Health benefits of tea
Health

HEALTH BENEFITS OF TEA.

From its origin in China, tea has found its way to the palates of millions of people worldwide to become the most popularly consumed beverage in the world, only next to water.

 As a refreshing drink to quench your thirst on a sunny day, or a hot mug to keep you warm on a cold day, tea could be taken plain, sweetened, or flavored. It has been consumed for centuries and continues to be taken in its various forms.

Tea is a product of the Camellia Sinensis plant. The chemical composition, botanical variety, mode of production (how it is processed), place of origin, all determine the end product, whether it be black tea, green tea, oolong tea, or white tea.

TYPES OF TEA

Black Tea.

Black tea is made with fermented, fully oxidized tea leaves. It contains more caffeine than other types of tea and is the most widely consumed. Flavored tea are all variants of black tea.

black tes
Image by pasja1000 from Pixabay

Green Tea.

The tea leaves are processed in a way that it does not get oxidized. They are the least processed and contain more polyphenols, less caffeine, and produce lighter tea.

Image by apple deng from Pixabay

White Tea.

Tea leaves used in making white tea are unprocessed and unfermented. They are dried until flaky. White tea is very similar to green tea but has different properties.

Oolong Tea.

This type of tea is neither black nor green, possessing characteristics of both. They are mostly made from partially oxidized camellia leaves that are dried under the sun, curled and frosted.

Image by Séverine Boucheron from Pixabay

Pu-erh Tea.

This is a type of black tea made from old and fermented leaves.

Herbal Tea.

These are made from spices, herbs, fruits, seeds, and roots of plants such as ginger, garlic, turmeric, etc.

All these teas contain different levels of ingredients and are therefore different health benefits.

Health Benefits of Tea

Studies have shown that tea possesses many health benefits being that it is rich in a wide range of flavonoids and polyphenols. The amount of active nutrients contained in a cup depends on the age of the tea, how it is stored, brewed, and served. The longer the seeping time, the more polyphenols released.

Some of the many health benefits of tea are:

Tea is a Great Source of Antioxidants.

When the body breaks down food or is exposed to harmful toxins such as tobacco smoke, fume, or radiation, it produces molecules known as free radicals. Free radicals can cause damage when they get too much in the body and may cause heart disease, cancer, and other diseases. Antioxidants are those substances that protect the cells of the body against free radicals. Tea contains Polyphenols which are powerful antioxidants. Polyphenols such as thearubigins, catechins, and theaflavins make up the antioxidants in tea and are effective in detoxifying the cells, thereby reducing risks of contracting diseases.

2. Tea May Lower Blood Sugar.

Consuming excess processed sugar elevates the sugar levels in the body. When your sugar level is too high, Insulin which is produced to convert sugar to energy cannot convert it anymore so the excess sugar is stored as fat. This leads to type 2 diabetes.

Research has it that tea can improve insulin sensitivity, and may also act to protect pancreatic cells and reduce inflammation-causing diabetes.

The study further shows that tea contains anti-diabetic effects. That is to say, the polyphenols in tea such as catechins, flavonols, theaflavins, and thearubigins have the possibility to reduce the risk of diabetes and its complications.

It also protects against diabetes by activating insulin pathways, enhancing insulin action, removing insulin resistance protecting cells, fighting off free radicals, and reducing inflammation.

 3. Tea Is Anti-inflammatory

Inflammation is the body’s natural response to disease-causing agents. Sometimes, the body mistakes its own cells and tissues for intruders and attacks it. When this happens, it causes several chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart diseases, arthritis, obesity, and others.

Anti-inflammation is the property of a substance that reduces inflammation. Tea contains such properties which act as anti-inflammatory agents such as epigallocatechin–3-gallate (EGCG) in green tea.  EGCG has been shown to be a powerful anti-inflammatory agent, more powerful than vitamin C.  This active ingredient acts against a variety of inflammation-related diseases by suppressing the protein causing inflammation.

