Eating a healthy diet can reduce asthma symptoms, a new study has shown. Diets with better asthma outcomes are characterized by being healthier, with greater consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grain cereals.
Asthma is the most common chronic disease in children and the prevalence is increasing around the world. Eating fresh, nutritious foods may improve your overall health as well as your asthma symptoms.
If you have asthma, switching to a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables and whole grain cereals may help in reducing the symptoms like difficulty in breathing, chest pain and coughing among many other things. Men who ate a healthier diet had a 30 per cent lower chance of experiencing asthma symptoms.
Unhealthy diets, with high consumption of meat, salt and sugar have the poorest outcomes. "A healthy diet is mostly made up of a high intake of fruit, vegetables and fibre. These have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and are elements in a healthy diet that potentially lower symptoms," said lead researcher Roland Andrianasolo, from University of Paris 13 in France.
The foods have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and are elements in a healthy diet that potentially lower risks. The study, published in the European Respiratory Journal, supports existing evidence that eating well can help prevent the onset of asthma, as well as controlling it.
"In contrast, the least healthy diets include high consumption of meat, salt, and sugar, and these are elements with pro-inflammatory capacities that may potentially worsen symptoms of asthma," Ronald added.
Asthmatic women who eat well were 27 per cent more likely to avoid the worst symptoms. Lead researcher Dr Ronald Andrianasolo says the research was undertaken because there is a lack of nutritional recommendations for asthma prevention or guidance on how to reduce the symptoms through a healthy diet.
The study analyzed data from 34,776 adults- over half of suffered from at least one symptom of asthma. "The study adds to the evidence on the importance of a healthy diet in managing asthma and its possible role in helping prevent the onset of asthma in adults. Healthcare professionals must find the time to discuss diet with their patients, as this research suggests it could play an important role in preventing asthma," the researchers noted.
Findings were adjusted in the analysis to consider other factors known to be linked with asthma, such as smoking and exercise. Dr Andrianasolo added: "Existing research on the relationship between diet and asthma is inconclusive, and compared to other chronic diseases, the role of diet in asthma is still debated. This has resulted in a lack of clear nutritional recommendations for asthma prevention and little guidance for people living with asthma on how to reduce their symptoms through diet. Although further studies are needed to confirm our observations, our findings contribute to evidence on the role of diet in asthma and extend and justify the need to continually support public health recommendations on promoting a healthy diet."