Bronchial asthma cannot be cured, but it can be controlled. People with
asthma can lead an active lifestyle if they have learned to keep their disease
under control. For this you need:
- visit a doctor regularly;
- use drugs strictly according to the scheme recommended by the attending physician;
- discuss with your doctor a plan of action in case of exacerbation of bronchial asthma;
- avoid triggers.
Nutrition as a risk factor
Patients with asthma attacks are provoked by various risk factors. One
of them is food. The scientific literature provides various figures for the
prevalence of food allergy in bronchial asthma (from 5 to 20%) 1 ,
however, it is the direct cause of exacerbation in about 8% of patients. In
individuals with atopic dermatitis, “asthma exacerbations are associated
with food allergens by as much as 17%” 2 .
On the other hand, bronchial asthma also increases the risk of food allergies. Thus, reactions to food are observed in 15% of patients with bronchial asthma 2 . Thus, food allergy in bronchial asthma is an aggravating factor and affects the state of disease control at any age, so there is a need to exclude foods that cause allergies 1 .
There are many food allergens that can provoke severe asthma attacks. These include 3 :
preservatives (sulfites) used in the food industry. Sulfites
such as sulfur dioxide, potassium disulfite, sodium sulfite, sodium hydrogen
sulfate found in wine, beer, bottled juices, canned vegetables 4 ;
salicylates – compounds found in tea, coffee, spices or herbal products;
foods rich in histamine (fermented cheeses, sauerkraut, dried meat), tyramine (roquefort, cheddar, camembert, pickled herring), phenylethylenediamine and histamine liberator (chocolate, strawberries, citrus fruits, tomatoes, seafood, peppers, coriander, vanillin, cinnamon, alcohol, nuts, peanuts, fish, coffee). A large amount of histamine, tyramine, phenylethylenediamine is found in sauerkraut, ham, fermented cheese, sausage;
some food additives and preservatives: E102, E110, E127, E160, E210, E211-219, E200-203; E621, E622, E623, E624, E625;
foods that increase the excitability of the central nervous system: strong tea, coffee, cocoa, rich broths, spicy snacks, spices, marinades, herring, etc .;
fast food. A 2013 study found that children who ate fast food three times a week were more likely to develop severe asthma as well as other illnesses 3 . In many cases, asthma exacerbations can be prevented simply by eliminating food allergens 4 .
Diet for asthma
The purpose of the asthma diet is to reduce the risk of an allergic
reaction in the body. Despite the fact that there are many potentially
dangerous foods, and it is almost impossible to avoid them completely,
nevertheless, if any product at least once caused a reaction – eczema, hives,
an asthma attack, then it is better to exclude it from the diet.
In the absence of a food allergy in a patient with bronchial asthma, a hypoallergenic diet developed by the Institute of Nutrition of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences is recommended. The calorie content of such a diet is approximately 2,300 kcal and includes 70–80 g of proteins (of which at least half are vegetable), 300 g of carbohydrates and 50–70 g of fat. With such a diet, the following products are useful:
- lean meats – veal, rabbit;
- fish – salmon, trout and other salmon, cod, mackerel, halibut and other marine fish;
- vegetables and fruits in any form – zucchini, potatoes, cucumbers, apples, pears, carrots, bananas, red and yellow onions, broccoli, cherries, spinach, pumpkin, kiwi, endive salad, beets, celery;
- cereals – buckwheat, oatmeal, barley, rice (especially brown);
- fermented milk products – natural yogurt, kefir, fermented baked milk;
- drinks – fruit compotes, tea, mineral water without gas, rosehip broth;
- spicy herbs – rosemary, thyme, marjoram, mint, oregano, cumin, sage (if they are not allergic) 3 .
The use of salt and easily digestible carbohydrates (sugar,
confectionery, ice cream, etc.) should be limited. It is important to ensure
that food contains as little preservatives, dyes, thickeners and other food
additives as possible, as well as trans fats that are found in finished
Constant adherence to a hypoallergenic diet can lead to a deficiency of vitamins and microelements, protein-energy imbalance 4 . Therefore, foods high in omega-3 acids, vitamins B6, C, E and D, magnesium, selenium and sodium are useful: flax seeds (ground or whole) and flax flour, whole grains , bran, garlic, avocado, ginger, turmeric. In addition, you must drink at least 1.5 liters of mineral water per day.