Could what asthma patients eat have an impact on the signs of asthma?

Studies on what these patients lack nutritionally and which food they should avoid to lower the risks, to point to a yes.

An estimated 300 million people worldwide suffer from this respiratory condition.

The prevalence has increased considerably in recent decades, in parallel with changes in lifestyles and dietary habits.

The food habits include diets that tend to be rich in carbohydrates and fat, and low in fibre.

As well as pollutants, allergens, passive smoking and air pollution, allergy specialists are increasingly interested in how diet can promote or modify the development of asthma on a physiopathological level.

Eating ham, cured sausage or smoked meats at least four times a week could aggravate the symptoms over time, concludes a study carried out by researchers at Inserm, the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research, published in January in the medical journal Thorax.

On the contrary, consuming fibre may influence the gut flora and could reduce inflammation in the bronchial tubes.


Eating more fibre may reduce inflammation and lower asthma risk.

A diet rich in fruit and vegetables and vitamin C – and especially vitamin D (calf’s liver, soya, egg yolks) – could, therefore, help limit the risks of asthma, according to Dr Bertrand Delaisi, a paediatric pulmonologist at Clinique Marcel Sembat in Boulogne-Billancourt, France.

The same goes for omega-3 fatty acids, present in oily fish and other foods (walnuts, canola oil), which can relieve inflammation, including in the respiratory airways. People whose diets are rich in omega-3 have a lower risk of suffering from asthma than those whose intake is limited. They could also be beneficial to people who already suffer from the condition.

Eat more apples

Foods containing quercetin could reduce the frequency of asthma attacks, as this antioxidant flavonoid is an anti-inflammatory.

Studies carried out in vitro found that quercetin inhibited the liberation of inflammatory substances by mast cells, which play a role in allergic reactions, mirroring certain anti-asthma medications.

This antioxidant is found in onions, mustard oil, tea and apples. – AFP Relaxnews