EAT PLENTY OF
CUT DOWN ON
Alcohol and caffeine
Smoking, which is particularly harmful to people with bronchitis
There are two forms of bronchitis- chronic and acute, the chronic forms is more common in Britain than anywhere else in the world and is often the result of smoking. In the UK it is the second most frequent cause of lost working days—30 million are lost each year. Yet it is known that the condition can be alleviated by giving up smoking and adopting a sensible diet.
INVADING A WEAK SYSTEM
Acute bronchitis is almost always a secondary infection; bacteria invade when someone is already weakened by a cold or flu virus. Asthma sufferers and others with lung problems, the elderly, very small children and babies, and also smokers, are its most likely victims. The resulting persistent cough, wheezing and shortness of breath, together with green or yellow phlegm are common symptoms of acute bronchitis. If this is not treated, it may develop into Pneumonia.
Bouts of chronic bronchitis often recur year after year; some of its symptoms can be experienced almost daily. Sufferers endure repeated fits of coughing and may also produce copious amounts ofphlegm.
If you have chronic bronchitis, you might want to experiment with different food choices to see if changes to your diet make any difference in your symptoms. As you do this, keep a careful record of how you are feeling.
A healthy diet will help to strengthen the body’s natural resistance. Adequate intakes of vitamins A and C as well as zinc are needed for the proper functioning of the immune system. Carrots, spinach, spring onions, leeks and cantaloupe melon provide plenty of beta carotene (the plant form of vitamin A), which is also known to help lung conditions. A combination of beet root juice, carrot and spinach juice, if consumed everyday can help. To shore up the immune system, drink this blend or other freshjuices several times a day!
A small portion of liver each week is another good source of vitamin A (but should not be eaten duringpregnancy). Fresh fruit and vegetables are vital for vitamin C. Shellfish (particularly oysters), pumpkin seeds and lean beef all supply dietary zinc. Oily fish are thought to have an anti-inflammatory effect in the lungs. Fish for one can help you see the end of the tunnel. The iodine in fish acts as sodium chloride mixed in water that you use for gargling, washing out traces of cough and phlegm from your system.
Cayenne pepper can help you when you have bronchitis. Cayenne helps break up the congestion and may help you get quicker relief.
Drinking chicken soup is an excellent way to break up congestion, and while we are talking about congestion, we must not forget that what may seem as a simple cough congestion, can turn into some serious Bronchitis and even Asthma.
Another food you should eat when you have bronchitis is garlic, which has natural antiviral and antibacterial qualities.
High intakes of fats and sugars should be avoided because they tend to displace more nourishing foods that contain the micronutrients needed to support the immune system. Too much alcohol or coffee will also inhibit the immune system since, to cleanse their toxins from the blood, the liver has to draw on extra micronutrients, thus depleting the body’s reserves. Stay away from dairy products. They are mucus producing and may aggravate your condition.
The immune system can be damaged by exposure to heavy metals such as lead and cadmium. It is therefore important to avoid food which may come from areas affected by traffic pollution. Foods that are high in cadmium include commercially produced mushrooms grown in manure, kidneys from mature animals, and shellfish caught in waters that have been exposed to industrial pollution.
TO BREATHE MORE FREELY
As a fragrant alternative to the many chemical decongestants now available, aromatherapy can offer natural inhalants such as the essential oils of eucalyptus, hyssop and sandalwood,
Eucalyptus oil is particularly good for relieving congestion and clearing the head. Hyssop is also a decongestant and sandal wood is a relaxant that helps to ease muscular or nervous tension.
To inhale, pour a few drops of each onto a paper towel, or add them to a bowl of hot (but not boiling) water using the following proportions: three of eucalyptus to two of hyssop and two of sandal wood.
As a massage apply the oils in the ratio of 15:10:5. Other helpful oils include cajuput, niaouli and pine.
The practice of Pranayam and Breathing exercises earliest in the morning can also gradually help reduce the severity of the situation.