Nutritional therapy can help people with asthma by removing all possible food allergens, fortifying against certain vitamin or mineral deficiencies, and fighting off colds or other infections. A vegan diet, which contains no animals products whatsoever (including milk and eggs), can prevent some asthma attacks. Swedish researchers followed a group of asthma sufferers who were dissatisfied with the success of conventional therapies and wanted to try a vegan diet of mainly raw foods. Nine patients dropped out after two months, but for the 24 who stayed with the diet for one year, 92 percent reported an improvement or complete elimination of symptoms.
Large doses of vitamin C can strengthen the immune system and may even prevent the airways of the lungs from narrowing in response to an asthma trigger. Vitamin C is also valuable for its antioxidant properties, as are vitamin E, beta-carotene, and the mineral selenium.
Also, the mineral magnesium may work to widen the airways. Bioflavonoids (hesparidin methyl chalcone and quercetin), vitamin B6, vitamin B12 (especially in children), and essential fatty acids can also be useful.
Increasing magnesium intake may be very helpful for some asthma sufferers. In the diet, the mineral is supplied by avocados, oatmeal, tofu, and other foods. It is difficult to get enough magnesium to be effective, though, so magnesium supplementation may be in order.