8 Foods People Suffering From Asthma Should Avoid

8 Foods People Suffering From Asthma Should Avoid

Asthma is a condition which causes inflammation and narrowing inside the lungs, that restricts the air supply. Around 250,000 people worldwide die due to asthma every year.

Asthma attacks are very prevalent amongst asthmatics and these arise only when symptoms are at its peak. These attacks vary from mild to severe. Also, the symptoms of it are not very severe, which is why many people are unaware that they have it. Some common symptoms include coughing, troubled breathing, chest tightness, breathlessness and wheezing (whistling sound from the chest).

As far as treatment of asthma is concerned the majority of doctors recommend healthy dietary and lifestyle changes along with medications. However, evidence suggested that there is no such specifically designed diet for asthma but, some researches also suggested that people who consume a diet rich in vitamins C and E, flavonoids, beta-carotene, selenium, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids have lower rates of asthma. All these substances are rich in antioxidants, which protects the cell from damage.

Some food items might aggravate the symptoms of asthma. These includes:

  1. Preservatives such as sulfites: These preservatives aggravate symptoms of asthma and are commonly present in food products e.g wine, dried fruits, pickled foods, shrimp, bottled lime juice etc.

  2. High-Calorie Foods: If high-calorie foods will be consumed regularly, it will increase the body weight which ultimately causes obesity. Obesity is not only bad for general health but can also aggravate asthma symptoms. It has been observed that obese asthmatics tend to have severe attacks and take more medications.

  3. Gas-forming foods: Such foods will put pressure on the diaphragm and might cause chest tightness. These foods include beans, cabbage, onions, fried foods, garlic, aerated drinks etc.

  4. Salicylates: These are chemical compounds that are naturally present in tea and coffee and some asthmatics might have sensitivity towards these.

  5. Artificial Ingredients: Processed and fast foods contain some chemical preservatives, flavourings, colourings and additives that can cause sensitivity to some asthmatics.

  6. Common Allergens: Some food allergies are also the underlying cause of asthma. Patients with such allergies should avoid common allergic foods including dairy products, wheat, shellfish and tree nuts.

  7. Salt: Some research indicates that salt can lead to inflammation by causing fluid retention, and asthma is nothing but inflammation and tightness of airways.

  8. Alcohol and Caffeine: Data revealed that 70% of asthmatic patients also have Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder (GERD), which makes their asthma even worse. So, to manage the symptoms of GERD, they need to cut down their alcohol and caffeine intake.

Till today the cause of asthma is still not clear and it is believed that genetics and environmental factors play a key contributory role. Most health care providers worldwide put emphasis on maintaining an overall healthy dietary and lifestyle pattern, as it will complement the existing treatment and reduces the occurrence of asthmatic attacks.

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