Episode # 7. Food and Your Breathing
Hi, welcome to episode seven that is all about food and your breathing.
Professor Buteyko included advice on diet for people learning to improve their breathing. He found that a number of common foods tended to increase the patient’s breathing rate; they included dairy food such as cottage cheese, yogurt, ice cream and milk; stimulants such as strong tea, coke, coffee, alcohol and cocoa; other foods such as chocolate, honey, raspberries, strawberries, fish, chicken, nuts and beef, chicken or fish stock. However, when this research was conducted in Russia, the diet of most people was much simpler than today’s Western diet. In the West today our consumption of meat, dairy and processed foods is far greater and the link between our food and our breathing has become much more important.
My research over the past two years has led me to believe there is a strong relationship between our diet and our breathing.
Chronic hidden hyperventilation is related to stress, diet and bad breathing habits, but diet appears to be a major factor, perhaps because a stressful lifestyle usually leads to bad eating habits, as well as directly affecting breathing due to the fight/flight responses to stressors.
I believe this is so important that I have advised all Buteyko Educators to screen their patients for diet before teaching them to improve their breathing.
I use a simple screening method that is well established and used by many doctors in the USA called the “4LeafSurvey”. It is based on just twelve questions about your normal eating habits and will give you a good estimate of the percentage calories you are getting from whole plant foods as opposed to meat, dairy and other foods.
I would strongly advise you to check your diet this way. You can do this online at www.4LeafSurvey.com. [HERE ](http://
I have included in the notes that go with this episode a table that shows the range of Control Pause associated with the 4LeafSurvey Score:
4LeafSurvey Score..........Range of Control Pause
-40 to -30 ......................... 10 to 22
-30 to -20......................... 12 to 25
-20 to -10 ......................... .15 to 27
-10 to 0 ......................... ..17 to 30
0 to 10 ......................... 20 to 33
10 to 20 ......................... 23 to 35
20 to 30 ......................... 25 to 38
30 to 40 ....................... 28 to 40
Note: Asthmatics will usually have a lower control pause than indicated in the table above simply because of their condition.
The good news is that as you improve your breathing you will also begin to improve your diet. The reverse is also true and anyone wanting to improve their diet to help improve their breathing should check out my website TotalHealthMatters HERE
Initially the key foods that seem to worsen our breathing are all dairy foods, excessive amounts of animal based foods and refined processed foods as well as sugary drinks or any drinks containing caffein.
You can test whether any food has an adverse effect on your breathing and health using the Control Pause as a measuring tool.
You can test for an allergic reaction or food intolerance reaction by taking your control pause, eating a small amount of the food to be tested, then after waiting a few minutes re-check your control pause and twenty minutes later again check your control pause. If the control pause stays unchanged then this food is unlikely to be a problem for you, if your control pause falls by over five seconds after just a few minutes this food may be giving you an allergic reaction but if there is no change until twenty minutes have passed and then your control pause has dropped by over five seconds, you may have a food intolerance to this food. You can also use your pulse to confirm these findings when a significantly raised pulse after just minutes would confirm a allergic reaction and no change until after twenty minutes would confirm a food intolerance.
It is of interest to note that the early discoveries about food allergy by a Dr. Richard Mackarness was based on the pulse test; the control pause offers an even more sensitive testing system.
The next episode will be about Step Exercises and the Extended Pause.
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