it has been shown to protect cells against free-radical damage and detoxify foreign pollutants in the body.

Carrots
Known for protecting eyes, carrots are also good for lungs. A study surveying more than 68,000 women—of whom approximately 2,100 reported having asthma—found that those who had a higher consumption of carrots had a 20 percent lower risk of asthma compared to those who did not eat carrots often. The key may be beta-carotene, another antioxidant that may help in combating free radicals. Choose carrots that are darker and deeper in color because they tend to pack more beta-carotene.

Other asthma superfoods rich in beta-carotene include sweet potatoes, kale and mustard greens.

Flaxseeds
Flaxseeds contain many elements, such as potassium, magnesium and selenium, which can potentially reduce asthma symptoms by relaxing airway muscles in the lungs. Flaxseeds are also high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to have anti-inflammatory properties. Not sure how to consume flaxseeds? It’s best to grind them (using a coffee grinder) and sprinkle over cereal or yogurt.

Other asthma superfoods rich in potassium, magnesium and selenium include spinach, buckwheat and sunflower seeds.

Garlic
Garlic has long been touted for its healing properties. Compounds naturally found in garlic, such as vitamin C, are thought to reduce asthma symptoms. Vitamin C can help combat free-radical damage. Research suggests that vitamin C found in garlic and other foods may have an antihistamine effect, thereby reducing the allergic reaction and inflammation of airways. Lastly, garlic can help the body make prostacyclins, which are fat molecules that help keep airway passages open.  

Other asthma superfoods rich in vitamin C include citrus fruits, endives and kiwi.


Information provided by the San Diego Sharp Health News Team. For more health stories visit www.sharp.com/news.

For more articles that pertain to families with special needs, visit the Special Needs Resource Foundation of San Diego at www.SNRFSD.org.

Published January 2017

 

Navigating Mental Health and How to get Help for Your Child

Navigating Mental Health and How to get Help for Your Child

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) characterizes mental disorders as serious changes in the way children typically learn, behave or handle emotions. The CDC says the most common ment . . .

Read more

Health & Wellness Guide 2019

Health & Wellness Guide 2019

Make a resolution to stay fit, active and healthy this new year with San Diego Family's 2019 Health and Welllness Guide. Search for pediatricians, dance classes, swim lessons, dentists and more. . . .

Read more

Kids in Motion: 9 ways to keep the kids active

Kids in Motion: 9 ways to keep the kids active

If you’re concerned your kids will spend the summer lounging on the couch, playing video games and watching YouTube, take charge and get ahead of the situation. Too much idle screen time negativel . . .

Read more

Fun over fitness: Focus on Family Playtime

Fun over fitness: Focus on Family Playtime

According to The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), “Play is brain building, a central part of healthy child development, a key to executive function skills, and a buffer against the negative i . . .

Read more

How to Protect Kids from Anxiety Overload

How to Protect Kids from Anxiety Overload

Anxiety in kids is on the rise, and it doesn’t take too much digging to uncover some of the reasons why. With increased pressure inside and outside of the classroom, children’s performance is me . . .

Read more

Dangerous Trends: What Parents Need to Know about Drugs, Online Challenges and More

Dangerous Trends: What Parents Need to Know about Drugs, Online Challenges and More

Parents are often shocked when they hear some of the dangerous things teens do. Teens are generally quick to experiment with the latest trends, whether it involves eating something for an online “ . . .

Read more

Foods with Immune-Boosting Potential

Foods with Immune-Boosting Potential

Flu season is here, so take precautions — the flu can be more serious than most people think. Did you know that there are foods that can help reduce your chances of getting sick? Dr. Neal Malik of . . .

Read more

Heart Health: Screen Your Teen

Heart Health: Screen Your Teen

San Diego couple turns personal tragedy into triumph by offering free heart screenings to local teens and young adults through the Eric Paredes Save A Life Foundation. Eric Paredes was entering his . . .

Read more

Family Fun Runs and 5Ks in San Diego County

Family Fun Runs and 5Ks in San Diego County

Walk for Water (Mission Bay/Tecolote Shores North Park) - AprilBring your family and friends to Mission Bay to experience the trek that millions of women and children around the world make every d . . .

Read more

How to Support Kids When a Parent Has Cancer

How to Support Kids When a Parent Has Cancer

Many people know how to help friends or family members who have been diagnosed with cancer or another life-threatening or chronic disease. But when the diagnosed individual is a parent who is increasi . . .

Read more

What To Do When Mom Has the Flu

What To Do When Mom Has the Flu

Winter can be wonderful. Holiday traditions, family gatherings, travel … and germs. Unfortunately it’s also the peak season for colds and the flu, but busy moms can be especially susceptible if . . .

Read more

13 Ways to Comfort a Friend with Cancer

13 Ways to Comfort a Friend with Cancer

When a friend receives a cancer diagnosis, it is normal to worry and wonder how to help. Follow these suggestions to support and bring comfort to your friend as she faces cancer. Sharpen your listen . . .

Read more

Understanding Eating Disorders in Kids

Understanding Eating Disorders in Kids

Fueled by anxiety and depression, bullying, sports, and feelings of inadequacy in an appearance-driven culture, eating disorders continue to rise among young people. Early intervention is key to suc . . .

Read more

Just Say No to Vaping

Just Say No to Vaping

Get to know the dangers of vaping and e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes contain potentially addictive, dangerous toxins. Would it surprise you to know that they come in kid-friendly flavors like bubble gu . . .

Read more

How Digital Devices Affect Eyes: What you need to know about Computer Vision Syndrome

How Digital Devices Affect Eyes: What you need to know about Computer Vision Syndrome

Does your technology-fixated child ever complain of dry, irritated eyes? What about blurry vision, headaches, light sensitivity, neck and shoulder pain, or fatigue? You might look to his electronic . . .

Read more

How to Lower Your Child's BMI

How to Lower Your Child's BMI

If your child’s pediatrician has alerted you that his body mass index (BMI) is too high, there are steps you can take to encourage a healthier lifestyle. Family Fitness
Your child will exempli . . .

Read more

Rejuvenate Yourself

Rejuvenate Yourself

You do it all every day: get the kids to school on time, work, shop, check homework, cook nutritious meals and chauffeur. Caring for everyone else often leaves little time for you—but rejuvenating y . . .

Read more

5 Asthma Superfoods

5 Asthma Superfoods

If you have asthma, keeping an emergency inhaler and other treatments on hand can help quickly relieve symptoms so you can breathe easier. But there is evidence that foods containing certain compoun . . .

Read more

How To Find the Right Pediatrician

How To Find the Right Pediatrician

Finding the right pediatrician for your family can daunting. But by researching options and defining priorities, you can find a pediatrician you feel confident and comfortable with. Here are some ti . . .

Read more

How to Balance Today's Tech and Your Child's Health

How to Balance Today's Tech and Your Child's Health

If you’re concerned about the amount of time your kids spend with technology, you’re not alone. There has been a rise in health-related issues in recent years among our youth. Reducing or elimin . . .

Read more

San Diego Family Magazine Logo

Be Family Informed – Sign up for our Newsletters below!