If you have asthma, you might be curious about whether particular food and diet choices might help you manage your condition. There’s no conclusive proof that a specific diet has an effect on the frequency or intensity of asthma attacks. At the same time, eating fresh, healthy foods may enhance your total health as well as your asthma symptoms.
Asthma causes inflammation in the airways of the lungs called the bronchial tubes. During an asthma attack, the bronchial tubes swell. The muscles around them likewise tighten. This makes it hard for air to move through the lungs. The result is asthma symptoms such as:
- chest tightness
- shortness of breath.
According to a research evaluation in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, a shift from eating fresh foods, like vegetables and fruits, to processed foods might be linked to an increase in asthma cases in recent decades.
Although more study is required, early proof suggests that there’s no single food or nutrient that improves asthma symptoms on its own. Rather, people with asthma may take advantage of eating a well-rounded diet high in fresh vegetables and fruits.
Food also enters into play as it associates with allergic reactions. Food allergic reactions and food intolerances occur when your immune system overreacts to particular proteins in foods. In some cases, this can result in asthma symptoms.
Asthma and Obesity
An American Thoracic Society report keeps in mind that weight problems is a significant risk aspect for establishing asthma. In addition, asthma in people who are overweight may be more severe and harder to treat. Eating a balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight might make it much easier to manage your condition.
Foods to Add to Your Diet
1. Vitamin D-rich foods, such as milk and eggs.
2. Beta carotene-rich vegetables, such as carrots and leafy greens.
3. Magnesium-rich foods, such as spinach and pumpkin seeds.
There’s no particular diet suggested for asthma, however there are some nutrients and foods that may help support lung function:
- Getting enough vitamin D may help reduce the number of asthma attacks in children age 6-15, according to the Vitamin D Council. Sources of vitamin D include salmon, milk, fortified milk, strengthened orange juice, and eggs.
- A research study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology discovered women with asthma who took in higher levels of beta carotene, a type of vitamin A, had a better quality of life. Good sources of beta carotene are carrots, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, leafy greens, broccoli, and spinach.
- An apple a day might keep asthma away. According to a research review in Nutrition Journal, apples were related to a lower risk of asthma and increased lung function.
- A study released in the European Respiratory Journal discovered that bananas may reduce wheezing due to asthma in children. This may be because of the fruit’s antioxidant and potassium content, which may enhance lung function.
- A research study in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that children age 11-19 who had low magnesium levels likewise had low lung flow and volume. Kids can improve their magnesium levels by eating magnesium-rich foods like spinach, pumpkin seeds, chard, dark chocolate, and salmon.
Foods to Avoid
- Sulphites, which are found in dried fruits.
- Foods that can cause gas, consisting of beans, cabbage, and onions.
- Artificial active ingredients, such as chemical preservatives or other flavorings.
Some foods may activate asthma symptoms and need to be avoided:
- Sulphites are a type of preservative that may get worse asthma. Sulphites are discovered in dried fruits, pickled food, maraschino cherries, shrimp, and bottled lemon and lime juice.
- Eating big meals or foods that cause gas puts pressure on your diaphragm, especially if you have acid reflux. This may cause chest tightness and trigger asthma flares. These foods include beans, cabbage, soft drinks, onions, garlic, and fried foods.
- Although it’s rare, some individuals with asthma might be sensitive to salicylates discovered in coffee, tea, and some herbs and spices.
- Chemical preservatives, flavorings, and colorings are often discovered in processed and junk food. Some individuals with asthma may be sensitive or adverse these artificial components.
- People with food allergic reactions might likewise have asthma. Dairy products, shellfish, wheat, and tree nuts are amongst the most typical irritants.
It’s best to consult your doctor prior to you begin preventing certain foods.
Many medical professionals suggest a total healthy lifestyle to assist you handle your condition. This can include eating a healthy diet and working out routinely.
Diet and lifestyle changes are meant to complement your existing asthma treatment. You should not stop using proposed asthma medications without consulting your doctor, even if you start to feel much better.
Standard asthma treatments may include:
- breathed in corticosteroids
- oral leukotriene modifiers
- long-acting beta antagonists
- mix inhalers
- fast-acting rescue medications
- allergic reaction medications
- allergy shots
- bronchial thermoplasty, which is used for severe asthma cases that don’t respond to medication.
Preventing Asthma Symptoms from Worsening
When it pertains to controlling asthma symptoms, prevention can go a long way. Given that asthma might be life-threatening, it’s important to identify your triggers and avoid them.
Tobacco smoke is an asthma trigger for lots of people. If you smoke, talk with your doctor about quitting. If someone in your home smokes, talk with them about stopping. In the meantime, make certain they smoke outdoors.
You can take more actions that may help avoid asthma attacks if you:
- Create an asthma action strategy with your doctor and follow it.
- Get a pneumonia and influenza shot each year to prevent illnesses that could set off asthma attacks.
- Take your asthma medications as prescribed.
- Track your asthma and monitor your breathing to identify early indication that your asthma is getting worse.
- Use an a/c to reduce your direct exposure to allergen and outdoor contaminants and irritants such as pollen.
- Use dust covers on your bed and pillows to reduce dust exposure.
- Reduce animal dander by frequently grooming and bathing your animals.
- Cover your nose and mouth when spending time outside in the cold
- Use a humidifier or dehumidifier to keep humidity in your house at ideal levels.
- Clean your house routinely to eliminate mold spores and other indoor irritants.
Eating a healthier diet might enhance your asthma symptoms, but it depends upon lots of factors. For instance, the overall effect might depend on your basic health, how constant you remain in making changes, and the seriousness of your symptoms. At the minimum, the majority of people who start following a healthier diet usually see improved energy levels. Having a much healthier diet may also lead to:
- weight loss
- lower blood pressure
- lower cholesterol
- improved food digestion.