4. Tea My Help Prevent Cancer as it contains Anti-Cancer Agents.

Regular consumption of tea may reduce the risks of cancer. The polyphenols in tea contain antioxidants and other properties that may help prevent cancer. ECG inhibits the formation of new blood vessels of tumor cells thereby preventing them from becoming cancerous. It also stops blood flow to the tumor and increases normal cell growth, protects against damage caused by ultraviolet radiation. Green tea also activates detoxification enzymes that may help protect against tumor development and formation.

5. Tea Promotes Dental Health.

Surprised?

Tea is a great source of naturally occurring fluoride which acts to protect the enamel and prevent cavity (tooth decay). The antioxidants contained in tea reduces bacterial concentration in the mouth. Green tea helps promote the body’s inflammatory response to oral bacteria, fighting off decay.

6. Tea is Good for the Brain

EGCG found in tea helps protect brain cells against damage. It reduces the production of proteins that forms the plaques that clog the brain, especially in Alzheimer victims. Its antioxidant properties also help prevent brain cell damage. A study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found that green tea can enhance the brain’s cognitive functions, especially the working memory. It also boosts

7. Tea May Prevent Arthritis

Green tea may help prevent and mitigate the risks of rheumatoid arthritis. The fluoride content in tea not only preserve the dental cavity, but it also preserves bone density, keeping the bones strong. The anti-inflammatory agents in tea also act against inflammation which causes arthritis.

8. Tea Helps Keep Calories Away.

Tea polyphenols increase the number of kilocalories the body uses per time, i.e. it increases calorie expenditure) and reduce body fat. A study found that those who consumed 6 cups of green tea daily over a period of 12 weeks had less body fat and weight than those who did not. Tea also promotes fat oxidation and has thermogenic properties. The caffeine and catechins polyphenols contained in green tea increases fat oxidation.

9. It May Improve Gut Health.

A healthy gut is vital to an individual’s wellbeing. Tea promotes gut health through its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. 1000Ml (about 4-5 cups) of green tea daily may positively modify gut bacteria.

10. Tea May Be Excellent For Your Heart (Cardiovascular Health)

Consuming tea reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, especially stroke. It slightly lowers bad cholesterol, blood pressure, inflammation, and inhibits blood clotting. Tea is rich in antioxidants, which fight disease-causing free radicals. These antioxidants, reduce oxidative stress, one of the major triggers of heart disease. It also improves blood circulation in the body, widens the arteries, and reduces risks of clots.

Now you understand the many health benefits of tea, grab a cuppa and enjoy . . . Cheers, to your health!!

teenage pregnancy and mental health
Health

Teenage Pregnancy and Mental Health.

How to Safeguard The Mental Health Of Your Pregnant Teen

When teenage pregnancy occurs, it impacts much more than a teen’s physical, social, and religious life; her mental health is also at risk. Teenage pregnancy here refers to a child between the ages of 13 – 19 who falls pregnant (mostly out of wedlock).

 At this stage (teenage/adolescence), girls are undergoing puberty. Bodily changes happen so fast, leaving them confused, what with the mood swings, irritable facial breakouts, monthly menstrual flow, breast growth, hip enlargement, and hormonal turmoil.

Teenagers are more conscious of their appearances during puberty and have an increasing need for acceptance amongst their peers. This need for acceptance makes them vulnerable to peer group influence. It is under this influence that most teens experiment with sex and subsequently fall pregnant.

They engage in sex and substance abuse because they feel a need for social acceptance and inclusion, without much thought to the consequences. When pregnancy occurs, they are taken aback and spiral into a ball of emotions: fear, confusion, anxiety, shame, unworthiness, which is made worse if the owner of the pregnancy is not supportive. This emotional turmoil affects their mental health negatively.

What is Mental Health?

Mental health involves an individual’s emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing. it affects how we think, feel, and act and is also a determinant of how we handle stress, interpersonal relationships, and choices. Teenage pregnancy is a major cause of mental health problems or disorders.

For a better understanding of mental health, we need to take a look at what normal and unstable mental health is. Stable or normal state of Mental health, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) is ”a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.

The World Health Organization further defines mental disorders as including a large range of problems, with different symptoms, which are generally characterized by a combination of abnormal thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and relationships with others.

