Dietary management of Asthma

Dietary management of Asthma


This chapter discusses how we can manage asthma with our diet.

Asthma is a chronic disease of the lungs, characterised by obstruction of the airway, which may be accompa­nied by wheezing, difficulty in breath­ing, coughing and other symptoms.

Asthma is a very distressing disease which poses immense threat on one’s life. That being said, asthma is not a death sentence and there are many ways to optimise one’s life with asth­ma. We will discuss the dietary portion of that.

Foods to avoid

Before we know what to do, we must know what not to do. Some common foods which may trigger an attack include shellfish, nuts and some dairy products, among others. Avoid­ing these foods will go a long way to reduce the distress caused by asthma attacks.

Also, some food additives and preservatives such as sulphites, food colourings, monosodium glutamate, and salicylate are potential triggers. You should always check food labels to be able to avoid these.

Foods to consume

People with asthma may benefit from a diet rich in fruits, vegeta­bles, whole grains, and omega-3 fatty acids. Foods with anti-inflam­matory properties, such as berries, leafy greens, and fatty fish, may also be helpful in avoiding episodes.

One should always remember to drink adequate water, as this is universally beneficial to our overall­health and also helps to thin mucous of the airway, thereby helping to curtail episodes of asthma.

Lifestyle modification

To help avoid frequent asthma at­tacks, we should avoid smoking and smoky environments, avoid alcohol and very cold beverages (including ice cream), manage emotional and physical stress, and last but not the least, stay away from and avoid known triggers (common triggers in­clude house dust mites, pollen, ani­mal fur or dander), among others.

In conclusion, asthma, as distress­ing as it is, can be an issue of mini­mal concern with adequate medical attention, which is never complete without dietary measures.

The writer is a Nutritionist and Chief Executive Officer of Holistic Health Consult. Email:

 By AsareKorkor Bernice

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