The Best and Worst Foods for Asthma


20 million people suffer from asthma in America- that’s 1 in 15 people. Asthma accounts for 25 percent of all emergency room visits in this country,
40,000 adults miss work because of asthma daily and kids with asthma miss an average of eight school days per year. Due to unhealthy lifestyle, the incidence of asthma has been growing every year for the past three decades.

Though there’s really no diet that will eliminate or cure your asthma, there are certain things you could be incorporating to help. This is why Health Fitness Revolution has put together a list of the best and worst foods for asthma:

The Best

  • Apples: A British study found that even after controlling for other factors, people who reported eating two to five apples a week had a 32% lower risk of asthma than people who ate less. They speculate that beneficial compounds known as flavonoids may be responsible. One flavonoid in particular, khellin, has been shown to open up airways. Read our article on An Apple a Day Really Does Keep the Doctor Away!
  • Carrots: Carrots are famous for containing beta-carotene, another antioxidant which can be found in sweet potatoes and peppers. Preliminary studies suggest that beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body, may reduce the incidence of exercise-induced asthma. The pigment is also essential to keep your eyes and immune system in top shape and may even help with heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease (read our article on it here).
  • Citrus Fruits: Such as oranges, grapefruit, and lemons. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that may ward off lung damage by fighting free radicals. One study of preschool children in Japan found that those with the highest intake of vitamin C were less likely to suffer from asthma than those with lower intake.
  • Flax Seeds: Flax seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids as well as magnesium. Some research suggests that omega-3s, abundant in salmon and other oily fish, have a beneficial effect on asthma.
  • Coffee: One review of seven previously published trials found that caffeinated coffee might modestly improve airway function for up to four hours after it is consumed, when compared with drinking decaf Joe. Caffeine is a bronchodilator that may improve airflow.
  • Avocados: because they contain glutathione, which clear the body of free radicals. Read our article on why Avocados are a Superfood here.
  • Garlic: garlic has anti-inflammatory properties. Certainly centuries of folklore has put garlic at the top of the list as a remedy for any number of ailments from hemorrhoids to viral infections. But garlic does contain allicin, an exceptionally powerful antioxidant. A 2009 study revealed that as allicin decays in the body, it produces an acid that destroys free radicals.


  • Beer, wine, hard cider, juice and tea: Sulfites are the bad guys in these drinks as they inhibit airflow.
  • Peanuts: One study found children with asthma who also had a peanut allergy seemed to develop asthma earlier than kids without a peanut allergy and were also more likely to be hospitalized and more likely to need steroids.
  • Salt: The hallmark feature of asthma is inflammation and tightening of the airways, and salt can contribute to inflammation by causing fluid retention.
  • Artificial lemon and lime juice: You will notice a difference in your breathing if you drink fresh lemon and lime juice.
  • Dried fruits and veggies and pre-packaged guacamole: have been said to provoke asthma attacks.
  • Pickled Foods: Also contain sulfites, which provoke the constriction of airways.
  • Frozen Shrimp and Frozen Potatoes: Are two foods notorious to have sulfites.

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