Foods to Avoid for Asthma Patients

Asthma is an unfortunately common condition involving breathing difficulties, inflammation of the airways, and sometimes even completely blocked airways. A steroid inhaler is used to manage asthma attacks, but long term use of steroids has health risks. Long term asthma management requires avoiding foods that make asthma attacks more likely. By managing your diet properly, you can reduce your inhaler dependence. 

If you have asthma, especially exercise-induced asthma, you should avoid the following foods:

1. Dairy products

Scientific studies have shown that cheese is linked in an unknown way to the development of asthma. All dairy products are known to make asthma symptoms worse. The reasons why are not known, though scientists suspect proteins like whey and casein or microscopic mold particles. People with dairy allergies should be especially careful about avoiding dairy products, because food allergies and asthma are set off by the same bodily reactions.

2. Eggs

Eggs are another food that can easily set off a severe asthma attack if you have an egg allergy. Studies have shown improved lung function in children with asthma who stopped taking both eggs and milk, so this is a truly important part of asthma diet management.

3. Wine and beer with sulfites

Many commercial wines and beers contain sulfites to give them a longer shelf life. Unfortunately, sulfites are a major trigger of sudden severe asthma attacks. In fact, beer is especially dangerous because it often also contains wheat, which is another trigger. Make sure to check your wine or beer for sulfites before buying.

4. Dried fruit

Speaking of sulfites, dried fruit is often preserved with them as well. If you want dried fruit, look for an organic source that does not use sulfites.

5. Shrimp and other shellfish

Shellfish allergies tend to be severe, making them highly likely to trigger severe asthma attacks. If you have asthma you should really avoid them, and remember that shrimp is a type of shellfish.

6. Wheat

Gluten is a protein found in wheat. People with gluten sensitivities like celiac disease are much more likely to have asthma than those who don’t. You should probably avoid all wheat products. Luckily, there are many wheat-free donuts, pizzas, breads, and so forth to keep you from having to give up your favorite foods.

7. Soy

Studies also show that soy can trigger asthma attacks. Avoiding soy can be tricky, because soy-derived products such as soy lecithin can show up in surprising places like tea.

8. Tree nuts and peanuts

Tree nut and peanut allergies tend to be severe. As with other severe food allergies, this makes them likely to set off a severe asthma attack. If you have tree nut or peanut allergies and asthma then you need to be very careful about avoiding them.

If you want to manage your asthma the natural way, you need to get into the habit of reading food labels on everything before you buy it. Taking a little care with your diet can mean a lot fewer asthma attacks, less long term steroid use, and improved health.