Examples of mental health disorders include Clinical Depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Post Partum Depression, Substance Abuse, Suicidal Thoughts and Tendencies, Schizophrenia, maniac

STATISTICS

All over the world, it is not uncommon for teenagers to get pregnant out of wedlock, either by choice, mistake, or force. It is a universal phenomenon defying ethnicity, tribe, or race.

Research has it that pregnant teenagers are more at risk of mental health challenges than more mature, married women. The study documents that the rate of depression among teen moms are estimated at between 16% and 44%, a far cry from between 5%  and 20% among non-pregnant teens and pregnant adult women. This is quite alarming. Pregnant teens should, therefore, be properly cared for, with particular attention given to their mental health.

Prevalent Mental Health Disorders Among Teen Moms.

Depression or Major Depressive Disorder.

This is a medical condition that causes feelings of sadness and loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities. It is an illness that negatively affects how one feels, thinks, and acts. It is characterized by

  • Feelings of sadness, worthlessness, shame, fear, isolation, guilt
  • Loss of interest in favorite activities, people and places
  • Amnesia and/or oversleeping
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Difficulty in thinking, concentration, coordination
  • Sluggishness
  • Loss of interest in personal hygiene and grooming
  • Isolation

These symptoms which are first noticed by close friends, family, and caregivers, must generally persist for more than two weeks to be termed depression.

Peripartum Depression (Prenatal and Post Partum). 

Peripartum depression is related to pregnancy, occurring during pregnancy or after childbirth. This means that prior to pregnancy; the teen had no history of depression. It is a serious condition that is detrimental to both mother and child, born and unborn. For peripartum depression, symptoms include in addition to those of depression, fear of harming the baby, not being good enough as a mother, lack of interest in the baby, oneself and environment, unnecessary crying, eating disorder, and suicidal thoughts. Peripartum depression is not only harmful to the mother, but to the baby too. It limits bonding between mother and child, negatively affects mom’s physical care for her baby.

Substance Abuse.

Excessive intake and abuse of prescription drugs, intoxicating drugs, and alcoholic beverages such as marijuana, Cocaine, Heroin, and others during pregnancy and after childbirth affects the mental wellbeing of teen moms. Substance or hard drugs are taken out of habit, to douse pains, or to feel ‘high’ by pregnant teens who cannot cope with being pregnant. These substances when taken play tricks on the mind making the teen feel out of her body and world, temporarily easing her pains.

Suicidal Thoughts and Attempts.

This is where the pregnant teen or teen mom repeatedly thinks about taking her own life because she feels she cannot cope with her situation. She feels death will grant her solace and rest from her troubles and toys with the idea and means of ending her life. Sometimes, they go the extra mile and make an attempt to kill themselves with anything they believe will do it fast.

Causes of Mental Health Disorder amongst Pregnant Teenagers

Adolescence in itself is a very trying, luminal period in everyone’s life. A lot of confusing things happen almost at the same time which confounds the child. At this stage, the child is vulnerable to mental health challenges if adequate support is not available at home and school.

The causes of mental health disorders among pregnant young persons are

Poverty.

Poverty is a major cause of mental health disorders among teenagers. A study, The National Child Development Study Data between 1958 and 2008 by the Centre for Longitudinal Studies indicate that children from the lowest-income families are four times more likely (16%) to exhibit psychological problems than rich children (4%).  Poverty is associated with a lack of money in itself, and also a lack of basic amenities such as shelter, clothing, food, and qualitative education. Children know their parents are poor and struggle to meet their needs; this leads to self stigmatization and low self-esteem, social seclusion, bullying, and a feeling of shame. They are unsure of their future and feel useless about it. These are all triggers for mental health disorders if left unattended.

Substance Abuse.

Substance abuse is a major cause of mental health issues among teenagers, pregnant or no. it is a result of peer group influence, experimentation, a need to be high or habit. Adolescents who abuse drugs are more likely to be affected by mental health issues than their counterparts who are clean.

Migration, Natural, and Emergency Disasters.

