Monsoon may seem like the best time of the year for you since it’s neither too hot nor too cold. But for those with asthma, it’s the worst time of the year because the weather leads to respiratory issues. Here are all the dietary recommendations you should follow to manage an asthma flare-up during monsoon.
Monsoon may seem like the best time of the year for you since it’s neither too hot nor too cold, but for those with asthma, it’s the worst time of the year. India, as per the Global Burden of Disease study in 2022, is home to more than 30 million asthmatics, accounting for over 13% of the global burden. For all these people, Indian monsoons can easily trigger asthma flare-ups and attacks due to a number of environmental factors.
Monsoon brings higher humidity levels, which can make it difficult for asthmatics to breathe. Humid air can cause the airways to constrict and lead to asthma symptoms like wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. Monsoon weather also creates damp and moist conditions, providing an ideal environment for the growth of mold and fungi. Mold spores can be inhaled and trigger asthma attacks in susceptible individuals.
During the monsoon season, the growth of grass, weeds, and other plants accelerates. This can lead to an increase in airborne allergens like pollen, which can trigger asthma symptoms in people with allergic asthma. Also, during monsoon, people tend to spend more time indoors. Indoor environments can harbor allergens like dust mites, pet dander, and indoor molds, all of which can exacerbate asthma symptoms.
Video Credit: YouTube/Hebbars Kitchen
So, monsoon in India can be a truly susceptible time for asthmatics. One of the ways to handle this is with medications prescribed by a doctor. One more way to manage an asthma flare-up during monsoon is with dietary modifications. Here are all the dietary changes you should know about.
Foods To Eat During An Asthma Flare-Up
When experiencing an asthma flare-up during monsoon, it's essential to choose individual foods that are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and potential respiratory health benefits. Here are five of the best individual foods to eat during an asthma flare-up in India.
1. Turmeric: Turmeric contains curcumin, a potent anti-inflammatory compound. It has been used in traditional Indian medicine for its therapeutic properties. You can add turmeric to warm milk, soups, stews, or curries to enjoy its potential anti-inflammatory effects.
2. Ginger: Ginger has natural anti-inflammatory properties and can help ease respiratory symptoms. It can be consumed as ginger tea, added to soups, or used in curries to provide relief during an asthma flare-up.
3. Honey: Honey has been traditionally used to soothe throat irritation and coughing. It may help with symptoms of respiratory infections. Mix a teaspoon of honey in warm water or herbal teas for a soothing beverage.
4. Figs: Figs are a good source of vitamins and minerals, including potassium, which may help in managing asthma symptoms. Soak dried figs in water overnight and consume them in the morning to potentially support respiratory health.
5. Drumstick Leaves: Drumstick leaves, also known as moringa, are rich in nutrients, including vitamins C and E, which have antioxidant properties. These leaves can be added to soups, dal, or cooked as a side dish.
Foods To Avoid During An Asthma Flare-Up
During an asthma flare-up in monsoon, it's advisable to avoid certain foods that could potentially exacerbate inflammation or trigger allergic reactions. Keep in mind that individual sensitivities may vary, but here are five common foods that some people with asthma find beneficial to avoid during flare-ups.
1. Fried And Fatty Foods: Foods high in unhealthy fats, such as deep-fried snacks and greasy dishes, can promote inflammation in the body and may worsen asthma symptoms.
2. Dairy Products: Some individuals with asthma may experience increased mucus production in response to dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt. If you notice this effect, consider reducing or avoiding dairy during a flare-up.
3. Processed Foods: Highly processed foods, which often contain additives, preservatives, and artificial colors, may trigger sensitivities or allergic reactions in some individuals with asthma.
4. Excessive Salt: High-sodium foods can lead to fluid retention and worsen asthma symptoms for some people. Avoid excessive salt intake and be mindful of packaged and restaurant foods, which can be high in sodium.
5. Allergenic Foods: Common food allergens such as nuts, shellfish, eggs, soy, and wheat can trigger asthma symptoms in susceptible individuals. If you have known food allergies, it's best to avoid these foods during an asthma flare-up.