19. Magnesium – It along with selenium helps relax the bronchial tubes and open up airways. Food sources include avocados, bananas, citrus fruits, sweet corn, beans, wheat germ, nuts and seeds, raisins, broccoli, garlic, onions, aubergines, carrots, tomatoes, dark green leafy vegetables, potato skins.
20. Lycopene – It protects white blood cells from damage by free radicals and is beneficial in relieving cough symptoms. It is found in tomatoes and tomato products, beans, bright coloured berries, plums, apricots, watermelon, prunes, pink or red grapefruit, guava, red pepper, red wine.
21. Caffeine – Caffeine has high content of antioxidants, which prevents damage by free radicals. Drunk in moderation (2-3 cups a day), coffee and tea, especially green, can reduce the risk of many diseases including asthma. Caffeine helps to dilate the airways, relax the bronchial tubes and protects against inflammation. However, excessive caffeine can increase the heart rate and blood pressure!
22. Fruits and Vegetables – Fruits and vegetables are full of antioxidants and should be eaten liberally. Take mixed juice of (i) carrots, beetroot and cabbage; (ii) leafy vegetables; (iii) potatoes and red apples; (iv) garlic and papaya.
Home Remedies with Herbs and Spices
23. Onions, Ginger and Garlic – (i) For respiratory problems, cough and cold mix equal quantities of onion juice, ginger juice and honey and take one teaspoon 3-4 times daily; (ii) Tea made with ginger, lemon and honey is useful for controlling cough and catarrh and loosening phlegm; (iii) To fight seasonal allergies ginger can be boiled in tea or taken as decoction along with basil (tulsi), liquorice (mulathee), caraway seeds (ajwain), cloves and black pepper – even better with honey also; (iv) A teaspoon of ginger juice mixed with a decoction of fenugreek (methi) and honey acts as an excellent expectorant; (v) A teaspoon of ginger paste mixed with an equal amount of honey or juice of basil (tulsi) leaves to be taken once every night for a month; (vi) Ten garlic cloves boiled in 30 ml of milk daily for one month is helpful in early stages of asthma; (vii) Ginger tea with two or three crushed garlic cloves to be taken in the morning and evening; (viii) Home-made garlic syrup is good expectorant