Although humans are migratory in nature, forced migration due to war and other forms of extreme violence is traumatic. Children are uprooted from their comfort zones and taken to new environments where they are camped in dire situations in refugee camps. They feel lost and withdraw into their shells. The cause of migration, coupled with homelessness and the attitude of the people in their new environment can cause mental disorders.

Exposure to domestic, sexual, and gender-based violence.

Teenagers who are exposed to any form of extreme violence are more at risk of mental health disorders than their counterparts who have never experienced any form of extreme violence. Extreme violence is traumatic because it is shrouded in secrecy, threats, and shame. The developing mind of a teenager may not be able to contain all that thereby leading to some sort of mental disorder.

Lack of Adequate Social Support.

Social support is vital in maintaining stable mental health amongst pregnant teenagers and mothers. When a girl child falls pregnant, there is a tendency of her to be isolated and discriminated against. She is segregated from her mates, friends, church, and some times, family. This has an adverse effect on her mental health and should be discouraged. Pregnant teenagers need all the support they can get morally, socially, and otherwise in order to thrive mentally.

Illiteracy and Unemployment.

Teenage pregnancy is more likely to occur amongst families living in low-income areas, who are also not educated.

Caring for a baby. Caring for a baby is a stressor that can overwhelm an adolescent’s mind. They worry about how to provide and care for the baby, the sleepless nights, not having a life of their own after childbearing, and many are ashamed of their babies. The stress of caring for a baby is more when the mother is alone without much assistance.  This could take a toll on her mental health.

How to Safeguard the Mental Health of Your Pregnant Teenager.

How then, do you as a caregiver safeguard the mental health of your teenager? As a caregiver or mother/family of a pregnant teen, it is imperative that you provide her with all the support you can offer, bearing in mind that she is going through tough times being pregnant. What do you do?

1. Accept Her. As painful and disappointing as it may be that your daughter falls pregnant as a teenager, you have to accept her. She should in no case be thrown out of the home to go live on her own. Accept the fact that she made the mistake, forgive her and take her in. by accepting her; you must not berate her every day for her mistake. Make her feel safe and loved, gently admonishing her against future mistakes. Do not force her to have an abortion or give up the child for adoption against her will. It could lead to long-lasting trauma.

2. Listen to her. Whenever she feels like talking about how she feels being pregnant, listen to her. She might spill her gut feelings in such discussions from which you will understand her fears and challenges.

3. Support Her. Support is her greatest need during this time. Adequate, positive parental support provides a psychological safe haven for her. Be her social support, psychological support, physical, emotional, and spiritual support. Make her feel loved. Support her financially if need be and be there for her when the baby comes. Let her see that you love and care for her and are not angry.

4. Know the signs of mental health disorder. Know the signs so that you can recognize them when you see them in your pregnant teenager. If noticed, try talking to her and if it gets beyond you, get help immediately.

5. Get help. Mental health problems should not be something to be ashamed of, because it is a treatable condition. Immediately an adverse behavior is seen in a pregnant teen, seek help. Help could be medical, psychological, spiritual, or anyone you are comfortable with. Don’t be ashamed to talk to a professional about it in order to control the situation before it gets more serious.

asthma exercise keeps fit
Health

Exercise And Asthma

Asthma is a disease condition of the airways and lungs that presents as wheezing while breathing, dry cough, and eventually shortness of breath and choking. It is currently incurable, treatment is aimed at managing symptoms, reducing incidences of occurrence, hospitalization and use of medications. It can also be controlled with a change of lifestyle.

Regular exercise is one of the lifestyle changes that help control asthma. Since asthma and exercise affects breathing, is it advisable to get involved in it you might be wondering? Can exercise really be beneficial to you? Yes, it benefits you more than living a sedentary lifestyle which in no time makes regular activities like walking, stairs climbing, lawn mowing, and so forth a task.

Studies have shown that regular exercise is beneficial to the health and proper functioning of people living with asthma. Some of such benefits are:

It boosts the Immune System.

