The Worst Foods for Breathing Problems
Health September 16, 2020

The Worst Foods for Breathing Problems

There are various types of conditions such as asthma, chronic allergies, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (or COPD) that may hamper breathing and impact a person’s day-to-day activities. Asthma and COPD occur when the airways narrow and become inflamed resulting in symptoms of coughing, shortness of breath, and wheezing. For most patients, asthma and COPD are conditions they deal with daily while environmental allergies, triggered by external factors like weather, dust mites and pollen, are more seasonal in nature.

While eating certain foods might not stop these conditions, some foods can be consumed, or avoided, in order to manage symptoms of a breathing condition and even lower frequency of asthma attacks. Below you will find a list of foods that tend to trigger breathing issues:

1. Milk
For some people, milk is a trigger for their breathing problems, causing symptoms such as wheezing and coughing, and for some, it’s not. Milk contains calcium that is healthy for you, but it also contains casomorphin, which increases mucous growth in the intestines. Because milk is a dairy product, it is best not to consume it if you have asthma; however, milk is not the cause of asthma, but it can cause breathing issues for persons who have a milk allergy. About 40 percent of children who have asthma have a milk allergy. Children who are allergic to milk and other dairy products are four times more likely to have a reaction to milk than those who do not.

2. Cabbage
Cabbage is from a family of vegetables called cruciferous, and symptoms of eating these vegetables are bloating, and gas which is uncomfortable for people with breathing problems. While these vegetables have many nutrients because they cause bloating, it is best to avoid consuming too much of them.

3. Corn
Some are allergic to the dust and mold that is produced by the corn. The condition is called hypersensitivity alveolitis, meaning it causes inflammation in the lung. Symptoms include dry cough, shortness of breath, fever, and heart palpitations. Less intense symptoms are coughing, achy muscles, shortness of breath, no appetite, and a mild fever.

4. Excess salt
Cooking with a small amount of salt is safe for someone with a breathing issue, but cooking with a lot of salt is not good. Salt allows the body to retain water in the body, which causes breathing problems, so instead of using salt substitutes for flavor, try using herbs and spices.

5. Refined sugars
Breathing rapidly or labored breathing, also known as kussmaul breathing, is a symptom of diabetic ketoacidosis caused by very high blood glucose levels, resulting in difficulty breathing.

6. Preservatives and additives
The ability to cause breathing difficulty is one of the most harmful effects of preservatives; therefore, eliminating food containing many preservatives can significantly improve breathing issues. Preservatives such as yellow dye number 5, aspartame, and benzoates can exacerbate breathing issues in people who have breathing difficulties. Sulfites have only been known to cause shortness of breath. Some preservatives can damage the heart muscles, so staying clear of such food will also save your heart.