The Asthma Diet: What to Eat to Keep Your Symptoms Away

Do you crave chicken soup when you are sick? If so, you are not alone. This is a common remedy to soothe the discomforts of the flu and the common cold. But did you know it can also help ease your asthma symptoms by thinning your mucus and helping you to breathe better?

Experts have long understood that diet plays an important role in your overall health. Some foods are recommended because they can help you to feel better, while others should be avoided because they can make you feel worse.

The Food Connection

Asthma is a chronic disease that affects your respiratory system, spurring your airways to spasm and causing chest tightness, coughing and wheezing. It isn’t directly related to your digestion, though, so if you suffer from this condition, you may wonder how what you eat plays in.

Actually, there are several connections between asthma and food.

  1. First, certain things that you eat can trigger an allergic reaction that can also lead to an asthma attack.
  2. In addition, there are foods with properties that can minimize your symptoms.
  3. Finally, when you eat a balanced diet high in essential vitamins and minerals, you strengthen your body to help it better prevent future attacks.

Avoid Food Triggers

There are a host of foods that trigger allergy and asthma symptoms. These can include many common items, such as peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish. In addition, asthma attacks can often be caused by additives such as salicylates, sulfites and tartrazine, which are contained in many of the foods you find on supermarket shelves. To avoid having an asthma reaction from these items, it is important to notice what you eat right before an asthma attack kicks in--and you should then completely eliminate these foods from your diet.

Eat for Good Health

While some foods are important to avoid as a means to prevent your symptoms, other foods are valuable to include as part of our daily menu. These can actually help make your symptoms feel better. For instance, cold-water fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines all have properties to help reduce the inflammation asthma causes in your airways.1

Further, a recent study conducted by researchers at UCLA discovered the link between eating certain vegetables and strengthening your body to reduce your risk of experiencing symptoms. Specifically, foods containing Vitamin A and C seemed to have protective benefits. Researchers also named broccoli and liver as particularly good food choices for asthma sufferers.2 In addition, the findings revealed that children who have a diet with adequate amounts of these vitamins have a lower risk of getting asthma in the future.

Seek Advice from an Expert

So what does this mean for you? If you have asthma, it may be beneficial to seek help from a dietician to determine what foods to lose in your diet and which ones to include on a regular basis. When you eat right, you can prevent and manage your allergy symptoms for the best benefits.



2. University of California - Los Angeles: Broccoli may help protect against respiratory conditions like asthma, Press release dated March 2, 2009. EurekAlert. For more information, go to