According to a research paper by James E. Turner and John P. Cambell, exercise, contrary to some studies does not suppress but rather boosts the immune system. In this article, it is reported that when you are involved in a low intensity exercise such as brisk walking, jogging, and bike riding for about 30 minutes, the body senses it as a physiological stressors and releases specialized immune cells (mostly T-cells) from all over the body into the blood stream. They circulate in the body during exercise, detect and destroy pathogens in the body. These immune cells are released more than normal during exercise.

After exercise, these cells start to reduce in the bloodstream, going below resting level. This is why scientist think the immune system is suppressed) but they are not actually inactive, rather deployed to other parts of the body such as the lungs, liver, heart, intestines, to other parts where infections could be found and eliminated.

The more regularly you exercise, the more these cells are released for an immune boost.

Exercise Helps Your Lungs Work Better

Not only does Exercise build up the physical muscles and strength, it also strengthens the lungs.  During exercise, your body works harder, using more energy.  It uses up more energy and releases more carbon(iv)oxide. To keep up with this, the body needs more oxygen. In order for the body to secure more oxygen, there’s an increase in breathing, a function of the lungs, assisted by the heart. Breathing increases from about 15 times per Minutes (12 liters of air) when inactive to about 40-60 times per minute (100 liters of air) while exercising. The lungs inhale oxygen and exhale carbon(iv)oxide, while the heart pumps oxygen to the muscles involved in the exercise. This way, the lungs are built up, more than if you are not exercising. It also stores up a reservoir of air so that although you might be short of breath, you cannot be out of breath. 

It keeps the extra weight off

Asthma is more common among obese than normal body weight individuals. Obesity increases the rates of asthma occurrence, use of medications, hospitalization and risks associated with asthma. Regular exercise, not only helps you lose weight and keep it off, but helps to improve your lung function, airways responsiveness to medication, reduces the severity of asthma and use of medications.  Keeping fit via regular exercise restores physical functions and generally makes you healthier.

Having laid this foundation, what then are the best exercises for people living with asthma?

Asthma Best Exercises

Not every exercise is ideal for asthmatics. Before you get started, consult your doctor. Work from bottom up, increasing the length and intensity of your work out as your strength increases. The best exercises for asthma are low-intensity exercises that allow you take periodic breaks. Exercises that could possibly expose you to your triggers and those done under extreme weather conditions such as ice hockey, cross country skiing, ice skating, and so forth should be avoided. Some of the best exercises for asthma are

Yoga.

yoga helps with asthma

Yoga is a gentle, ancient sports with diverse benefits. It tones the muscles, controls the mind, and helps with breathing through useful breathing exercises called pranayama. These breathing exercises help improve lung function, while certain poses such as the cobra pose stretches the chest and diaphragm.

Swimming.

swimming is good for asthma

Water sports is safe for asthma. The inhaled air is moist and devoid of debris. It is also a leisurely activity that can be done at your own pace. Asthmatics, such as Michael Phelps have gone on to have successful careers as swimmers.

Walking.

walking helps with asthma. it is a good exercise if you have asthma

Walking is a low intensity exercise which involves every muscle in the body. It is recommended you take a walk for at least 30 minutes, 5 times a week. You could take leisurely or brisk walks, alone or with someone. Another great benefit of walking is that it can be done with or without an exercise equipment, outdoors or indoors. When the weather is good and dust/pollen free, short, outdoor walks are recommended. This enables your lungs take in bouts of fresh air as you walk. Using a treadmill indoors during bad weather serves the same purpose.

Breathing Exercises.

breathing is an exercise for asthma. It helps take in fresh air, ideal for asthmatics

Asthmatics take in shorter and more breaths than people who do not have asthma. They also have the tendency to be mouth breathers. Breathing through the mouth takes in cold, dry, unfiltered air into the lungs which can possibly trigger asthmatic attacks therefore consciously learning how to breathe helps a great deal with asthma. These exercises are simple and easy to learn.

  • Short Distance Racing. Short distance races such as the 100meters race is ideal for people with asthma. This involves a burst of energy for a short while and then you take a rest. Sports which involve running around with intermittent breaks like football and basketball is also great. Did you know? David Beckham has asthma and has gone on to be the greatest in his field. Can you beat that?
  • Biking. Leisurely biking is a refreshing exercise too. Take short rides, not exceeding your endurance limit will keep you fit and help control your asthma.

