5 Foods That Can Cause Breathing Problems

While the right doctor prescribed medications, inhalers, and breathing therapies can help control the symptoms of COPD and asthma, such as chest tightness, wheezing, increased mucus, and fatigue, it’s also important that patients with these inflammatory breathing conditions pay close attention to their diets. There are many foods that have been shown to trigger breathing problems. If you suffer from allergies, asthma, or COPD it may be best to limit your intake of the following foods

1. Cabbage
You may be surprised to find out that cabbage can cause breathing issues. It is one of the healthiest foods that you can eat. It is rich in antioxidants and also contains anti-cancer properties. However, cabbage has a tendency to cause bloating after you eat. If you are bloated, then it will be harder for you to breathe.

2. Sugary foods
It is best to avoid sugar as much as possible. Sugar has a tendency to cause inflammation, which can worsen the symptoms of asthma. The lungs also have to work harder when the body is trying to metabolize sugar. Sugary foods have simple carbohydrates. If you consume fewer simple carbohydrates, then your body won’t produce as much carbon dioxide. Your lungs will not have to work as hard.

3. Excess salt
COPD and asthma patients should season food with herbs and spices instead of salt. You should also choose minimally processed foods. Even if you are not adding any salt to processed foods, they naturally have a lot of sodium in them. Salt has a tendency to cause your body to retain fluids. This can lead to bloating.

4. Milk
Milk and other dairy products can increase mucus production in the respiratory tract. If you have less mucus in your respiratory tract, then it will be a lot easier for you to breathe. In fact, many people notice that their symptoms improve after they remove dairy from their diet.

5. Preservatives, nitrates, and food additives
Preservatives are added to your food to help them last longer. Even though they can add to the shelf life of food, you will need to avoid them as much as you can. Sulfites and nitrates are some of the most common preservatives. Sulfites are found in sauerkraut, pre-made guacamole, soup mixes, molasses and lemon juice. Nitrates are found in ham, hot dogs, sausage and bacon. