The Asthma Diet

Although there isn't significant evidence about the relationship between food and asthma, many experts believe diet is an important part of treatment.


"The Mediterranean type diet with lots of fruit and vegetables clearly is helpful," says Francis Adams, MD, a pulmonary specialist and author of The Asthma Sourcebook.


Dr. Adams suggests eating a diet rich in magnesium. Research suggests this element might boost lung function and curb bronchial irritability and wheezing. Find it in cereal, nuts, green vegetables and dairy products.


On the flip side, some food preservatives and dyes can trigger asthma attacks.


"It is best for all asthmatics to avoid sulfites," Dr. Adams points out in his book, "especially if they have had asthmatic reactions while dining in restaurants."


That means saying "no" to processed potatoes, baked products, fresh shrimp, fruit drinks, dried fruits, beer and wine. And if you are sensitive to tartrazine, also known as Yellow No. 5 under the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, avoid foods like margarine.


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