Grains are the foundation of a healthy diet. Grain products are rich in complex carbohydrates, the body’s best energy source. Grain products also contain B vitamins, iron, fiber, and beneficial phyto-nutrients with protective health effects.
The best grain products are those that contain whole grains. Unlike refined grains, whole grains contain the entire edible part of the grain—bran, endosperm and germ! When whole grains are milled or refined, the bran and germ portions are removed, leaving only the endosperm. Unfortunately, most of the fiber, vitamins and minerals are in the germ and bran layers.
Make Smart Grain Decisions
When choosing among grain products, look for the word “whole” in the list of ingredients. Examples are whole wheat crackers, whole wheat flour, whole grain cereal and pastas made with whole wheat flour. When choosing rice, remember that only brown rice is whole grain. Be adventurous and try whole grains you’ve never tasted, such as whole-grain bulgar, amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat and couscous. You can get great recipes for these exotic grains from the internet, cookbooks, and even your grocer.
“Clean, Symptom-Free, and Green”
In order to help manage your child’s asthma, it’s important to keep your home free of “triggers”—all those irritants, such as dust and chemical odors, that can exacerbate asthma symptoms. As you begin your spring cleaning ritual, be sure to limit, and even eliminate, commercial sprays and home cleaning products. Commercial cleaning products often contain irritants that can trigger an asthma episode. Recent research has concluded that regular use of certain harsh chemicals, cleaning products and air fresheners may increase asthma risk. Follow the tips below to keep your house clean, your children symptom-free, and the environment green.
- Make sure asthmatic children are out of the house before you begin cleaning and until the chemical odors subside.
- Since many asthmatic children are sensitive to pollen, dust and odors, assign them chores that won’t exacerbate their asthma. Mowing the lawn, raking leaves, sweeping, dusting, and any chores that involve the use of strong detergents and cleaning products should be avoided.
- Try making your own cleaning solutions. Common ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, castile soap, water and a spray bottle will make effective household cleaners that are better for your family’s health and non-toxic to the environment.