There is no direct connection between food and asthma, but a good diet is an active part of your treatment plan. As is the case with regular exercise, eating a healthy diet has numerous health benefits. The same rule applies to asthma.
However, doctors believe that certain foods can have a direct impact on this condition. Many do not know the connection between food and asthma, and end up making the wrong dietary choices. Let us discuss what foods should be eaten and avoided for asthma:
1. Foods to eat
- Fruits and vegetables
You should increase your intake of fruits and vegetables to meet your body’s nutritional needs. Eating fruits like apple, berries, cherries, avocados, watermelons, and vegetables like broccoli, carrots, and kale, enables the immune system to to fight asthma.
- Foods with omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids found in flaxseeds, almonds, walnuts, and certain fish offer numerous health benefits. Omega-3 fatty acids are an important nutrient, as they help you breathe easier.
- Foods with vitamins D and E
Vitamin D improves your immunity and reduces inflammation in your airways. You are more prone to asthma attacks if you have vitamin D deficiency. Some sources of vitamin D include salmon, mushrooms, orange juice, and fortified milk.
Tocopherols, a form of vitamin E, can help alleviate certain asthma symptoms, such as coughing and wheezing. You can include foods like mustard greens, raw seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, and pumpkins to your diet to increase your vitamin E intake.
2. Foods to avoid
- Foods rich in trans fats
Studies prove that eating trans fats can worsen asthma symptoms, especially in children. Some foods to be avoided in this category are baked items, fried and junk food, and popcorn.
- Sulfite-rich foods
While fruits such as apples and bananas, are good for your health, certain dried fruits contain sulfites that can make your asthma symptoms worse. Sulfites are also found in pickled foods, lime juice, alcohol, and maraschino cherries. This is why experts suggest that you eliminate sulfites from your diet if you are asthmatic.
- Foods containing salicylates
This naturally occurring compound can have a negative impact on people with asthma. Salicylates are mainly found in coffee, tea, and certain herbs and nuts.
- Foods that cause bloating
Foods including onions, beans, carbonated drinks, and fried foods trigger asthma symptoms, such as difficulty in breathing and chest tightness. They must, therefore, be avoided.
Since there is no particular diet plan for asthma patients, it is advisable to keep the above-mentioned points in mind and work with a nutritionist. This can help you plan your diet in a way that it keeps your mind and body functioning optimally.