Tips For Exercising With Asthma

You are all excited and ready to set off, but hold on, read this first. Before you start any exercise, if you love or need exercise, Asthma should not deter you. If you want to pursue a career in sports, it is very possible as we have seen before. In all cases of asthma, including exercise induced asthma,

  • Seek your doctor’s advice and approval before you commence.
  • Use your medication as prescribed and keep them handy
  • Start slowly and scale up
  • Observe your symptoms and stop if it gets worse
  • Let the team know you are asthmatic. Brief them on the types of medications you use and how to administer them in case of emergency

lifestyle changes to help control asthma
Health

10 Lifestyle Changes To Manage Control Asthma

Asthma is incurable. Available treatments are aimed at management, reducing incidences and severity of occurrence, use of medications, and hospitalizations. That is why asthmatics should seek ways of living long, almost normal, healthy lives through exercise, holistic diet, and life style changes.

What is Asthma?

Asthma is a disease condition affecting the airways and lungs. It is an inflammation of the airways which carry oxygen to the lungs, making it too narrow for air to pass through.

People living with Asthma have very sensitive airways that are easily irritated by what is known as asthma triggers. These triggers are substances such as mold, dust, smoke, strong smells of chemicals, pollen, animal fur, alcohol, certain foods such as fish, shelled foods, and so on, (it varies from person to person) which when inhaled irritates the airways.

When an asthmatic is exposed to triggers, the airways get irritated, swollen and narrow. At this point the body also produces more mucous, which further makes the passage of oxygen and carbon dioxide difficult. The narrowing of the airways makes it difficult for oxygen to pass into the lungs as it should. The patient therefore has difficulty in breathing as the chest tightens. This further leads to reduced intake of oxygen which could cause fainting or worse still, death if not promptly attended to.

Asthma presents with symptoms such as:

  • Tightening of the chest (airways)  causing difficulty in breathing
  • Breathing with wheezing sound
  • Cough
  • Running nose
  • Increased body temperature
  • Sweating
  • In extreme cases, fainting

Though an incurable health condition, one can lead a normal, healthy, and productive life with proper management and a healthy life style. Proper management of asthma reduces incidence of occurrence, cost of management, loss of time due to hospital stay, and increases overall productivity.

Certain lifestyle changes can aid proper asthma control and management. Lifestyles that trigger asthma could be replaced by healthier ones. These lifestyle changes are analyzed in this article.

1.    Avoid Smoking

Smoking is dangerous to the health of people who have asthma. This is so because when tobacco enters the airways, it irritates it, causes swelling and causes the lungs to produce more mucus than necessary. This tightens the airways and causes an asthmatic attack. This is not limited to only direct smoking, second hand smoke may trigger asthma. Second hand smoking is inhaling cigarette smoke from someone else.

To avoid cigarette smoke, you have to stop smoking. If you are not a smoker, ensure you are not caught up in the same space with one. Look out for places with the no smoking sign if your state does not have a ban in place for smoking in public.

2. Use Clean Pillows.

Pillows are cloth bags stuffed with fiber, foam, soft feathers or pieces of clothes, used to support the head and neck during sleep or relaxation. This makes sleep more comfortable, relaxing and encourages ease of blood flow. Overtime, the stuffing gets dirty with dirt from pillow handling, hair cream, dust, spillage, sweat, breast milk (in cases of breast feeding mothers). When an asthmatic sleeps on such a pillow and inhales dust or fiber, it triggers asthma. Pillows therefore should not be used for too long; one to two years is an ideal lifespan of a pillow with intermittent washing every six months. You should wash the whole pillow, stuffing’s and all every six months. Pillow cases should be washed at least weekly and the pillow aired regularly, especially if the user uses strong, scented hair creams. Ensure the inner stuffing is well secured and not leaking to avoid direct inhaling of foam or fiber particles.

