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Esther Diaz

Breathe Easier 1CSMS Magazine

Asthma is a major problem for more than 25 million Americans. It is a chronic inflammatory condition in the airways that can cause wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath. Many factors can cause these uncomfortable symptoms. Among them are pollen, changes in the weather or airborne irritants like smoke and dust. Now, according to Eating Well Magazine , new research is discovering that healthy lifestyle choices can provide some reliefs. Below are three things the magazine recommends you can do if you suffer from asthma.

Fuel with Flavonoids

People with asthma have inflamed airways, making them more sensitive to outside irritants. But antioxidants-rich fruits and veggies may quell that inflammation and ease symptoms, according to a review published in the journal Nutrients. The researchers found that eating produce was associated with less wheezing and lower overall asthma severity.

Get a move on

It is a myth that physical activity and asthma cannot mix. “Most patients well-controlled asthma has no problem with regular exercise,” says Mitchell Grayson, M.D. chairperson of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America’s medical scientific council. And it may reduce symptoms: a 2020 review of 22 clinical trials found that folks with asthma who regularly did moderate intensity aerobic exercise, such as swimming for 20 minutes or more at least twice a week significantly improved their lung capacity and the openness of their airways. Grayson recommends warming up for at least 10 minutes avoiding activity in cold air and of course taking appropriate asthma medications.

Forgo the Fragrance.

This makes, um, scents, because the perfumes in products are irritants. “Fragrances are notoriously blamed for being a trigger for asthma,” says Grayson. According to survey data reported in Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health, more than 64% of people with asthma said perfumes, air fresheners, and other scented personal products and cleaning supplies induced symptoms.

Note: Esther Diaz is a health education teacher who lives in suburban Atlanta. She is our contributor.

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