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    Posted May 13, 2014 by

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    No More Huffing and Puffing: Soup for Asthma Relief

    Asthma remains as one of the most common chronic and costly diseases that affect a staggering number of Americans in the United States today. But while many asthmatic patients depend on their maintenance meds to ease symptoms, scientists and health care experts have found that patients can always turn to food to prevent and reduce the severity of symptoms altogether. Interestingly, the said remedy is nothing fancy at all: it’s just plain old soup!

    According to Reader’s Digest, using as much onion peels as you like in a pot of simmering soup stock can help patients make most of onion’s anti-asthma benefits. Studies have shown that onions and other foods rich in a class of antioxidants called flavonoids, which effectively prevent and provide relief for inflammation, can reduce the severity and frequency of asthma attacks, Reader’s Digest reported.

    Onion has quercetin, a type of flavonoid present in the skins of most veggies and fruits which prevent mast cells from releasing inflammatory agents in the event of an allergic reaction. Onions also have mustard oils that contain a chemical compound called isothiocyanates, which are found to combat inflammation as well in laboratory animals.

    Onions, spicy mustard and chillies also aid the release of fluids that thin the body’s mucus, Reader’s Digest said.

    The Allergy and Asthma Cure: A Complete 8-Step Nutritional Program, a book penned by Dr. Fred Pascatore, also recommends a few home-made soup recipes that include onions and a wide range of spices for asthma relief. One recipe for example, Blackbean Soup with Avocado Salsa, uses onions, bay leaf, garlic, celery, and cayenne pepper.

    For soups made from the freshest ingredients, try The Original Soupman ( http://originalsoupman.com/menus ) variants such as the Manhattan Clam Chowder, Jambalaya and Tomato Zucchini. Most of Soupman’s soup recipes include staple ingredients like onions, garlic, peppers, celery, carrots, and corn which are rich in anti-inflammatory compounds, proteins, vitamins and minerals.

    Gluten-free varieties such Vegetarian Chili, Tomato Basil, Butternut Squash, Garden Vegetable and Lentil soups are also available for those with gluten sensitivities.

    In related news, an ongoing study conducted by researchers from the University of Aberdeen and the Baxter Food Group in Scotland aimed to prove whether soups fortified with Vitamin E could reduce a child’s risk of developing asthma.

    The pilot study, which was first reported by Medical News Today, aimed to develop three soups flavors made from ingredients with high vitamin E levels such as beans, tomatoes, lentils, sunflower oil and wheat-germ, and to find whether increasing the recommended vitamin E intake of pregnant women by 15mg using soups would benefit them and their unborn child.
    Results from the study are yet to be announced. Previous studies suggest that soups like chicken soups can help soothe respiratory tract infection symptoms.

    The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America report that 60 million people or 1 out of 5 Americans suffer from asthma and allergies in the US annually, even surpassing the number of people afflicted with Parkinson's, Alzheimer’s, stroke, cancer, coronary heart disease and diabetes many times over.

    The foundation also said that 44,000 people experience asthma attacks; 27,000 people miss work due to asthma; and 9 people are killed by asthma every day.

    The American Lung Association states that many treatment options are available for asthma. It is important for patients to note however that each form of treatment or medicine works differently, and may or may not be the right fit for them.

    The association lists bronchodilators like anti-inflammatory medicines (i.e. corticosteroids or steroids) which open up the airways, antibiotics and vaccines against flu and pneumonia as effective treatments to combat asthma.
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