3. Avoid Hairy, Fluffy Toys and Rugs

Fluffy toys and rugs are a no-no for asthmatics. The fiber strands are so tiny they could easily be inhaled. These strands get stuck in the airways and obstruct its operations. It could get entangled and cause wheezing while breathing. Apart from strands of fiber stuffing being breathed in, such toys trap dust particles which when inhaled trigger asthmatic attacks. Smooth toys should replace fluffy and hairy ones. Where Rugs cannot be completely removed, go for smooth rugs which do not shed fiber. It should be vacuumed and air dried outside regularly to avoid accumulation of dust. Even when it is vacuumed regularly, avoid lying down on the rug without a sheet as much as you can.

4. Clean your Apartment Regularly to Remove Dust

A dusty environment will trigger asthmatic attacks; there are no two ways about that. Dust is a major trigger of asthmatic attacks and should be avoided at all cost. When dust enters the airways, it causes irritation and inflammation. Some people react immediately by continuous sneezing. This most times degenerates to asthmatic attacks. The home should be cleaned and dusted regularly with natural, odorless cleaning agents. Areas such as under furniture and room corners should be swept and kept neat. Remember also to mop with clean water and mildly scented natural floor cleaning agents. Avoid clutter that might harbor dust. Throw out unused items around the house, especially furniture and books. Wear face masks if you must clean or go into dusty places like the cellar or old, stuffy library.

5. Avoid Harsh Scents and Perfumes

Harsh scents and perfumes should be completely avoided as they irritate the linings of the airways. Strong smell of petrol (gas), cooking gas, hair creams, fried foods are all asthma triggers. These smells contaminate oxygen and make it more difficult to breathe in. Mild scents and perfumes should be applied. Water based body sprays and deodorants should replace the aerosol type. Holistic body care products should be considered over chemical products.

6. Avoid Exposure to Household Chemicals

Household chemicals such as insect repellents, house and furniture cleaners, and pest repellents with strong, choking smells should be avoided. Particles of these chemicals get stuck in the airways and accumulate overtime, bringing on full blown attacks. Replace strong smelling insecticides with odorless ones and where that is not obtainable, get someone else to apply the chemicals and stay out for some time until the smell clears off. Leave windows open after the use of household chemicals for proper ventilation. It is a better option to replace all chemical household cleaning agents with pure organic ones.

7. Eat Healthy

Food could worsen or improve asthmatic conditions. Over feeding, a condition whereby the stomach is too full of food, tight and hard to the touch causes uneasiness and shortage of breath. This is because the full stomach presses on the diaphragm making it difficult for it to rise and fall. Food  therefore should be eaten in moderation especially foods which causes bloating such as beans, lentils, certain spices, etc In cases where the asthmatic is allergic to certain foods such as peanut, fish, etc, those foods should be completely removed from the menu. Find foods that are safe and healthy and eat those in moderation. Avoid eating late at night or shortly before bed time. Eat at least an hour and a half before going to bed at night.

8. Exercise Regularly

If your asthma is not exercise induced, mild, regular exercises could be your ticket to a healthier life. Regular exercise opens up the airways, expands the lungs, balances the body’s metabolism and helps blood circulate faster. Introduce mild exercises to your daily routine. Use the stairs instead of the elevator. Cycle short distances instead of driving. Don’t wear yourself out during workouts. Stop and take regular breaks at intervals. Exercises that allow one take short breaks and control your tempo are better for asthmatics. Exercises such as swimming, cycling, jogging and the like are best for you.

9. Maintain a Healthy Body Weight

Your body weight says a lot about your general state of health. Excess cholesterol in the system is not good. Cut down on fatty foods and exercise regularly to maintain a healthy weight.  Learn breathing techniques to help you breathe better from experts and yoga practitioners if you are overweight.

10. Inhale Fresh Air

Fresh air is of immense benefit to the lungs. It detoxifies the respiratory system. Sleep in naturally ventilated spaces, rather than air-conditioned rooms. Open the windows, especially early in the mornings when the air is still fresh and let it in. While driving, wind down the windshields rather than use air conditioners all the way.

With these lifestyle changes, you are bound to live healthier, reducing the occurrence of asthmatic attacks.