Being able to breathe freely is important for your comfort and overall health. Lung inflammation is the primary cause of asthma, and there are many triggers that can cause the lining of your respiratory system to get inflamed. On top of the usual dust and pet dander, certain foods can trigger your symptoms.
Watching out for these nine types of food can help you get your symptoms under control.
Beer and Wine
Sulfites are preservatives that are commonly used in food and beverages to extend their self-life and appearance. Alcoholic beverages are a common source of sulfites, and you can inhale the sulfur dioxide gas as you take a sip. While you might not notice it at first, you can begin to feel your asthma symptoms worsening within a couple of hours.
Pickles and Other Fermented Foods
You might need to ask the cook to hold the pickles the next time you get a burger if you have asthma. The reason why pickles trigger asthma symptoms comes down to sulfites again. Fermented foods often contain sulfites, and this extends to yogurt and sauerkraut. If you crave that taste bud kick that you get from fermented foods, then try using fresh veggies instead.
Some of the worst foods for causing lung inflammation are made using ingredients that contain sulfites. Red wine vinegar and other varieties are fermented, and using them to cook with raises the level of sulfites in your food. For now, try using freshly squeezed lemon juice to replicate the tangy flavor to see if pulling it out of your diet helps your symptoms improve.
That bright red strawberry jelly only retains that stimulating color with the help of preservatives. The same is true of any jams or other toppings that you can put on your favorite bread or dessert. If you eat a lot of fruity toppings, then you can try using freshly cut or pureed fruit instead.
That ham or turkey sandwich could be causing you to wheeze if you regularly use processed versions of meat. Sulfites are once again used as a primary preservative in deli meats, sausage, and bacon. You might find it helpful to know that sulfites can’t be put into fresh meat. Choosing to cook a turkey that you can turn into leftovers for your lunch can help you avoid ingesting too many sulfides at your meals.
A bowlful of dip is nearly impossible to pass up when you have your hands on fresh tortilla chips. Or, you may love using guacamole as a topping on tacos or enchiladas. Either way, you’ll want to avoid the pre-made dip since it likely has preservatives in there to help it retain its bright green hue. Mashing up an avocado only takes a few minutes, and it is worth it when you can enjoy your favorite dip without worrying about being short of breath later.
Sometimes, taking the easy route doesn’t pay off. If you’ve ever noticed that potatoes turn brown when they are exposed to oxygen, then you might wonder how instant potato manufacturers keep the flakes so white. The answer comes down to the usual suspect again, which is preservatives. Watch out for frozen potatoes, such as French fries, as well. While it will take longer, choosing to cut up and cook your own potatoes helps you to avoid those nasty sulfites.
If you’ve started to notice a trend, then you’ll see it here again. Shrimp, lobster, and fish can all lose their color quickly after being processed. For this reason, seafood processing companies tend to use sulfites to preserve their color. Since you don’t want to miss out on that healthy omega-3s, you may want to find a local store that sells fresh seafood for your meals.
The buttery flavoring used to make microwave popcorn delicious contains chemicals that can become airborne as the kernels pop. Popcorn also contains trans fats, which are linked to asthmatic symptoms. Popping fresh kernels is better, and you can use fresh herbs and other natural seasonings to flavor your bowl of popcorn.
Figuring out what triggers your asthma requires some trial and error. Naturally, you’ll want to follow your doctor’s recommended treatment plan, but it can also help to pay attention to how what you eat affects your body. Trying an elimination diet or using safer substitutes for these common foods can help to eliminate wheezing and shortness of breath so that you can have a greater sense of wellbeing.