Asthma and diet: What’s the connection?

If you have asthma, you may be curious about whether certain foods and diet choices could help you manage your condition. There’s no conclusive evidence that a specific diet has an effect on the frequency or severity of asthma attacks.

At the same time, eating fresh, nutritious foods may improve your overall health as well as your asthma symptoms.

There’s no magic-bullet food to cure asthma, but making some changes in your diet may help reduce or control asthma symptoms. “A healthy, varied diet plan is beneficial in asthma,” Start by adding fresh fruit to your diet — which has been shown to help.

According to research in some research, a shift from eating fresh foods, such as fruits and vegetables, to processed foods may be linked to an increase in asthma cases in recent decades. Although more study is needed, early evidence suggests that there’s no single food or nutrient that improves asthma symptoms on its own. Instead, people with asthma may benefit from eating a well-rounded diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables.

Food also comes into play as it relates to allergies. Food allergies and food intolerances occur when your immune system overreacts to specific proteins in foods. In some cases, this can result in asthma symptoms.

Foods to add to your diet

Healthy Fats

When it comes to asthma, not all fat is created equal. For example, kids who ate more butter and fast food were also more likely to have asthma, according to a 2015 study in BMC Public Health. So be sure to focus on plant-based fats and omega-3 fatty acids, which are associated with a reduction in inflammation in people with asthma, according to a 2015 study published in Allergology International.


With their mix of fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants, berries are an important inflammation-fighting food, according to the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. People should “eat a variety of colors of fruits and vegetables every day,” Smith says. Fill your grocery cart with blueberries, cherries, blackberries, and more. Not only are berries packed with antioxidants, Smith says, but the more types you eat, the wider the range of antioxidants you’ll consume.


A healthy gut microbiome — i.e., beneficial microbes that live in the digestive tract — could go a long way in reducing inflammatory diseases like asthma, according to a review published in the May 2016 issue of Clinical & Translational Immunology. Since beans contain prebiotics, or the “food” your gut bacteria needs to thrive, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine recommends eating a half-cup every day. 


Leafy greens like spinach are packed with vitamins and minerals, but they also contain folate (a B vitamin), which could be especially important for people with asthma.

Researchers found that kids who didn’t get enough folate and vitamin D were nearly eight times more likely to experience one or more severe asthma attacks than kids who ate enough of both nutrients.

Pomegranates (The Yoruba name for pomegranate is Eso Bonni)

They aren’t easy to open, but the effort will pay off: Pomegranates offer a healthy dose of antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation in the lungs.

Research conducted in animals found a link between pomegranate juice and lower amounts of lung tissue damage.


Tomatoes are rich in antioxidants and low in calories — which makes them a worthy addition to your anti-asthma diet. But there’s more: Tomato juice may also help your airways relax, according to a study done in animals and published in the July 2016 issue of PLOS ONE

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