5 Healthy Dietary Swaps for Asthma

By      05-May 2020       Reading Time: 5 Mins

5 Healthy Dietary Swaps for Asthma

Asthma is a condition where a person’s airways leading to the lungs swell up and become narrow producing extra mucus which makes it difficult to breathe. It is an inflammatory disease and some physical activities can cause difficulty in breathing.


  • Shortness of breath
  • Tightness in chest or pain
  • Chronic coughing
  • Wheezing or trouble sleeping due to coughing

Asthma triggers include exercise or increased movement, illness like flu and cough, irritants in the air like fumes, allergens like dust and extreme emotions like yelling, laughing or crying.

The most common trigger is an allergy due to which wheezing is caused. Allergens could include dust mites, pollens, mold, pet dander while non-allergic triggers are smoke, cold air, pollution or changes in weather.

The five healthy swaps which can be made are as follows:

  • Replace processed salty pickles with home-made chutneys
  • Pickles tend to contain sulfites as preservatives, so do packed fermented foods. Sulfites can cause sensitive allergic reactions. Choose easy and fresh sauces made at home like mint chutney or tomato and carrot sauce.

  • Replace wine with fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Due to the presence of preservatives called sulfites (also found in shrimp), wine can trigger asthma attacks. Sulfites are used as preservatives too and can cause allergic reactions. Fruits or vegetables in the form of salad, smoothie, soups or as it is are a great way to keep inflammation in check.

  • Replace dry fruits with seeds
  • Various kinds of dried fruits include sulfites, which are preservatives designed to increase the shelf life of the food—and one of the most problematic additives in foods for many people with asthma. The best way to avoid is by reading the package for words like “potassium bisulfite” and “sodium sulfite” to determine if those dried cherries or apricots may trigger an asthma flare up. Seeds like chia seeds, melon seeds, flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds will help replenish nutrients like healthy fatty acids which dry fruits would have given.

  • Replace Carbonated drinks with home-made lemonade
  • Eating large and heavy meals or beverages that contains gas will put pressure on your diaphragm, especially if you have acid reflux. This may cause chest tightness and trigger asthma flare ups. Lemon water is the best homemade beverage you can look forward to. Try adding fresh mint leaves or chia seeds to make it healthier.

  • Replace tea/coffee with home-made smoothies
  • Naturally occurring chemical compounds, salicylates are found in few foods. Found rarely but some people with asthma may be sensitive to salicylates found in coffee, tea, and some herbs and spices. Smoothies with good fruit and veggies combination will keep you fresh and rejuvenated.

There is no specific diet for asthma but some nutrients that will help in proper lung functioning are given below:

  • Vitamin D
  • People with more-severe asthma may have low levels of vitamin D. Milk, eggs and fish such as salmon all are good sources of vitamin D. Also, spending a few minutes outdoors in the sun can increase vitamin D levels.

  • Beta carotene rich vegetables
  • To develop good immunity, have veggies like beetroot, carrot, bell peppers, and fruits like berries, bananas, apples, plums and more.

Over to you
There is no certain cure for asthma but severity of symptoms can be controlled with effective treatment and management.

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"At Nmami Life, the meaning of good health is a combination of nutrition and fitness, which are essential to your well-being."
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Nmami Agarwal

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