Asthma and diet

Asthma and diet


Asthma results when triggers cause swelling of the tissues in the air passages of the lung, making it difficult to breathe. Typical symptoms of asthma include wheezing, shortness of breath, and coughing. Food triggered asthma is unusual.

Check out how diet can affect asthma in different ways.

First, some foods can provoke asthma attacks by causing an allergic reaction. Foods that trigger attacks (according to your susceptibility), can be:

  • Foods containing the additives benzoates(E210-19), sulphites
    (E220-8) or gallates (E310-12)
  • Cider, wine and beer
  • Foods containing yeast or mould, such as bread and blue cheese
  • Foods, drinks and snacks containing colorings E102, E104 and E110
  • Cow”s milk, cereals (wheat), eggs, fish, soy, and nuts (especially

At the same time Food can also help to control the severity of an attack. One of the best-known foods for doing this is coffee, due to
the caffeine.

Some Foods can actually dilate air passageways, by thinning the mucus and opening them up for freer breathing. The foods in this category include the spicy, pungent foods like chili, hot mustard, garlic  and onions. Thesehot foods work by stimulating nerves, resulting in the release of watery fluid in the mouth, throat and lungs.

some foods can control inflammation of the. that help to do this include
onions (these are particularly good), fatty fish (fish oil is a  proven anti-inflammatory high in omega  3 fatty acids and vitamin C-packed foods.

To Control Asthma eat plenty of:

  • Foods rich in  B vitamins such as green leafy vegetables and pulses
  • Good sources of magnesium such as sunflower seeds and dried figs
    People who have asthma and are obese, show improved lung function
    when they lose weight, so perhaps the most important reason for eating
    a healthy diet is for weight control. A healthy diet may also help to
    reduce the symptoms of asthma by adding natural anti-inflammatory
    foods and by avoiding food allergies that might provoke asthma

Food as Natural Medicine:

Some foods can improve your health because of compounds they contain called phytochemicals, bioflavonoids, or essential fatty acids. If you have asthma, you may wish to increase your consumption of foods that are natural anti-inflammatory agents and anti-histamines. These include:

  • Apples and red onions for quercetin.
  • Walnuts, soy, and oily fish for their Omega 3 essential fatty
  • Berries and Colorful fruits that have several different healthy

G. Shobha is a Mumbai based nutritionist presently associated with a multinational gym (Gold's Gym India) and she has worked with a diabetologist before. She has also conducted a corporate seminar with Aptech in Andheri east.

3 Replies to “Asthma and diet”

  1. Dear All,

    As an asthma patient in addition to what Sanjana has written, let me share with
    you practice suggested by my ayurvedic doctor which help in giving relief too.

    1. Do not each after sun set.

    2.No milk or milk products after 4 pm

    3. No chilled drinks like soft drinks or butter milk etc

    4. Drink hot water throughout the day as much as possible.

    Try this, it works.

  2. Hi Sanjana,
    i have a query. What should people who suffer from asthma and diabetes eat?
    what are the must eat to be included in daily consumption and what is a must avoid? Looking forward to your reply

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