London: Daily intake of a healthy diet rich in protein, fruit and vegetables combined with proper exercise could help reduce symptoms and improve quality of life in people with the condition, according to a recent research.
Asthma is a common and long-term condition affecting around one in ten people in the western world. The majority of patients rely on daily medicine to control symptoms such as wheezing, chest pain and shortness of breath and many are wary of exercise, fearing that it could induce symptoms.
“There is increasing evidence that asthma patients who are obese can benefit from a better diet and increased exercise,” said Louise Lindhardt Toennesen from Bispebjerg University Hospital in Denmark.
For the study, presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress 2017 in Italy, the team worked with a group of 149 patients.
They were randomly assigned to one of four groups: one group was asked to follow a diet that was high in protein and with a low glycaemic index (low GI), another group took part in exercise classes three times a week, which included bursts of high intensity activity.
While the third group took part in the exercise classes and followed the diet, the remaining control group did neither.
The results showed that a combination of diet and exercise improved both symptom control and patients’ quality of life, as well as improved their level of fitness.
On average, those who took part in the exercise and followed the diet rated their asthma symptom score 50 per cent better compared to the control group.
“Our research suggests that people with asthma should be encouraged to eat a healthy diet and to take part in physical activity,” Toennesen noted.