Food/drink helping asthma?

Hi guys,

I just wondered if any of you had ever found that food or drink improves asthma symptoms (or makes them worse?). I'm not talking about allergies here. My GP told me to avoid cooking with chilli/spices/garlic and other strongly scented or flavoured foods as it will irritate my airways. I adore all of this type of food, and I've never noticed they make a huge difference (apart from when I was using a food processor on 20 red chillis, that hurt).

I have read that caffiene helps asthma symptoms, and I have noticed that symptoms improve after my morning latte, but I don't know if that's because of the caffiene, or if it is simply that my symptoms are improving as they tend to do after I've been out of bed a while.

Has anyone else found any food or drink beneficial?

P xx

16 Replies

  • There is a whole list of asthma super foods I brought a book called how to help asthma naturally which is realy good.... Once I get home I will copy you the bits as all I remember is apples is on it!

    There is a link between asthma and fatty foods such as pizza making it worse! and hand on heart I found this out

  • What an interesting topic. I love my first cup of tea of the day and really do look on it as my 'pick me up' - I've always assumed it's the caffeine in it. If I have a heavy meal or I drink alcohol I get wheezy. I love spicy food and it doesnt affect me at all.

  • good topic and I'm sure some links will be found good and bad.

    Kenco coffee is good and one former member who was unable to control his asthma with conventional medication with is doctors used this to good effect.

    Chocolate has come up a few times in the past as being both good but also bad as it increases mucous production. Grrr

  • Aha! So, the bar of dairy milk sitting next to me is in fact going to help ease the tight chest and constant urge to cough I currently have? Bonus! :-P

    Really interested to hear peoples experiences about this. I suppose generally eating more healthily (my diet has been appalling over the last couple of weeks) will be beneficial, if for no other reason than it will help me lose weight!

    P xx

  • Coffee: the facts!

    Hey guys

    Ok, caffeine is a type of chemical called a methylxanthine - another example of a methylxanthine is called theophylline, and another is aminophyllin...sound familiar?! So yes, in theory small amounts of coffee and other caffeine containing products can be beneficial to asthma. But, like theophylline, it does not work for everyone, and the additional effects on the body must also be considered: increased blood pressure, higher pulse, insomnia and tremors can all occur with high caffeine intake. Interestingly enough, too much caffeine can also cause bronchoconstriction, so if you're going to experiment, be safe!!

    In answer to the original question, drinking wine and cider both make me very wheezy, as does eating ice cream...odd or what?!


    p.s please correct me if any of the above info is wrong, I was relaying this off the top of my head after a hard day at work lol

  • Dairy Foods make my asthma worse :/

  • I find chewing mint chewing gum helps, the mint seems to help the airways and because I don't want to be rude I close my mouth, making me breath deeper.

  • I found ice poles are the best for calming me down and stopping the shakes after taking reliever meds. Lidls taste best.

    PS Chocolate starts off the coughing big style. Especially Galaxy and Dairy Milk :(

    Edit: to add PS.

  • Like I said I would got my book out for you! Asthma superfoods are:

    -apples reduces histamine release


    -blackcurrents and blueberries have strong anti-inflammatory action

    -brazil nuts

    -camomile tea



    -dark chocolate (cough-suppressant and contain bronchodilator)



    -Dark green leafy vegetables

  • Run out of sapce on the other message but coffe is good as it is a source of methylxanthines such as caffine act as a bronchodilator. About 3-6 cups a day can reduce the number of asthma atatcks and improve exercise-induced asthma.

    Food to avoid inculde food containing MSG, benzoates, tartrazine, salicylates and sulfites

  • Bananas?

    Bizkid - what effect do bananas have? I've been chomping on them to relive cramp, and it could be a coincidence but my asthma feels better at the moment. Cheers Sonja

  • Rich in vitamin B6 an C, potassium and magnesium.... one banana a day reduces the chances of havin asthma by a third! and Salicylate free

  • This is such an intresting topic!

    I find currys and anything really cold, like ice cream and ice in a drink set me of with a wheeze and a cough, which is unfourtunate as i love both curry and ice cream!

  • Never managed to work out a pattern of food types, but more generally, if I ever overeat it very often makes me wheezy. E.g. Excessive xmas dinner, starter and a gluttonous pudding, an unnecessary extra naan and samosa etc. Easy to avoid that then, you'd think!

  • hi...this really interests me. any foods that contain dairy makes me phelmy and wheezy which is a bummer really as im vegetarian! chocolate makes me very wheezy but i had to find a way of keeping it in my diet lol so i eat it with a big cuppa which definately helps. curry especially chinese can bring on an asthma attack.not had an attack for 3 days and by chance iv had coffee for 4 days which i dont normally have so maybe thats helped. oh also dr pepper which i love can bring on an attack.

  • Definitely an interesting topic! I was reading (my boyfriend's!) Men's Health yesterday which mentionned that curry was good for you because of the salicylates in it. I wonder if this is why some asthmatics find spicy food makes them worse. Personally I love curry - I haven't noticed it making much difference to my symptoms though.

    Men's Health also mentionned blackcurrants- I can't find the piece again though. I think it was something along the lines that they might reduce the risk of asthma in children (but more studies were needed)!

    It is such a shame that chocolate isn't a wonder cure, I love a square or two of chocolate. Other than the foods I know I am allergic too (quorn, wine, etc) I haven't noticed any foods making much difference.

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