Certain drinks may alleviate or worsen symptoms of asthma. Some drinks may have anti-inflammatory effects on the airways, whereas others may be an asthma trigger.
Asthma is a chronic condition in which a person’s airways react to certain triggers, which leads to swelling and inflammation in the airways. As a result, it becomes hard for air to pass through the airways, making it difficult for the person to breathe.
Drinks that have anti-inflammatory properties may, therefore, help with symptoms.
In this article, we discuss which drinks may help with asthma, which drinks to avoid, and other asthma remedies.
There is some evidence that certain drinks may help lessen asthma symptoms. These include:
Caffeine is a substance that is in coffee, tea, certain soft drinks, and cocoa.
The authors note that caffeine is very similar chemically to a drug called theophylline, which doctors use as a bronchodilator to open up the airways in the lungs.
Due to this effect of caffeine, people should make a doctor aware if they have recently consumed caffeine before taking a lung function test, such as spirometry.
Drinks with vitamin D
A 2016 study notes that children and adults with low levels of vitamin D are more likely to experience asthma symptoms and that those who include vitamin D in their diet are less likely to require hospitalization due to asthma.
Fortified cows’ milk or plant-based milk may contain vitamin D, which might help prevent asthma attacks in some cases.
Dehydration may make a person more likely to experience asthma symptoms.
Exercise reduces airway hydration, which increases the risk of the airways constricting, leading to asthma symptoms.
People should consume enough water to prevent dehydration. Those who exercise regularly or vigorously may need to drink more. While many foods and drinks are hydrating, water is a simple way to prevent dehydration.
There are several drinks that people may wish to avoid if they have asthma. These include:
While researchers do not know exactly why soft drinks have an association with asthma, it is possible that the sugar
Some people with asthma may also benefit from avoiding alcohol.
Alcohol contains two triggers that may make asthma worse: histamines and sulfites.
Histamines are chemicals that are present in the body and at varying levels in almost all foods and drinks.
Sulfites are a natural preservative in alcohol. Some manufacturers may add more sulfites to wine to prevent it from fermenting in the bottle.
Alcoholic drinks that contain higher amounts of histamine and sulfites, such as wine, beer, and cider, may trigger asthma symptoms. Some people may also find that drinking alcoholic drinks makes them more sensitive to other asthma triggers.
Several foods may also help asthma symptoms. These include foods
- vitamin D, such as egg yolks and fortified food
- vitamin E, such as sunflower seeds, almonds, greens, and pumpkin
- fish oil
- fruits and vegetables, such as apples, bananas, and green beans
These foods may have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. This effect may decrease inflammation in the lung airways, reducing the risk of asthma symptoms.
Food that is high in fiber may have a protective effect against airway inflammation because fiber affects the number and types of bacteria present in the body.
However, some other foods may make asthma symptoms worse. Western diets tend to be high in fat, which can increase airway inflammation. Research shows that young children who consume fast food and meat at least
People can try home remedies or medical treatments to
Home remedies include avoiding any known triggers whenever possible. People who smoke may also find that their asthma symptoms, or those of their child or another household member, improve if they stop smoking. Consuming a healthy, balanced diet may also lessen the effects of asthma.
Medical treatments for asthma include bronchodilators and inhaled steroids. In severe cases, a person may require hospitalization and oxygen therapy.
People should seek medical attention immediately if they are finding it difficult to breathe. Anyone who believes that they or a person in their care is experiencing asthma symptoms should make an appointment with a doctor as soon as possible.
Asthma is a chronic condition that can lower a person’s quality of life.
Certain drinks may be beneficial in managing asthma symptoms. For example, caffeinated drinks, fortified milk, and water may reduce airway constriction. However, sugary drinks and alcohol may make asthma symptoms worse.
Some people may also find that certain foods reduce the symptoms of asthma. Food that is high in vitamins D and E, fish oil, and fruits and vegetables may have anti-inflammatory effects on the airways. Conversely, fast food and meat may increase the frequency or severity of symptoms.
If a person is concerned about their asthma, they should contact a doctor. Although dietary changes may lessen the symptoms of asthma, they are not a substitute for medications.