Healthy eating may benefit your asthma
We know eating nutritious foods is good for overall health and wellbeing. Now there is emerging evidence, that a balanced diet can lead to improved airway health as well.
That doesn’t mean that people with asthma need to go without some of the delicious delights of life but it may benefit to have a healthy balance.
Asthma Australia Senior Educator Gemma Crawley says eating plenty of fruit and vegetables every day is important to overall health, and asthma health.
“It’s important to eat a range of healthy and nutritious foods,” she says.
“There is also evidence that a diet high in vegetables and fruit may help to reduce the risk of asthma flare-ups and improve lung function, compared to intakes low in vegetables and fruit.”
A good diet really does make you healthier
CEO Lucinda Hancock from Nutrition Australia, Victorian Division says people across the community could benefit from healthy eating, especially in this time of heightened awareness around COVID-19 and viruses.
“I urge everyone to keep picking the fruit and vegetables from shelves, wash them and enjoy their health benefits,” she says.
According to the Australian Asthma Handbook, some observational studies have shown a link between a Mediterranean diet high in fish, fruit and vegetables and a lower risk of wheeze and asthma in children.
In Australia, a study revealed there was a reduced risk of current asthma in children who ate fish regularly, especially oily fish.
And in a UK study, children who reported eating lots of fruit had better lung function results than children who said they ate no fruit.
The Australian Healthy Eating Guidelines recommend a mix of foods including grains and cereals, vegetables, fruit and legumes, high-protein lean meats, fish, nuts or seeds, and dairy.
It advises only eating fats and high-sugar foods in small amounts.
Asthma, food allergies and intolerances
Despite common beliefs, foods are not a common trigger for asthma.
Some people with asthma report symptoms when consuming specific foods. If you believe this happens to you, visit an allergy specialist for further investigation.
People commonly raise concerns about dairy and asthma, but there is little evidence to support the idea that milk, yoghurt and cheese can trigger asthma.
Most children benefit from dairy foods to make sure they consume their required amount of calcium.
A varied diet including vegetables and fruits is the best diet to maintain overall asthma health.
As well as healthy eating, now is the time to check and update your Asthma Action Plan and make sure you’re using your preventer medication as required.
Read our previous blog on how dairy is important for kids, especially those with asthma here.
Call 1800 ASTHMA (1800 278 462) if you would like to speak with an Asthma Educator.