When it comes to having asthma, it is important to know what triggers can bring on an attack, especially when in public settings. As seasons change, allergies and breathing conditions go through changes that can cause discomfort and sometimes certain foods and the chemicals within them can add to these ailments. Asthma attacks are rarely brought on by the foods themselves, but allergies to foods or the chemicals within them. There are a few common chemical additives that individuals living with asthma and have sensitivity should be aware of to avoid flare-ups:
MSG is a naturally occurring chemical that is added to foods to increase flavor. It is typically found in snack foods, gravy, stock cubes, soy sauce and packaged soups. Allergies to MSG are common and those living with asthma who are susceptible to this allergy should be cautious when consuming foods with the flavorful additive.
These chemicals are often added to foods as preservatives and are commonly found in wine, canned fish, fruit juices and dried fruit. Limiting wine consumption, eating fresh fruits and seafood and limiting the amounts of processed fruit juices will help with avoiding any asthmatic triggers.
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Salicylates are also naturally occurring and are present in quite a few foods including tomato paste and sauce, instant coffee, soy sauce, honey and beer. It is estimated that about 10% of people living with asthma also have an allergy to salicylates, so it is best for individuals within this group to avoid these foods or find alternatives that are absent of the chemical.
Food triggers affect about 5% of those living with asthma. Doing research, reading food labels and being aware of what allergies may be present are great ways to ensure food is enjoyed without the fear of airways closing up.
Visit the BlackDoctor.org Asthma center for more articles and tips.