Food guidelines summary:


✦   Eat only when you feel hungry.

✦   Eat until you feel satisfied. Do not continue to eat because there is food left on your plate.

✦   Eat fruit and vegetables each day.

✦   Eat spices, curries, ginger, garlic, onions and sea salt.


Foods to limit in quantity are:


✦   Dairy and products containing  dairy ingredients.

✦   Milk, yoghurt, cheese, Ice cream, cream soups, chocolate. (Please note that chocolate is by far the worst food to eat.)

✦   High protein foods such as beef, pork, chicken and eggs.

✦   Stimulants such as coffee, strong teas, alcohol, cocoa, soft fizzy drinks and drinking chocolate.

✦   Antigens  such  as citrus  fruits, raspberries,  strawberries, wheat and nuts.


Mucus producing foods are:


✦   Dairy produce.

✦   Chocolate.

✦   Animal protein.

✦   Processed foods such as white flour.

✦   Coffee and alcoholic beverages.


Diet supplementation:

Vitamin and mineral  supplementation is recommended for people  with  asthma   because  hyperventilation  causes  the body to excrete some minerals  such as magnesium,  calcium and potassium in order to maintain  PH. It is therefore necessary to replenish  these  because  the  loss of these  minerals leads  to  further   hyperventilation.   Asthma  causes  chronic stress on the body so correct nutrient intake is vital.

The quality of food can be suspect and while a correct diet is a priority, it is also beneficial to supplement it with key minerals  and vitamins. It is a fact that the increasing  use of pesticides, chemicals  on vegetation  and feeding  of animals with antibiotic  and hormone laden food poisons our bodies with increased toxicity.


Magnesium, the Natural Bronchodilator:

Scientists in the early 1950s reported  that magnesium was a natural bronchodilator that relaxes smooth muscle and opens constricted  airways without any side effects. Nowadays some intravenous  magnesium sulphate  is used  as a partial treat- ment for attacks at a number  of clinics in the U.S.

The typical Western world processed diet contains  very low levels of magnesium.  A  deficiency  of magnesium will further perpetuate hyperventilation. Another reason for magnesium deficiency is intense  farming practices. Mineral levels have fallen over the past fifty years due to continued harvesting.  Only nitrogen,  phosphorous and  potassium  are replaced in order to produce higher yields. My experience of taking  magnesium either  in  diet  or  supplement has  been very helpful in reducing hyperventilation and increasing my control pause.

I spoke with a number  of people who test mineral  and vitamin   levels  among   their   patients   and   all  concluded that  magnesium was very low in most  asthmatics.  Magnesium  also helps  to  stabilise  the  Mast  cell producing  anti- inflammatory effects. One   Nottingham  study   has   shown   a   relationship between   increased   peak  flow  readings   and   magnesium intake. This also correlated with decreased  airway reactivity to methacholine challenge.  Another study points to a possible  role  for  magnesium  because  of  its bronchodilating effect in the treatment of asthma. Magnesium can be purchased in most health stores. The best form is liquid because it’s absorbed  better  by the body, but  magnesium tablets  in  chalk  form  are  very beneficial. Personally, I use a magnesium,  calcium and zinc combination.

Natural sources of magnesium include sea salt, kelp, sunflower   seeds,  spinach,  avocado,  barley,  almonds,  Brazil nuts, oysters, sunflower seeds, whole grains, beans  and dark leafy vegetables. Supplement magnesium according to recommended  daily amounts (RDA) as stated by manufacturers.


Vitamin B5, commonly known as Pantothenic acid:

Pantothenic  acid stimulates  the adrenals  and is involved in the production  of cortisone. Allergies, adrenal exhaustion or upper respiratory infections are often a sign of B5 deficiency because the adrenals become weak and compromised.  Other benefits  from vitamin  B5 include reducing  the toxic effects from antibiotics. Good sources include corn, eggs, heart, kidney,  legumes,  lentils,  liver,  lobster,  molasses, peanuts, peas,  rice,  soybeans,  sunflower   seeds,  vegetables,  wheat germ, and whole grain cereals.


