The best and worst foods for severe asthma

Some researchers believe that the consumption of processed foods and the lack of adequate fruits and vegetables in the diet could increase the risk of asthma. While there is no specific diet recommended for asthma, a nutritious one is an integral step towards preventing any recurrent or serious symptoms.  

So, what should people undergoing treatment for severe asthma eat? Some studies observed that a diet containing vitamins C and E, flavonoids, magnesium, selenium, beta-carotene, and omega-3 fatty acids can diminish the risk of asthma. Many of these nutrients can be instrumental in lowering inflammation, protecting cells from damage, and strengthening the overall immunity. 

Here’s a list of fruits and vegetables that could keep the symptoms of asthma from resurfacing. 

  • Carrots
  • Apples
  • Cantaloupe
  • Avocado 
  • Berries
  • Spinach
  • Pomegranates 
  • Tomatoes 
  • Kale
  • Banana
  • Broccoli

Foods rarely trigger an asthma attack; however, people undergoing treatment for severe asthma should be mindful about any allergic reactions and food intolerances. Items such as eggs, fish, milk, tree nuts, wheat, soy, shellfish, and peanuts are a common cause of allergies that could progress into a serious episode of asthma. 

Likewise, patients should steer clear of processed foods that contain preservatives like sulfites. Typically, they are present in wine, dried fruits, bottled lemon and lime juice, shrimp, and maraschino cherries. These are used by manufacturers to keep mold at bay; however, the sulfur dioxide in them can end up irritating the lungs. So before buying any package, it should be ensured that it doesn’t contain any sulfites. Furthermore, processed foods comprising omega-6 and trans fats should be avoided as they could worsen the symptoms and even contribute to heart diseases. 

Up to 70% of people suffering from asthma also have GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder), which can make asthma more challenging to manage. Apart from medications, one effective way to significantly reduce the symptoms of GERD is to get a weight loss plan in action. Losing weight can mitigate the strain on not only the stomach but also the lungs and improve one’s overall immunity. So, a low-calorie diet and daily exercise are recommended to evade severe asthma episodes. Additionally, patients should consume a moderate amount of caffeine and if possible, entirely avoid alcohol. 

Before making any big changes to the daily diet or taking up any exercises, one should ensure that they consult their pulmonologist, especially if there are any allergies in the picture.