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Low-Fat, High-Fiber Diet Helps Prevent Asthma

Low-Fat, High-Fiber Diet Helps Prevent Asthma

A study suggests that diet could decrease symptoms of asthma

If you have asthma, a low-fat and high-fiber diet may be right for you. A study revealed that diet may be linked to asthma, and that those who decrease their fat consumption, but increase their fiber consumption, could benefit, according to Live Science.

Researchers studied 137 people with asthma and 65 people without. The participants answered questions about their diets and underwent blood tests to test inflammation. It was found that people with severe asthma consumed five more grams of fat and five fewer grams of fiber daily than people without asthma. Also, those who consumed more fat in their diet had increased airway inflammation, which is associated with asthma. Researchers also found that for every 10-gram increase in daily fat consumption, the odds of having severe asthma went up 48 percent.


Beans, such as black beans, kidney, garbanzo, pinto and white, are loaded with fiber and important vitamins and minerals while being very low in fat. This combination of nutrients might put them in the “super foods” category. Organizations such as the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association and the USDA’s My Plate all recommend including beans in your diet to reduce cholesterol, maintain normal blood sugar and get to a healthy weight.

According to MayoClinic.com, a cup of beans contains almost half your recommended daily fiber intake. A diet high in fiber helps maintain a healthy digestive system by relieving constipation, reducing your risk of diverticular disease and even relieving some symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Studies are mixed about whether fiber helps prevent colorectal cancer, and more research is needed in this area. Fiber takes longer to digest so you feel full, thus decreasing your appetite and helping you consume fewer calories.


Health Benefits of Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash contains dietary fiber, which is critical for colon health. For years, studies have shown that an increased intake of dietary fiber decreases risk of colorectal cancer. Each 10-gram per day increase in total fiber was linked to a 10 percent risk reduction in colon cancer.

In another study, researchers found that a low-fat, high-fiber diet was associated with a lower recurrence of colon polyps. Fiber adds bulk to the digestive system, quickly moving toxins and waste out of the body. The ideal goal for cancer prevention is to get 30-35 grams of fiber daily, but most Americans only get about half of that.

Spaghetti squash has other benefits for colon health and overall health as well &ndash including high levels of water, vitamins and minerals. Increased water intake flushes out toxins and reduces gastrointestinal discomfort. And of course, vitamins and minerals are essential for colon health too!

If you&rsquove never tasted spaghetti squash, now is a good time to try it! It goes well with red pasta sauce but tastes even better with homemade pesto!


How does lowering LDL cholesterol help?

Lowering your LDL cholesterol level will help keep plaque from building up in your arteries. This makes it easier for your heart to get the blood and nutrients it needs.

If you already have coronary artery disease, your doctor will probably want you to lower your LDL level by at least 30 to 35 percent through dieting, exercising and possibly, medicines. Another way to help is to increase your HDL level. If you can reduce your LDL level to less than 130 and increase your HDL level to at least 50, you're on the right track.


Foods That Can Help Asthma

Diets rich in whole, plant-based foods may be particularly beneficial for individuals with asthma, according to research in the field. A 2015 study published in Lung found low rates of asthma among children who ate the Mediterranean diet for years compared to children who did not. “Although there is not a clear link between a plant-forward Mediterranean diet and asthma, findings indicate that antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables may minimize free radical cell damage and help reduce inflammation in the lungs,” Pitts says.

Even though there isn’t a recommended diet for this illness, here are are five foods you can try that may have a positive effect on asthma and its symptoms:

1. Salmon

Salmon is a type of fatty fish that’s popular for its high amount of omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats are linked to a decrease in inflammation among individuals with asthma, according to a 2015 study published in Allergology International. Just 3 ounces of cooked, farmed Atlantic salmon contain 1.24 grams and 0.59 grams of DHA and EPA, respectively.

Salmon also contains about two-thirds of the daily value of vitamin D, a nutrient that reduces airway inflammation, the American Lung Association says. A 2016 study published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews found that asthmatic individuals who took a vitamin D supplement reduced their risk of severe asthma attacks and emergency room visits.

2. Tomato juice

Believe it or not, your Bloody Mary is asthma-friendly. This can be attributed to the fact that tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant that helps to reduce inflammation caused by an allergic reaction. A 2016 study published in PLOS One examined the effect of tomato juice on neonatal mice with sensitive lungs. Researchers found that tomato juice not only decreased oxidative stress, but also allowed the mice to breathe easier by relaxing their airways.

Tomatoes may also delay lung function decline in adults, according to a 2017 study published in European Respiratory Journal that examined the lungs of ex-smokers over a span of 10 years.

3. Apples

They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away, and that particularly holds true for individuals experiencing asthma. “Apples are rich in dietary fiber, which has a positive role on lung function,” Amanda Nicole, RDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist says. A 2021 study published in Food Science & Nutrition found that apple juice concentrate induced an anti-inflammatory environment in the lungs, leading to lower tissue damage. This is attributed to the antioxidants in the apple, which suppress the activity of free radicals by neutralizing them.

