Wheeze and Cough: Nutrition for Asthma

Every summer we see the same harrowing stories on the news. Raging, angry fires followed by smoke and air quality warnings. This time of the year can be particularly harsh on asthmatics. With the temperature on August 10th at a record high in Calgary and the city covered in smoke, I believe this article is long past due.

Asthma is a common respiratory disorder that has symptoms like wheezing, difficulty breathing and dry cough. It is caused by narrowing of the airways in the lungs as a result of a spasm in the bronchial tubes and excess production of a thick and sticky mucus. Attacks can be triggered by numerous things: dust, pollen, smoke, excitement, anxiety, exercise, pollen or bacteria. An attack can be fatal and it is important for those with severe asthma to keep their respective medicines close by. A 2014 study by Statistics Canada found that there are roughly 2.4 million Canadians living with a diagnosed asthma condition.

The best way to prevent asthma attacks is to locate and isolate the main trigger for you. Once you find that trigger, take extra preventative measures and exercise caution when facing a potentially dangerous situation. Some tips are:

  • Keep the home as dust free as possible
  • Wash bedding regularly with perfume-free detergents
  • If you have food allergens – avoid them! One of the helpful ND’s at Naturmend can help you with that
  • Common offenders for food allergens include: eggs, fish, shellfish, nuts, milk, chocolate, wheat, citrus, apples and food additives like tartrazine and sulphites. This is a good place to start.
  • Eat plenty of foods containing vitamins B5, B6, B12, C and E. See below for a more comprehensive list!
  • Clean the air. This may be a good time to invest in a high quality filtering system. If you find this addition to be too expensive, consider buying a smaller HEPA filter and place it in your bedroom.
  • Avoid exercising outside in smoky conditions. Seems obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people push themselves with dangerous consequences!
  • Communicate with anyone who may witness an asthma attack. This includes bosses, coworkers, friends, family members, community groups, teachers, fitness instructors, etc. The more people adequately prepared means the more people that can help you when you need it!
  • Practice breathing techniques. This will train your brain to go into a calm, relaxed state which can assist if you are triggered by excitability or anger.
  • Eat an anti-inflammatory diet. The more you can calm down irritation in your body, the better. Need help doing this? You can book in with me here.

Some Superfoods for Asthma:

  • Avocado
  • Beans
  • Beets
  • Bell pepper
  • Berries
  • Cayenne
  • Curly kale
  • Eucalyptus
  • Garlic
  • Green tea
  • Guava
  • Lentils
  • Licorice root
  • Nettle
  • Okra
  • Onion
  • Papaya
  • Potato
  • Sea vegetables
  • Sweet potato
  • Yarrow
  • Thyme
  • Tempeh

Asthma can be scary but with a little foresight and planning, fear of an attack doesn’t have to rule your life. There are plenty of actionable steps which you can incorporate into your life right now. For more assistance and to take charge today, email us at info@naturmend.com for further information.


Ralitza Alexandrov - Wellness Advisor   Ralitza Alexandrov, C.H.N.C.

As your Certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant at Naturmend, I am committed to creating healthy communities. I believe in honouring the unique biochemical individuality of each person who walks through my door and in the amazing benefits of a whole food diet. A healthy body and balanced mind are the cornerstones of a happy existence.


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