Asthma Episode # 7. 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 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 the 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 would advise 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 give a good estimate of the percentage calories you are getting from whole plants as opposed to meat, dairy and other foods.
I would strongly advise you to check your diet this way. You can do this online HERE
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:
4LS Score -40 to -30 (CP 16) Range (10 tp 22)
-30 to -20 (CP 19) Range (12 to 25)
-20 to -10 (CP 21) Range (15 tp 28)
-10 to 0 (CP 24) Range (17 to 30)
0 to +10 (CP 26) Range (19 to 32)
+10 to +20 (CP 29) Range (23 to35)
+20 to +30 (CP 32) Range ( 25 to 37)
Most asthmatics will 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 should check out my website HERE
If you haven't purchased my new book "Better Breathing Means Better Health" you will find it useful for recording your exercises and as a reference book HERE
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