4. Bananas

Although research is limited in the field, bananas may be able to prevent wheezing, a common asthma symptom. A landmark study published in 2007 in European Respiratory Journal found that eating at least one banana a day was linked to little to no wheezing in young children.

Bananas are also high in dietary fiber one banana contains around 3 to 4 grams. A 2017 study published in Nutrients found that dietary intake of soluble fiber has anti-inflammatory effects in asthmatic airways. If you’re not a huge fan of bananas, you may want to consider incorporating avocados, lentils, oats, nuts and seeds. These are all high-fiber foods.

5. Leafy greens

Leafy greens like spinach, kale, swiss chard and bok choy are some of the most nutritionally-dense foods. They’re rich in folate, calcium and fiber, just to name a few. In a 2015 study published in Annals of the American Thoracic Society, researchers found that children with folate and vitamin D deficiency saw an increased risk of developing asthma.

Leafy greens like mustard greens are also high in vitamin E. “Vitamin E is an antioxidant fighting off oxidative stress in the airway. Tocopherol, a compound in this vitamin, may decrease asthma symptoms like coughing or wheezing,” Nicole says. Additionally, beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A, present in these foods can decrease inflammation and swelling in the lungs, according to the Mayo Clinic.


A plant-based diet helps to prevent and manage asthma, according to new review

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

A plant-based diet can help prevent and manage asthma, while dairy products and high-fat foods raise the risk, according to a new review published in Nutrition Reviews.

Asthma is a common chronic condition in which the airways become narrow and inflamed—sometimes leading to difficulty with breathing, coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.

"Asthma is a condition that affects more than 25 million Americans, and unfortunately it can make people more vulnerable in the COVID-19 outbreak," says study author Hana Kahleova, MD, Ph.D., director of clinical research for the Physicians Committee. "This research offers hope that dietary changes could be helpful."

Researchers with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine examined the evidence related to diet and asthma and found that certain foods—including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other high-fiber foods—can be beneficial, while others—such as dairy products and foods high in saturated fat—can be harmful.

The review authors highlight a study finding that when compared to a control group, asthma patients who consumed a plant-based diet for eight weeks experienced a greater reduction in use of asthma medication and less severe, less frequent symptoms. In another study, asthma patients adopted a plant-based diet for a year and saw improvements in vital capacity—a measure of the volume of air patients can expel—and other measures.

The authors suggest that a plant-based diet is beneficial because it has been shown to reduce systemic inflammation, which can exacerbate asthma. Plant-based diets are also high in fiber, which has been positively associated with improvements in lung function. The researchers also highlight the antioxidants and flavonoids found in plant foods, which may have a protective effect.

The review also finds that dairy consumption can raise the risk for asthma and worsen symptoms. One 2015 study found that children who consumed the most dairy had higher odds of developing asthma, compared with the children consuming the least. In another study, children with asthma were placed in either a control group, where they made no dietary changes, or in an experimental group where they eliminated dairy and eggs for eight weeks. After eliminating dairy, the experimental group experienced a 22% improvement in peak expiratory flow rate—a measure of how fast the children were able to exhale—while children in the control group experienced a 0.6% decrease.

High fat intake, consumption of saturated fat, and low fiber intake were also associated with airway inflammation and worsened lung function in asthma patients.

"This groundbreaking research shows that filling our plates with plant-based foods—and avoiding dairy products and other high-fat foods—can be a powerful tool for preventing and managing asthma," says Dr. Kahleova.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urges those with asthma to have a plan in place—including stocking up on supplies, taking asthma medication as needed, avoiding crowds, and practicing good hygiene.


19 High Fiber Breakfasts to Help Meet Your Recommend Intake

If you’ve ever said “I’m not really a breakfast person,” you might be missing out. Breakfast is an ideal opportunity to start the day on solid nutritional footing.

If you’re trying to get more fiber into your diet, for example, breakfast is a great way to do that. Fiber is naturally found in fruits, vegetables, grains, and seeds, according to the latest edition of the USDA Dietary Guidelines.

And why do you need this charming carbohydrate? Well, research has shown that fiber can support gut health and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, among many other benefits. Slavin J. (2013). Fiber and prebiotics: Mechanisms and health benefits. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3705355/

Most adults should be getting somewhere between 22 and 34 grams of fiber per day, yet research shows most of us are falling short. Qualiani D, et al. (2017). Closing America’s fiber intake gap. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6124841/

To help you meet the daily recommended amount of fiber, we’ve gathered up 19 quick recipes that pack in 5 to 50 grams per serving.

You might like

1. Raw banana cacao smoothie

Cacao powder is the secret source of fiber in this luscious smoothie. One tablespoon has 2 grams of fiber, and this recipe calls for 2 tablespoons. You can do the math.

Whirl it up with other tasty sources of fiber, like banana, dates, almond milk, and almond butter, and you’d swear it isn’t healthy.

