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Asthmatic Diet

Published:Thursday | April 28, 2016 | 12:00 AMJody-Anne Lawrence
An assortment of fruits which should be a regular part of your diet.
Milk is a common ashma trigger.

Asthma is a common respiratory illness which sometimes results in difficulty in breathing. In light of the upcoming World Asthma Day on May 3, let us look at some ways your diet can impact this illness.

According to nutritionist and registered dietitian Rosalee Brown, there is no specific diet that will prevent asthma since there are non-food triggers that can also cause inflammation in the airways.

However, it is best for persons with asthma to reduce their intake of processed food. Asthmatics should always try to consume unprocessed or minimally processed foods from food groups such as staples, fruits, vegetables, meats (including fish), peas, beans and moderate amount of oils. Fresh fruits play a vital role in reducing chemicals that increase inflammation due to the antioxidants they contain, according to Brown. However, she said eating habits should be chosen carefully with constant monitoring to minimise attacks.

Keeping one's weight at a healthy level will also assist in minimising these attacks.

Individuals with food allergies are more susceptible to asthma attacks triggered by offending foods that may cause wheezing, according to Brown.

These are some popular foods that commonly cause allergy and subsequent asthma attacks in individuals who are allergic:

• Eggs

n Milk protein/many dairy foods

n Peanuts

n Soy

n Wheat

n Fish

n Shrimp and other shellfish

n Salads

n Some fruits

n Sulphates can also trigger asthma symptoms in persons with moderate to severe asthma. Sulphates are used as a preservative in wine, dried fruits, pickles, fresh and frozen shrimp.