In this article, you will discover the best foods for asthma. You will also learn about the worst foods for asthma. However, before we get into which foods are best or worse, let’s learn a little more about this condition.
Asthma is manifest by attacks of respiratory difficulty accompanied by wheezing, cough, expectoration and chest pressure. Asthma is the result of spasms and inflammation of the bronchial tubes, usually caused by an allergic mechanism.
Abundant use of certain foods can contribute to reducing bronchial sensitivity and the tendency to asthma attacks. Reducing salt consumption and eliminating foods known to most frequently cause allergic reactions can do a great deal to reduce the frequency and intensity of crises. In addition to certain allergic foods, other factors such as environmental pollution, dust, and physical or psychological stress.
Best Foods For Asthma
ONION: Onions are among one of the best foods for asthma because they’re bronchodilators and antispasmodic (relax the smooth muscles of the bronchial tubes), which can relieve and prevent asthma attacks. Simply inhaling their aroma is effective.
ORANGES: The orange is a fruit with anti-allergic power, capable of partially neutralizing the effects of histamine. Eating abundant oranges is appropriate in cases of asthma or any other allergic manifestation. Oranges are also amongst the best foods for asthma.
HORSERADISH: The horseradish’s sulfurated essence decongests and strengthens the bronchial tubes, thus contributing to the prevention of asthma attacks.
OIL: Vegetable oils are very rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, which, contrary to saturated fats, diminish adverse bronchial reactions to allergens that cause asthma. They also contain antioxidant vitamin E.
HONEY: Honey usually contains a small amount of pollen that can act to desensitize or “vaccinate” against environmental pollens that cause asthma.
YOGURT: Is yogurt good for asthma? Actually, yes it is. A study conducted at the University of Arkansas shows that biotic yogurt containing live bacteria such as lactobacillus acidophilus can improve the body’s immune response and reduce the manifestations of allergies (increases interferon levels and diminishes eosinophilia). However, it does not produce any evident clinical improvement in asthmatics.
VEGETABLES: Leafy green vegetables such as spinach and red vegetables such as pepper is good food for asthma patients because of their beta-carotene and other carotenoids that improve the ability of the cells of the bronchial tubes to resist the substances that cause asthma.
MAGNESIUM: The lack of this mineral causes muscle spasms, including the muscles of the bronchial tubes. This advances the effect of asthma. Legumes, wheat germ, and vegetables are good sources of magnesium.
B VITAMINS: All of the B vitamins, particularly B6, reduce excessive bronchial sensitivity to the chemical or physical factors that trigger asthma.
ANTIOXIDANTS: The most effective antioxidants are provitamin A (pink or orange-colored fruits and vegetables), vitamin C (citrus and other fruits), and vitamin E (vegetable oils). All are among the best foods for asthma because they improve the bronchial tubes’ ability to withstand the action of free radicals coming from environmental pollution and bronchial inflammation. These free radicals foster or trigger asthma attacks.
Worst Foods for Asthma
SALT: Salt is considered to be one of the worst foods for asthma. It has been demonstrated that more salt in the diet, the worse the respiratory function of asthmatics and the higher the incidence of asthma attacks. A low-salt/sodium diet alleviates asthma and reduces the need for anti-asthmatic medication.
ADDITIVES: Additives make it on the list of foods asthmatics should avoid because many of them can cause allergic reactions, as well as asthmatic crises. For example, monosodium glutamate (a flavor enhancer); sulfites (used as preservatives in dried fruits and wine); sodium nitrite and nitrate (in cured meats, sausages, hams, etc.); artificial colorings, in general, are all very dangerous for asthmatics, particularly E 102 (tartrazine or yellow No 5), and E 110 (yellow No 6).
WINE: Various asthma-causing additives, such as sulfites, are usually added to the wine.
BEER: Beer is one of the many asthma food triggers because of the brewer’s yeast and various other additives used in its production.
FISH: Fish is another one of the worst foods for asthma because if it is not fresh or improperly stored, it contains histamine, which provokes all allergic reactions.
SHELLFISH: Shellfish are a frequent cause of allergic reactions that can initiate or aggravate asthma attacks.
CURED CHEESES: Another of the worst foods for asthma, cured cheeses contain histamine, which provokes allergies and asthma. Cheeses prepared with molds, such as blue cheese, are even more dangerous.
EGGS: Eggs, particularly egg yolks, are a frequent cause of allergies, particularly in infants. Eggs should be avoided in case of asthma until it is confirmed that they can be tolerated without ill effect.
BREWER’S YEAST: Brewer’s yeast can cause allergy and provoke asthma attacks.
ROYAL JELLY: The proteins in royal jelly can cause asthma attacks and even severe anaphylactic allergic reactions making amongst one of the worst foods for asthma.
MILK: Cow’s milk is a frequent cause of allergies, particularly in children, which may manifest themselves through asthmatic symptoms. Therefore, dairy and asthma do not mix.
NUTS: Nuts, particularly peanuts and walnuts, can cause allergic reactions and asthma in susceptible children.
- George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Foods and Their Healing Power.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Foods and Their Healing Power. Trans. Annette Melgosa. Vol. 2. Chai Wan: Editorial Safeliz, 2005. 140-141. [Best foods for asthma]