2. PB&J smoothie

Frozen strawberries (a sub for jelly) provide about 5 grams of fiber per cup, and peanut butter adds another 3 grams.

As if a whole banana and two hefty spoonfuls of peanut butter weren’t enough, this recipe has some oats and chia seeds too. The result is a portable PB&J with a high fiber count.

3. Triple-berry chia detox smoothie

Share on Pinterest Photo: The Scrumptious Pumpkin

Three kinds of berries pack this six-serving smoothie with fiber. It’ll keep in the fridge for 3 to 4 days, making it easy to start the day with good moral fiber (ha — see what we did there?).

Here’s the lowdown on fiber per cup: Raspberries have 16 grams, blackberries have roughly 8 grams, and strawberries have about 5 grams.

Add two bananas and chia seeds and you’re getting a healthy dose of fiber in one irresistible pink drink.

4. Simple pumpkin spice smoothie

Instead of a pumpkin spice latte, start the day with this fiber-rich smoothie. Thanks to the canned stuff being available year-round, there’s no need to wait until fall.

A cup of pumpkin puree has 7 grams of fiber. And the fiber count grows when pumpkin joins forces with spinach and chia seeds.


A Plant-Based Diet Helps to Prevent and Manage Asthma, According to New Review

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine via EurekAlert – A plant-based diet can help prevent and manage asthma, while dairy products and high-fat foods raise the risk, according to a new review published in Nutrition Reviews.

WASHINGTON–Asthma is a common chronic condition in which the airways become narrow and inflamed–sometimes leading to difficulty with breathing, coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.

“Asthma is a condition that affects more than 25 million Americans, and unfortunately it can make people more vulnerable in the COVID-19 outbreak,” says study author Hana Kahleova, MD, PhD, director of clinical research for the Physicians Committee. “This research offers hope that dietary changes could be helpful.”

Researchers with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine examined the evidence related to diet and asthma and found that certain foods–including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other high-fiber foods–can be beneficial, while others–such as dairy products and foods high in saturated fat–can be harmful.

The review authors highlight a study finding that when compared to a control group, asthma patients who consumed a plant-based diet for eight weeks experienced a greater reduction in use of asthma medication and less severe, less frequent symptoms. In another study, asthma patients adopted a plant-based diet for a year and saw improvements in vital capacity–a measure of the volume of air patients can expel–and other measures.

The authors suggest that a plant-based diet is beneficial because it has been shown to reduce systemic inflammation, which can exacerbate asthma. Plant-based diets are also high in fiber, which has been positively associated with improvements in lung function. The researchers also highlight the antioxidants and flavonoids found in plant foods, which may have a protective effect.

The review also finds that dairy consumption can raise the risk for asthma and worsen symptoms. One 2015 study found that children who consumed the most dairy had higher odds of developing asthma, compared with the children consuming the least. In another study, children with asthma were placed in either a control group, where they made no dietary changes, or in an experimental group where they eliminated dairy and eggs for eight weeks. After eliminating dairy, the experimental group experienced a 22% improvement in peak expiratory flow rate–a measure of how fast the children were able to exhale–while children in the control group experienced a 0.6% decrease.

High fat intake, consumption of saturated fat, and low fiber intake were also associated with airway inflammation and worsened lung function in asthma patients.

“This groundbreaking research shows that filling our plates with plant-based foods–and avoiding dairy products and other high-fat foods–can be a powerful tool for preventing and managing asthma,” says Dr. Kahleova.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urges those with asthma to have a plan in place–including stocking up on supplies, taking asthma medication as needed, avoiding crowds, and practicing good hygiene.


What foods are good sources of fiber?

  • Foods with at least 4 grams of fiber per serving:
    • ⅓ to ½ cup of high-fiber cereal (check the nutrition label on the box)
    • ½ cup of blackberries or raspberries
    • 4 dried prunes
    • 1 cooked artichoke
    • ½ cup of cooked legumes, such as lentils, or red, kidney, and pinto beans
    • 1 slice of whole-wheat, pumpernickel, or rye bread
    • ½ cup of cooked brown rice
    • 4 whole-wheat crackers
    • 1 cup of oatmeal
    • ½ cup of cereal with 1 to 3 grams of fiber per serving (check the nutrition label on the box)
    • 1 small piece of fruit, such as an apple, banana, pear, kiwi, or orange
    • 3 dates
    • ½ cup of canned apricots, fruit cocktail, peaches, or pears
    • ½ cup of raw or cooked vegetables, such as carrots, cauliflower, cabbage, spinach, squash, or corn

    Nuts and Peanuts

    A 1 ounce serving of almonds provides 3.5 grams dietary fiber, and other nuts, such as Brazil nuts, pecans, pistachios and macadamias have about 2 grams per ounce, according to the Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center. Peanuts are technically legumes, but the nutrition they provide is more similar to tree nuts than. Since they are high in calories, eat nuts and peanuts only in moderation to avoid unintentional weight gain and a higher risk for episodes of diverticulitis.