Earlier this year, a Harvard Medical School study found that eating oily fish may reduce asthma symptoms.
Researchers discovered that Resolvin E1, a metabolic product of the omega-3 fatty acids found in cold-water fish, helps resolve and prevent respiratory distress in laboratory mice. Resolvin E1 appears to reduce airway inflammation and could be used in medicine in the future.
For now, try to eat oily fish like salmon, trout, mackerel, and anchovies at least a couple of times a week, or take a fish oil supplement.
Additionally, previous studies have shown that women who eat oily fish during pregnancy can reduce their child’s chances of developing asthma.
Please Note: Fish sticks do NOT offer the same benefits as fresh, cold-water fish! Fish sticks are typically fried with omega-6 fatty acids, which encourage airway inflammation.
In the United States, most people eat too many omega-6 fatty acids and not enough omega-3 fatty acids. Besides helping with allergies and asthma, omega-3 fatty acids present many other health benefits, such as risk reduction for cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Many medical doctors now recommend fish oil supplements for select patients.
See Dealing with Asthma to learn about other asthma treatment options.