Foods that may Trigger or Improve your Asthma

Food allergies may trigger asthma

It is no secret that a healthy diet can make a huge difference to everyone’s asthma symptoms. But for some this is more relevant than others. Food allergies or food sensitivities can be a major asthma trigger.

The two most common triggers are:

1. Naturally occurring histamines: found in yoghurt, mature cheeses, smoked meats and some alcoholic drinks such as wine. This is the substance produced by your body when you have an allergic reaction. Hence we take antihistamines for hay fever.
2. Sulphites used to preserve foods. (These are E numbers on packaging, E221, E228 etc) You’ll find these in dried fruits, pickled food, processed meats etc, and again in alcoholic drinks such as wine, beer and cider.

The best way to know if these foods are causing a problem for you is by cutting them out of your diet as a test. You only need to cut a food out for 2 to 3 weeks to notice the difference. You might also find that your body can deal with a certain amount but compounding a lot of these overwhelms your immune system. You can avoid the foods listed above by eating fresh foods.

The most common foods associated with allergic symptoms are:

• Eggs 
• Cow’s milk 
• Peanuts 
• Tree nuts 
• Soy 
• Wheat 
• Fish 
• Shrimp and other shellfish 
• Salads 
• Fresh fruits 
• Wine and beer 
• Food preservatives (avoid junk food) 

“There’s really no diet that will eliminate or cure your asthma but there are certain things you could be incorporating to help,” says Robert Graham, MD, an internist with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

What to eat then to improve asthma?

There are some medical guidelines on what to eat to possibly help your asthma condition, or at least not to make it worse. Generally speaking, fruits and vegetables are good for your lungs as well, so they can help your asthma too. Which food and why are the best for your asthma?

  • Flavonoids:
    • apples
  • Vitamin C – antioxidant:
    • cantaloupe
    • citrus fruits – kiwi, grapefruit, orange
    • veggies – tomatoes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts
  • Beta-carotine – antioxidant:
    • carrots
    • apricots
    • green peppers
    • sweet potatoes
  • Caffeine – bronchodilator that improves airflow:
    • coffee
    • black tea
    • chocolate
  • Magnesium – relaxing muscles:
    • flax seeds
  • Allicin – antioxidant:
    • garlic
  • Glutathione – antioxidant:
    • avocado

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