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