A Diet For Asthma - Cure Your Asthma With This Easy Diet

Cure asthma with diet… is it possible?
Cure asthma with diet… is it possible?

I was a bronchial-asthmatic child and before I knew about the incredible benefits of following an asthma diet, I believed that I would have to live with asthma for the rest of my life and that it would probably get worse as I got older.

Well this is the current consensus in the world anyway. As an asthmatic, there is an acceptance that you live with. You are prepared to carry your inhaler with you wherever you go and you accept that you cannot do the fun things that you want to do because you are afraid that they will bring on an asthma attack.

There have been numerous times when I have woken up in the middle of the night feeling like I was dying. As it turns out, when I have a runny or blocked nose (which is fairly frequently) and have an asthma attack in my sleep, it feels like I am choking to death.

This feeling is like dying every time and I have to get up immediately, puff on my inhaler and wait for a few hours before I can get back to sleep. By that time the sun is usually rising and my day is guaranteed to be a wreck from that point on.

When noted heart surgeon Dr. Chris Barnard died of an asthma attack poolside at a luxury resort because he had left his inhaler in his room, I realised that I had better find a cure for my asthma because I didn’t want the same thing happening to me; and I was already having a taste of dying that way during my own night time episodes.

Through my many trials, I began searching for a solution. I investigated every option I could lay my hands on and I tried everything; from homeopathy to natural remedies to sophisticated medicines. Some brought mild relief but most had no effect whatsoever. I also couldn’t afford to spend money on medicines every month.

My asthma “cure” came to me quite accidentally and in the unlikely form of an asthma diet.

I came across a diet (weight loss) book by Dr. James B. Johnson, M.D. on Alternate Day Fasting. In his book Dr. Johnson mentioned that studies have found that intermittent fasting also helps improve asthma symptoms. When I checked the reviews for the book on Amazon.com I discovered a reviewer who also mentioned that it cured her asthma and in fact her symptoms returned with a vengeance after she stopped the diet, so that she is now permanently on an alternate day diet to alleviate her severe asthma.

Not being one to waste time, I started the diet the very next day; and I have not had to use my inhaler since a week after I started it; something that is somewhat of a miracle as I hadn’t been to bed at night without using my inhaler for years. Every now and again I have a mild wheeze, but nothing serious enough to necessitate using my inhaler.

Alternate Day Fasting

So here’s a rundown of the diet.

The book is called The Alternate-Day Diet: Turn on Your “Skinny Gene,” Shed the Pounds, and Live a Longer and Healthier Life and was written by James B. Johnson, M.D.

The first research into Alternate Day Fasting (ADF) was done by researchers Carlson and Hoelzel in 1945 who found that it extended the lifespanof rats by between 15% and 20%.

This research has since extended into the realm of humans and they have found the following benefits linked to Alternate Day Fasting:

  • An overall improvement of cholesterol markers
  • Improved blood pressure
  • Improved insulin resistance
  • Increased longevity
  • Increased fat loss
  • Makes you more resistant to radiation and protects you during chemo therapy

How To Use The Diet For Asthma

The essence of the diet is very simple.

Eat whatever you want on one day and eat no more than 500 calories the next day and alternate between the two.

I don’t think you should follow the diet to the letter and should experiment to see what works for you. Although there are no foods that are restricted or disallowed, I think it is still important to have a balanced diet on your eating days. Interestingly enough, after a day of fasting I usually crave more protein and vegetables than I do chocolate cake and others who have tried the diet have found that this is true for them too.

There are many ways that you can change this diet to suit you. I, for example, choose to eat over the weekends and fast on alternate days during the week. So I fast on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and eat normally on the rest of the days. Sometimes I switch days to accommodate birthdays, dinners or other eating occasions.

Basically this diet is very flexible and can be changed to suit your personal needs, for example you can ensure that you are on an eating day when your partner is taking you out to eat or to coincide with work functions.

It is always nice when you can incorporate this diet into your life and it helps if other members of the family join in. I am lucky in that my husband is doing this diet with me so I never feel deprived or like I’m looking at others eat while I’m not.

Personally, I fast for 36 hours and eat for 12 hours. My husband on the other hand fasts for a full 24 hours and eats for 24 hours; from 11pm to 11pm. Being an athlete, this routine helps him to retain muscle mass as he doesn’t want to lose any weight. I on the other hand could shed a pound or three so I make sure that I cut out the 11pm meal that my husband eats.

Green Tea - Part of a balanced Asthma Diet
Green Tea - Part of a balanced Asthma Diet

On my fasting days I usually eat the following:

  • Coffee (with a natural sweetener and a little low fat milk)
  • Tea (with a natural sweetener and a little low fat milk)
  • Herbal tea / green tea
  • Water (at least 8 glasses)
  • A light soup for lunch (carrot or beetroot)
  • A thicker soup for dinner (butternut or split pea and ham)

On an eating day I eat whatever I want but I do tend to stick with scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast, roast chicken or grilled steak or fish with rice / potatoes and lots of vegetables for lunch and dinner. My one indulgence is a biscuit or a piece of cake with tea in the afternoon.

You can even eat cake on this diet!
You can even eat cake on this diet!

Have Your Cake And Eat It Too

I like to eat something sweet once a day. I think it’s my way of pampering my body, and most diets (and I’ve been on a number of different diets in my time) require a strict adherence to the rules with no room for fun; either no sweets or no carbohydrates or no fats, etc.

