Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease which affects millions of people across the globe. Asthma leads to the inflammation of the respiratory tract, narrowing the airways making it difficult to breathe. With the rapidly changing environment that we live in, increasing levels of pollution have been contributing towards expediting the number of cases as well. Increasing air pollutants are becoming one of the major reasons for triggering asthma attacks.
ASTHMA AND NUTRITION
Even though there is no conclusive study showing that certain foods can help you manage asthma symptoms, consuming an overall wholesome diet can do wonders. Studies have shown that children who consumed a diet rich in Vitamin C & E, omega-3 fatty acids, flavonoids and beta-carotene had better lung functions and lower rates of suffering from asthma in future. Such a diet included eating nuts and fruits like grapes, apples and tomatoes.
You must be taking all the necessary precautions against natural triggers, but did you know that asthma attacks can be triggered because of certain foods as well? Present as preservatives or as certain proteins that can cause allergy or food intolerance, these elements can lead to the manifestation of asthma-like symptoms. Thus, here is a list of certain foods that are not good for asthmatic patients.
FOODS THAT YOU ARE ALLERGIC TO
Food allergy occurs when your immune system reacts to certain proteins in your body which are generally considered harmless. Exposure to even a little of these foods can cause a person allergic to them into an anaphylactic attack or bronchospasm, which would require immediate medical attention. To find out which foods you are allergic to, your doctor can conduct skin tests and share the list with you. Some of the common foods that are associated with food allergy are:
- Nuts like peanuts or tree nuts
- Cow Milk
- Fish, Shrimp or shellfish
FOODS THAT YOUR BODY IS INTOLERANT TO
Food intolerance happens when your body reacts to certain elements of food, not your immune system. Food poisoning or being lactose intolerant are a few examples of food intolerance.
SULFITES AND FOOD PRESERVATIVES
Addition of food preservatives like sodium sulfite/bisulfate/meta-sulfite or potassium bisulfate/meta-sulfite can trigger symptoms of asthma. These sulfites produce Sulphur-dioxide that can irritate the lungs and the respiratory tract triggering temporary asthma. These preservatives are often found in common foods like:
- Dried vegetables or fruits
- Packaged Potatoes like chips
- Wine and beer
- Bottled lemon juice or lime extracts
- Pickled food or fruits
- Shrimp (packaged or prepared)
FOODS THAT CAUSE GAS
Studies have found that almost 70% of people with asthma suffer from Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder (GERD or acid reflux) which makes it difficult to control asthma. Consuming large meals or eating large quantities of foods that causes gas can cause pressure on your diaphragm, especially if you suffer from acid reflux. This can trigger asthma by causing tightness in the chest. Some foods that are known to cause gas and should be avoided if you have asthma are:
- Fried Food
- Carbonated Drinks
HIGH CALORIFIC DIET
Studies have shown a direct connection between asthma and obesity. Consuming a high calorific diet causes weight gain and people who are obese are shown to have more severe symptoms than people with a healthy weight. Thus, one must avoid a high calorific diet that can lead to obesity. Also, avoid eating any meal right before going to bed. This is because your metabolism rate drops while you sleep causing lesser calories to be burnt and the accumulation of fat in the body.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Before making big changes to your dietary lifestyle, it would be a good idea for you to speak with your doctor. Depending on your asthma diagnosis and medications, a health practitioner should be able to create a list of foods that you can avoid.