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Foods that help asthma

What foods are the best foods to have to improve or prevent asthma attacks or chest infections that lead to asthma. I eat my five a day fruit via grapefruit juice bananas and apples. But is there anything else that would improve my chances of suffering from asthma.

My triggers are ussually from sore throuts, colds or chest infections and can have very severe effects on my asthma often needing anti Bs and steroids. Day to day my asthma is reasonably controlled by becotide and ventolin.

I have just taken up running and about to start swimming soon hopefully. This will hopefully improve my poor peak flow which is currently only 350-380 (Male 11 stone 5.7"" high athletic

Many thanks Chris

1 Reply

Hi Chris,

It's great that you are being proactive and looking at ways of improving your general health and your asthma; eating a good well balanced diet and exercising regularly will certainly benefit both of these.

As far as I know, there is no real evidence that eating - or indeed excluding - any particular food helps with asthma as such, unless you have a specific food allergy. Obviously it's important to eat a proper balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables to help your body and immune system to function properly. Keeping well hydrated is important for your airways too - avoiding fizzy sugary drinks, though. Maintaining a good calcium intake - dairy and green veg - is important to maintain the strength of your bones, particularly if you have frequent courses of oral steroids. Foods that are rich in potassium - bananas, oranges, tomatoes - are good if you are using a beta-agonist like salbutamol, which can lower your potassium.

Your predicted peak flow based on your age, sex and height should be 624 l/min on the EU scale ( although it can be up to 100 l/min lower in men and still be 'normal'. So yours is a little on the low side - has it always been low, or has it dropped recently? If it has always been low, it may still be normal for you, especially if you are able to exercise freely and are not having problems with symptoms at the moment. Peak flow is a useful test, but it is only one way of measuring what's going on in your airways, and it's important not to get too fixated on that number and ignore the general picture. Some people always have low peak flows and are well with it, and others will have a high peak flow and will not drop it even when quite unwell.

Hope this helps

Em H


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