The Paleolithic diet has been popular for some time now, and some report interesting results – their asthma symptoms go away? Is this possible? Why might this happen? If you have asthma, this article is well worth reading.
In this article we will explore what the paleo diet is and how it might help reduce or eliminate asthma symptoms.
The Paleo Diet
According to Wikipedia:
The Paleolithic diet is a modern nutritional plan based on the presumed diet of Paleolithic humans. It is based on the premise that “if a caveman didn’t eat it, you shouldn’t eat it” since genetics have changed little since the dawn of agriculture, modern humans are adapted to the diet or diets of the Paleolithic period.
The diet typically consists of fish, grass-fed pasture-raised meats, eggs, vegetables, fruit, fungi, roots, and nuts, and excludes what are perceived to be agricultural products: grains, legumes, dairy products, potatoes, refined salt, refined sugar, and processed oils. It is argued that human populations subsisting today on diets thought to be similar to that of our Paleolithic ancestors are largely free of diseases of affluence.
The Paleolithic diet is also known as the “caveman diet”, “Stone Age diet”, and “hunter-gatherer diet”.
Does the paleo diet really work? How might this diet improve asthma?
Whether the basic premise of the paleo diet is correct or not, there definitely is a link to helping with asthma symptoms, so I would say the theory is at least partially correct.
The Gluten-Free Diet
One of the key feature of the paleolithic diet is no “agricultural products” including grains. This eliminates wheat, barely, oats and rye, the big glutenous four. It is important to understand that while someone may loosely adhere to the paleolithic diet, best results for eliminating gluten allergy or gluten sensitivity problems are realized by eliminating all gluten, all the time. There is lots of information about the gluten free diet on this website, and of course, all over the internet.
Gluten and Asthma
Gluten allergy and celiac disease have many symptoms, and asthma is one of them. This isn’t surprising, because if asthma is triggered by allergens, and you happen to be allergic to gluten, cutting gluten should help. The same goes for any other food. What is special about gluten however is that for some people at least, cutting out gluten seems to reduce or eliminate the effect of other asthma triggers.
Paleo Diet and Asthma
The entire paleo diet may not appeal to you, or may wear thin after awhile. It does force you to eat healthy, but it sure is a lot of work to follow, and means cutting out most foods that people commonly eat. You may want to mostly follow it some of the time or somewhat follow it most of the time, but you may find it a bit hard to be strict with.
If you have asthma and find the paleo diet helps, but can’t keep up the whole diet, I suggest you try being strict about the gluten-free part of the diet and see if that helps you, as it has helped so many others. If you can keep up the whole paleolithic diet, more power to you!
Here’s an example from Sue, who says the paleo diet has really helped her asthma:
I have a similar story that has also “cured” me from my asthma, as well as my allergy symptoms. I have struggled with asthma for my whole life and I have stopped breathing twice as a result of its severity. I began the paleo plan in feb as a way to lose a few pounds and feel better throughout my day. What I have experienced is so much more than that. I too realized that it had been a while since I had a wheeze or attack.I previously used my inhaler approx 5 times a day, more if I had a cold,if there was pollen. I now realize that there are many more triggers I never knew about. I have had allergy tests, I go to an asthma Dr and never once did they suggest my diet. I feel so great,I have not had an attack in 4 1/2 mos and my seasonal allergies are gone too. (also lost 17 lbs) I want to share this with all of you who struggle with asthma and I hope it helps you to breathe better too!
What is your experience with the paleolithic diet and asthma? Please leave a comment with your successes, failures and questions.