Asthma Patient Diet: 10 Do’s And Don’ts You Must Follow
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Of all the respiratory health issues, asthma is the one that is chronic and affects millions of Indians. According to the Indian Study on Epidemiology of Asthma, Respiratory Symptoms and Chronic Bronchitis in Adults (INSEARCH), a whopping 17.23 million Indians suffer from asthma. The prevalence of the disease is estimated to be 2.05% among Indians, and during certain seasons, the issue increases and causes asthma attacks. Monsoon is one such season.  

During monsoon—or any other season for that matter—the key method of preventing asthma attacks and worsening of asthma symptoms can and should be done under the guidance of doctors. Doctors will prescribe anti-allergenic medications and other recommended treatments based on the severity of asthma symptoms during monsoon. However, on a personal level, what people with asthma should do is follow a healthy asthma patient diet. 

A good diet can play a significant role in managing asthma and improving overall respiratory health for asthma patients. While diet alone cannot cure asthma, it can complement medical treatment and help reduce the frequency and severity of asthma symptoms. For example, an anti-inflammatory diet can help reduce airway inflammation, a common feature of asthma. Certain nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts, have also been linked to improved lung function and may help reduce asthma exacerbations. 

So, an asthma-friendly diet is a good way to ensure that asthma patients get the nutrition they need for optimal respiratory health, while also bolstering the immune system to fight off any allergy triggers. Wondering what are the key do’s and don’ts for an asthma patient diet? Here’s everything you need to know.  

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Do’s For An Asthma Patient Diet 

The focus of an asthma patient diet during monsoon should be not only on including anti-inflammatory foods, but also those that are associated with healthy immune system. Here are some basic Do’s for an asthma patient diet.  

1. Do Eat a Balanced Diet: Consume a well-balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. This ensures you receive essential nutrients to support overall health, including respiratory function. 

2. Do Choose Anti-Inflammatory Foods: Include foods rich in antioxidants, such as berries, leafy greens, nuts, and seeds, which help reduce airway inflammation and oxidative stress associated with asthma. 

3. Do Incorporate Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Include sources of omega-3 fatty acids like fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines), flaxseeds, and chia seeds. Omega-3s have anti-inflammatory properties and may improve lung function. 

4. Do Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water to stay well-hydrated, as proper hydration helps keep the airways moist and supports lung function. 

5. Do Monitor Food Triggers: Keep track of your diet and asthma symptoms to identify any specific food triggers that may worsen asthma. If certain foods trigger asthma symptoms, avoid them to prevent exacerbations and maintain better control over your condition. 

Don’ts For An Asthma Patient Diet 

For people with asthma, it is not enough to include foods that are good for respiratory health. It is equally important, if not more, to avoid certain dietary mistakes that can cause asthma attacks or worsen asthma symptoms. Here are some common Don’ts you should take note of for an asthma patient diet. 

1. Don't Overindulge in Processed Foods: Avoid or limit the intake of processed and fried foods, as they may contain trans fats and additives that can promote inflammation and worsen asthma symptoms. 

2. Don't Consume Trigger Foods: Identify and avoid any specific foods that trigger asthma symptoms for you. Common triggers may include certain allergens like dairy, eggs, nuts, or sulfites in processed foods. 

3. Don't Skip Meals: Skipping meals can lead to fluctuations in blood sugar levels, potentially triggering asthma symptoms in some individuals. Aim to maintain regular meal times to keep your energy levels stable. 

4. Don't Overeat or Overdrink: Overeating can put pressure on the diaphragm and lungs, while excessive consumption of caffeinated or alcoholic beverages may dehydrate the body, potentially aggravating asthma symptoms. 

5. Don't Rely Solely on Supplements: While supplements can be beneficial in certain cases, it's essential to obtain most of your nutrients from a well-balanced diet rather than relying solely on supplements.