Asthma: Foods to eat and avoid when suffering from the lung disease | Health

Asthma, the disease that leads to narrowing of small airways in your lungs, could affect your day-to-day life in a number of ways. Not only it leaves you with little energy but also interrupts your sleep which could lower your immunity and make you susceptible to other deadly diseases. There is no specific food that can help relieve symptoms of asthma but poor nutrition could worsen your asthma symptoms while eating well could help prevent the disease. (Also read: World Asthma Day 2022: Ayurvedic herbs and spices to manage asthma)

Studies show that people who eat foods rich in vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, flavonoids, magnesium, selenium, and omega-3 fatty acids have lower rates of asthma. According to a study, children who grew up eating a Mediterranean diet which is high in nuts and fruits like grapes, apples, and tomatoes were less likely to have asthma symptoms.

Dr Jignesh Patel, Consultant Pulmonologist, Wockhardt Hospitals, Mira Road suggests foods one should eat and avoid when suffering from the lung disease.

Foods to eat

• If you have asthma then it will be imperative for you to stick to a healthy diet. You need to eat enough fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and pulses. Moreover, foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, tuna, sardines, and flaxseed can be beneficial for those with asthma. Have rice, bell peppers, broccoli, beetroots, potato, carrots, fenugreek leaves, coriander leaves, spring onions, garlic, ginger, oranges, berries, grapes, pears, pomegranate, kiwis, and cherries.

• Eat vitamin D-rich foods such as milk, eggs, and orange juice to reduce the swelling in the airways due to asthma. Bananas contain potassium and improve lung function. Vitamin E-rich foods like nuts, mustard greens, broccoli, and kale reduce coughing and wheezing.

• Almonds, walnuts, paneer, chaas, curd, and ghee can also be helpful for you. Apples and grapes contain antioxidants called flavonoids and selenium that are anti-inflammatory in nature.

• A Mediterranean diet loaded with fruits and vegetables is good for asthma patients because of its anti-inflammatory properties. It emphasizes on the intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and it includes less dairy and meat.

Foods to avoid

• Cut down on your consumption of fast, junk, oily, processed, and canned food as they can further worsen one’s symptoms like coughing and inflammation.

• Even colas, sodas, cakes, pastries, candies, sweets, juices, and other foods with artificial sweeteners, preservatives, and flavors should be avoided as having them can worsen your condition and irritate your lungs.

• Do not eat dried apples or any other fruits as the sulfites that help preserve dried fruit can worsen your asthma and lead to lung irritation. Even alcohol, pickled vegetables, and bottled lemon juice will have sulfites. Hence, you need to avoid them.

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