With Alternate Day Fasting you are free to eat whatever you want and it still makes you healthier. So if you want a slice of cake, feel free to indulge yourself. You can have cheesecake, pizza, soft drinks or whatever you want. There are absolutely no restrictions.

Surprisingly though, your food choices will naturally improve and you will find yourself craving vegetables and making healthier choices. Your body will generally crave solid proteins, some carbs and vegetables. Obviously if you’re going crazy with the chocolate cake you will not be helping yourself (or your waistline) in the long term.

Because your body is in a fasting state, it will tell you exactly what it needs to rebuild itself in the best possible way and your food choices will naturally improve. However, you can also have those treats that make your eating days worthwhile.

Fasting

Fasting is one of the oldest remedies in the world and has been recommended for over 3000 years. Hippocrates, Galen and Paracelsus all recommended it and it has been a staple of eastern medicine for thousands of years, yet science is only now verifying what the old physicians instinctively knew.

Did you know that your body uses about 20% of each meal to digest itself? And that most people never stop eating? They start at 7am and eat continuously until late at night and their bodies never rest.

Fasting gives your body time to rest and recover and through a process called autolysis uses up all the dead or damaged cells or parts of cells. This aids in healing and strengthening the body.

Fasting is not an unpleasant feeling, although for the first few days you might experience a dull headache. This is your body detoxing and it won’t last past the first day, and believe it or not, within a few days you will start to look forward to your fasting days.

You will experience higher energy during your fasting days too.

Always check with your doctor before starting any diet.
Always check with your doctor before starting any diet.

Contra-indications

Alternate Day fasting is contra-indicated for diabetics and a few other chronic conditions. If you suffer from any illness or medical conditions, please check with your physician before starting Alternate Day Fasting, you don’t want to cure your asthma only to exacerbate or worsen something else. Like with any diet, be responsible.

There are many benefits to be had from intermittent fasting; be it a diet for asthma, a weight loss tool or a diet to set you on the path for better health and longevity. After having suffered for so many years with chronic asthma, I cannot tell you how happy I am to have found a way to cure my asthma and all I have to do is follow a simple diet and all my symptoms are gone for good!

I hope this information helps you too and gives you long and lasting relief from asthma!

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Comments 11 comments

Georgina_writes profile image

Georgina_writes 4 years ago from Dartmoor

Interesting hub and well written. I've often been interested in fasting, but struggle to cope with the hunger. How do you manage this?


Trinity M profile image

Trinity M 4 years ago Author

Thanks for the kind words Georgina_writes, I really appreciate the feedback.

In answer to your question, I must admit that the idea of fasting initially horrified me but once I got started it actually isn’t that much of a problem anymore (and I’ve been doing this for over a year now).

I make sure that I eat a nice bowl of homemade soup for lunch and dinner and if I start feeling hungry (usually in the late afternoon) I keep some fruit flavoured sweets handy. I will suck on one and it helps curb my hunger until dinner time. If I still feel hungry at dinner I will add a slice of high fibre bread to my soup, but I only do this if I’m really hungry. As long as you keep within 500 calories on your down / fasting day you will get all the benefits and then some.

I hope this helps and if you still need some advice I’m always glad to help. Good luck! ?


Georgina_writes profile image

Georgina_writes 4 years ago from Dartmoor

I'd assumed that fasting meant zero food, which doesn't fit with my busy lifestyle. I like the idea of home made soups, though.


Michelle Taylor profile image

Michelle Taylor 4 years ago from New Jersey

This is a really interesting topic. When I was younger I was diagnosed with asthma but haven't suffered any attacks recently. I am definitely intrigued by the alternate day diet plan and might try to incorporate that into my current weight loss goal. Voted up and sharing!


Trinity M profile image

Trinity M 4 years ago Author

Thanks Michelle for the kind words. I must say that when I first came across alternate day fasting I was very reticent, but I am a year into it now and the results for me have been amazing. Not only have I had a phenomenal improvement in my asthma (I used to use my asthma pump at least 2-3 times a day and I have only used it about 10 times in a year!), but the fasting has also helped me lose weight, AND because the rest of my family is doing it with me, we have saved so much money on grocery bills, electricity for cooking, etc. I don’t think you’ll regret it if you decide to try it :)

Thanks for voting up and sharing.


ChristyWrites profile image

ChristyWrites 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

I do not have asthma but there are many people that suffer from the condition. You offer very valuable tips that I am happy to share today. I vote up and useful. Keep up the good work!


Trinity M profile image

Trinity M 4 years ago Author

Thank you so much Christy! I always love hearing from you, you sure know how to put a smile on my face. Thank you for the useful feedback.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

I'm passing this on to my wife; thank you for a great and useful hub!


Trinity M profile image

Trinity M 4 years ago Author

Thanks billybuc! This diet has basically saved my life. I hope it helps others as much as it has me. Thank you for stopping by, it is greatly appreciated.


earthbound1974 profile image

earthbound1974 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

I am truly in awe with what you shared here. I really need this, too.


Trinity M profile image

Trinity M 3 years ago Author

Hi earthbound1974. I have been on this asthma diet for one and a half years so far and every time I stray off it I have an asthma attack. It has truly changed my life for the better and it is my pleasure to share this information with other people who are suffering with asthma. I hope it really helps you too!

Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words. Have a great day :)

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