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A Mediterranean Diet Can Help Sufferers of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Posted Sep 19 2013 6:22am

Guest Post by Lisa Hunter

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of sleep apnea, which causes people to stop breathing for short periods during the night and can lead to exhaustion during the day. When the muscles in the throat relax, they can block the airway, leading to this potentially serious condition. Your quality of life can be compromised by Obstructive sleep apnea, which is most common in middle-aged overweight men but can be hereditary.

Research reveals that there are ways to alleviate this problem and lifestyle changes such as losing weight are believed to help sufferers manage their  sleep apnea . A Mediterranean diet and exercise is now cited as being able to effectively reduce this disorder and this is good news for sufferers everywhere.

Nutrition and Health

The University of Maryland’s Medical Center stresses how  diet is important  in controlling your sleep apnea. They suggest reducing foods such as bananas, which produce mucus in the diet for a period of 2 weeks or so, to see if the absence of such food makes a difference to the way you feel during the day and your symptoms at night.

Eating a  healthy diet  and exercising to lose weight are viewed as the most favourable ways of controlling your sleep apnea. Dealing with eating disorders is challenging for many people, however, and if you struggle to manage your diet alone, there are a wealth of eating disorder treatment facilities throughout the U.S to help you, such as the  New York anorexia and bulimia help  centers. These are available to local and national patients and offer you the peace of mind of knowing you are being supported through your struggle to manage your weight effectively.

There are a few simple facts to remember when dieting. Try to eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables as well as whole grain food and low fat dairy products. Using olive oil in your diet is a healthier option to saturated fat, which is present in processed food, in meat and butter.

Chromium is suggested as a good supplement for building lean muscle mass and for improving blood sugar, with a doctor’s supervision.

Exercise is ideal if you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. You should begin slowly, working up to a regular routine of 20 to 30 minutes of exercise every day such as walking or swimming.

A Mediterranean Diet Helps, Says Research

The Europe Respiratory Journal published a study showing that sufferers of sleep apnea can reduce symptoms by eating a Mediterranean diet and exercising.

In the study, 40 obese sufferers of Obstructive sleep apnea were given different diets to follow, with 20 eating a prudent diet and 20 following a Mediterranean diet. The patients were monitored during their sleep cycles at the beginning and the end of the study, through electrical brain activity, their eye movements and snoring patterns. The research took place over a period of 6 months.

The findings  showed that the 20 patients following the Mediterranean diet experienced less apneas (disturbances) during the REM stage of their sleep. They enjoyed their diet and found it easier to adhere to over a period of time and they increased their physical activity, which, in turn, decreased their body fat content. The study was the first of its kind in terms of exploring this diet’s impact on OSAS. Christopher Papandreou, author of the research, explained how the findings are interesting because REM sleep is shown in recent reports to be related to the most disturbances of OSAS.

Mediterranean food  is naturally low in saturated fat because it relies on healthy oils such as olive oil, as well as combining delicious fruit and vegetable ideas.

A Mediterranean sandwich is healthy because of its red peppers, olives, zucchini and olive oil as well as provolone cheese and you can swapmayo for Greek yoghurt to make it even lighter. There are mouth-watering recipes for paninis to try that will really make a difference to how you enjoy your food.

Mediterranean shrimp and pasta is a low calorie option for a delicious meal, with added feta cheese, which is a low fat alternative to most other cheeses. If you cook whole grain pasta, this will give you the necessary fiber boost to keep you feeling fuller.

Mediterranean salmon burgers make an ideal change from higher fat counterparts. You can add feta cheese and cucumbers for a delicious feast and know that your lunch or dinner is packed with omega 3 rich food.

By choosing a Mediterranean diet to help you control the symptoms of your obstructive sleep apnea disorder, you will be eating your way to good health and lowering your body fat content the proper way. By combining this diet with regular exercise, you could effectively control your OSAS permanently and enjoy a better quality of life.


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