Omega-3 fatty acids:

Omega-3  fatty  acids  are  a  natural  anti-inflammatory that quiet down key inflammatory cells such as neutrophils  and prostaglandin. Essential  fatty acids, when  taken  over time, work like cortisone without the side effects. There have been mixed results  in studies  of Omega-3 and  this  seems  to be related to the length  of the study, with longer trials produc- ing more conclusive results.

The time  frame  to take Omega-3 is for a minimum of ten weeks to reduce inflammation. Flaxseed oil, hemp oil or Evening Primrose oil are good forms of Omega-3 and are recommended more than fish oil due  to  the  high  mercury  content  of  the  seas.  Massaging hemp  oil into areas  of the  skin affected  by eczema  offers substantial relief. One word of caution: people who are sensitive to aspirin may experience an increase of asthma  symptoms.  If you do notice a deterioration, stop taking Omega-3 immediately.

The list of vitamins and minerals above are those I find, from available research, to be the most effective. Magnesium is a natural  bronchodilator, Panthothenic acid helps rebuild the  adrenals  and  Omega-3 is a natural  anti-inflammatory. There is an exhaustive list of vitamins and minerals  recom- mended  for asthma and it would not be beneficial or practical to take them all. If you only wish to take one of these then I recommend magnesium.  I also suggest that you have echinacea on standby should the need ever arise. Multivitamins are  very helpful  but  the  levels are  too  low to  be  of  any benefit.  Speak to  someone  who  is knowledgeable  at  your health  store  to seek further information regarding  supplements for children and what products are available.



Water  makes  up  over  seventy  per  cent  of  your  body and it’s the single most  important constituent of your diet. You consume  water  directly by drinking  it and  indirectly  from your diet. You lose water each day through perspiration, breathing,  and  elimination  of waste. It is vital therefore  to replenish   this  water  loss  because  dehydration   causes  an increase of histamine  levels, causing inflammation and swelling of the airway walls. To help  reduce  water  loss breathe  only through  your nose. On average we take eighteen  thousand  breaths over a twenty-four hour period, with this figure increasing substan- tially for a person with asthma. One of the functions of your nose is to trap moisture carried in the air on the out breath.

The second step is to reduce the group of drinks containing caffeine and alcohol. These drinks are diuretics and, while they  contain  water, they  promote  dehydration  because  the kidneys  flush  out  additional  water.  More  water  leaves  the body than is contained  in the drink, yet many people believe that tea is a good source of water. Unfortunately  it isn’t and if  you  feel  unable  to  reduce  your  tea  consumption, then increase your pure water intake to counteract this loss. The  third  step  is to eat a diet  high  in  water  content. People who live on a water-rich  diet of fruit and vegetables are free from obesity and illness and often live well in excess of one hundred  years. A water-rich diet is the secret to better health and longevity.The  amount  of water  you need  depends  on  the  type of lifestyle you lead. A  person  who is involved in physical activity will have a greater  requirement. Likewise, it is dependent on the  type of diet. If you eat a water-rich  diet then the requirement to drink water is reduced.

In the medical world, there are mixed beliefs about whether  thirst  alone  is  a  good  indicator  of  the  need  for water.  Nutritional   experts suggest  a daily water  intake  of six to eight  glasses. Using  this  as a guide, and  taking  into account  your individual lifestyle and diet, you can estimate individual requirements. If your lifestyle is to drink ten cups of tea  a day and  eat  a processed  food  diet, then  you are chronically dehydrated.

With asthma, the key point to remember is that the need for water  is increased  because  dehydration  leads to hista- mine  production  and thickened  mucus. A quarter  to a half- teaspoon  of  sea  salt dissolved  in  warm  water  serves  as a natural antihistamine, thins out mucus and can, in as little as fifteen minutes, reduce asthma symptoms. To keep your body well hydrated,  adults  should  drink about eight glasses of water per day and make a conscious effort to maintain  consistent intake. Everyone needs water to regulate body temperature, aid respiration,  transport   nutrients,   aid  elimination   of  waste, provide lubrication, and give tissues their structure.

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