9 Foods People With Asthma Should Avoid
The problem with a lot of food is that it increases mucus production and makes your asthma symptoms worse. To avoid this, it's a good idea to eat more magnesium-rich foods and avoid the foods described in this article.
People with asthma are often in search of homemade recipes or foods to eat that could reduce or limit their attacks. Unfortunately, not many know precisely which foods to avoid.
Believe it or not, some foods can make symptoms worse for people with asthma.
Read below to learn more.
Diet-related issues for people with asthma
This statement may sound a bit extreme, since food isn’t the only aspect you have to be careful of it you have asthma. However, your diet has a big impact on your life.
Limiting your consumption of certain foods and eating a nutritious diet can help ease the symptoms of asthma. It goes hand-in-hand with conventional treatments!
If you have asthma, avoid or reduce your intake of:
It’s found in many foods we enjoy for lunch or dinner, such as baked goods, red meat, and fried foods.
Saturated fat is also present in processed food. According to Mayo Clinic, it worsens the symptoms of asthma. This is because the immune system responds negatively when you consume these.
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Therefore, experts recommend you eat omega-3 fatty acids. Just some of the foods you can find these in are oily fish, flaxseed, and walnuts. Lean protein sources are also a good choice for people with asthma. Skim milk, chicken breast, and legumes are some examples of these.
When you go shopping, check the labels to find foods that contain little or no saturated fast. Likewise, start steaming, baking, or grilling your food instead of frying them.
Whole milk is high in fat and can this worsen your asthma symptoms. But don’t worry, you don’t have to go vegan!
Just choose your dairy intelligently. Instead of getting whole milk, pick up nonfat products and try substitutes once in a while. Have you tried almond milk or potato milk, by any chance?
We often eat a lot of dairy without realizing it, since it’s in all kinds of recipes and daily foods: creamy soups, stuffed pasta dishes, ice cream, lattes, smoothies, butter, etc.
As if that weren’t enough, the consistency and texture of milk products increase mucus production, and therefore increase congestion. This makes it hard to breathe freely during an asthma attack.
We again come back to talking about saturated fat, because red meat has a lot of it. While there are exceptions, like lamb, which is relatively lean, asthma is worsened by the saturated fat found in beef and pork.
According to a study from the Nutrition Journal, people who eat a lot of red meat are also more likely to develop asthma.
Have it once a week – maximum – and choose healthier options like chicken, turkey, or fish.
Citrus fruits and tomatoes
How can these fruits that are supposedly good for us make asthma worse?
Both citrus fruits and tomatoes do contain a lot of nutrients and fiber, but they also have some components that can worsen asthma symptoms.
You don’t have to stop eating them overnight, but at least make an effort to lower your consumption.
Excess sodium triggers kidney problems, obesity, and leg swelling.
It can also have a negative impact on people with asthma, since sodium intake increases your immune response and can set off your symptoms.
Use little salt on your meals and avoid processed foods, like canned or instant soup, french fries, and other snacks.
Don’t even keep the salt shaker on the table, and be sure to read the packaging of things you buy at the store because many contain “hidden sodium” (even sweets contain salt!).
Trans fat is formed by a process where hydrogen is incorporated into vegetable oil.
It’s very harmful and increases your risk of cardiac diseases and diabetes, while possibly aggravating asthma symptoms.
Avoid all foods with trans fat, including margarine, fried foods from restaurants, and partially hydrogenated oils.
These fats are also present in cookies and commercial baked goods, cakes, and cake mixes.
Instead, choose foods with “good fats” like (organic) olive or canola oil, flaxseed, and nuts like almonds or walnuts.
This may not only help reduce the severity of your asthma symptoms, but also protect you from many other illnesses.
Magnesium vs. asthma
We shouldn’t forget to mention magnesium-rich foods when we’re talking about good diet for people with asthma. This mineral is essential for relaxing your muscles and respiratory system.
It’s also an anti-inflammatory and bronchodilatory. The recommended daily amount is 500 mg.
To get enough magnesium, you have to have a diet high in raw fruits and vegetables. Legumes and nuts are also good sources of the nutrient.
If you have asthma, add these foods to your diet plan:
Here are some good recipes for you:
- Sesame and pumpkin seeds
- Soy (in all forms)
- Legumes (lentils, garbanzos, peas)
- Wheat bran
- Primrose oil
- Vegetables (Especially swiss chard, spinach, green beans, parsley, carrots, onions)
- Fruit (banana, dates, raisins, maracuya)
- Nuts (pistachios, walnuts)
- Wakame seaweed
Give it a try!