The incidence of atopic disease, including asthma, is increasing rapidly throughout the world. What is causing this epidemic? While environmental pollutants, such as second hand smoke and chemicals found in common scented household products may be playing a role in the increased occurrence of asthma, diet seems to have an effect on the risk of developing asthma. The changes in the Western diet over the last few decades away from fresh produce towards processed foods and animal products may also help explain the dramatic rise in the prevalence of asthma. Increased intake of seafood, meat, cod liver oil, poultry and dairy have been correlated with an increased risk for asthma, while the consumption of fresh fruits, green vegetables and soy products has been shown to be protective. In fact, switching to a plant-based diet can successfully treat symptoms of the disease (unlike homeopathy or even some medications specifically designed for this purpose).
Some individual plant foods may be used to treat asthma, and could be added generously to the diet for side-effect free symptom management. Tomatoes, oatmeal, adhatoda and black pepper, and turmeric may have positive therapeutic effects on asthma patients.
Topic summary contributed by Paul.