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9 Things To Remember If You Love Someone With Asthma

9 Things To Remember If You Love Someone With Asthma

Does one of your friends or loved ones have asthma?  This can be a difficult condition to live with — both for the asthmatics and those who care about them. Read on to find out more about things you should remember if you love someone with this chronic condition.

They Can Be Embarrassed by their Condition

Most people with asthma have stories to tell about having an asthma attack at work or school or other public place.  These attacks are obvious and it can be very embarrassing for them when people stop and stare or stand around and don’t know what to do.  They also get frustrated if an attack happens at a very awkward moment, such as in the middle of a business meeting or their child’s recital at school.

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They Cannot Travel Light

People with asthma have a lot to remember before they leave the house in the morning — let alone going on a vacation or weekend jaunt.  Pill packs with asthma medications, inhalers and nebulizers all take up a lot of space and even an simple overnight trip can require a lot of planning.

They Usually Need to Go to the Doctor a Lot

Between flu shots, allergies shots and general check-ups, people with asthma can find themselves sitting in the waiting room of a clinic a lot more than the average person.  This can be frustrating — and can also cause problems at work about having to take time off for medical care if the boss is less than understanding.

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They Hate the Winter

It’s hard to going walking in a winter wonderland when the first breath of cold air sends your respiratory system into spasms. Even when they wrap up with a scarf over their mouths and noses, it can still be difficult just to get from the house to the car during the worse of the year’s cold weather.

They Also Hate Cold and Flu Season

For most people, getting a cold or the flu is a pain in the neck, but it is not something that they take very seriously.  For someone with asthma, however, these minor respiratory infections can turn quickly into something major and can take weeks to recover from – or even mean a stay at the hospital.

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They Want to Remind You to Watch What You Wear

When you live with or just hang out with someone who has asthma, be careful of what you wear in regards to personal care products.  That new mango-peach-vanilla lotion might smell great to you, but it can set off a potentially serious asthma attack. So be careful of things like perfume, hair sprays and deodorants, as these can all be a problem for asthmatics to be around.

They Are Not Sickly or Nerdy!

How many TV shows have portrayed people with asthma as either invalids or geeks sporting prominent pocket protectors?  The truth is that asthmatics are neither sickly nor nerdy — and are healthy apart from their respiratory condition.

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They Can Exercise

Many people assume that just because someone has asthma that they won’t be able to be active. As a matter of fact, though, exercise and activity are important parts of asthma treatment.  Many asthmatics have actually gone on to careers as professional athletes. They just have to be more careful, often treating themselves before practice and allowing for a warm-up and cool down.

They Have to Think About Breathing

This one might sound strange, because most people breathe without ever thinking about it — it just happens naturally. Asthmatics, on the other hand, have to be continually aware of their breathing and often have to monitor themselves in order to pick up on the signs of an oncoming flare-up.

In short, asthma presents some unique challenges to those who have it. However, it is good to remember that if you do love someone with asthma, they are also more than just their condition and that they can lead full and happy lives and pursue the same interests as everybody else.

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Brian Wu

Health Writer, Author

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Last Updated on August 12, 2019

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark Chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko Biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and Black Tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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