Foods That Trigger Asthma Symptoms

A woman chopping vegetable while her husband stands behind her
The sad truth is that some things that taste good to you aren’t good for you.

Obesity, heart conditions and diabetes are just a few negative effects that the foods we love can have on our health, but what about the effects that certain foods can have on those with asthma?

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It is a little-known fact that certain foods can trigger asthma symptoms and even attacks. Although there is no conclusive evidence that diet and asthma are related, certain foods are known to activate asthma symptoms because they contain sulfites, a preservative used in certain foods, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Diet Triggers

Some of these trigger foods are:

• Beer
• Dried fruit
• Processed potatoes
• Shrimp
• Wine

In addition to such asthma triggers as sulfites in the diet, food allergies also may increase the risk of asthma attacks, although this is less common. Still, being alert to food allergies and any effects on your asthma is important, as this will allow you to best manage your condition. This is now more important than ever, as experts say food allergies appear to be on the rise, as do the severity of symptoms seen with food allergies. The increase in food allergies can be attributed to various factors, including eating more allergy-inducing foods, such as tree nuts, fish, milk, eggs and soy, eating out more often, and eating more processed food.

In addition to foods containing sulfites, common allergy-causing foods that may interfere with asthma management are:

• Corn
• Eggs
• Fish
• Milk
• Tree nuts
• Peanuts
• Shellfish
• Soy
• Wheat

The only treatment for a food allergy is to avoid the food. But it helps to think about what you can eat instead of what you can’t. The best advice for people who suffer from food allergies is to prepare food yourself and not rely on convenience or prepackaged food. This will also help steer you toward a healthier diet overall, as convenience and packaged items are often high in saturated fat and sugar, and low in vitamins and other nutrients. A well-balanced diet that is rich in fresh and wholesome foods is important to your overall health and to your asthma management as well. And don’t forget to drink enough water.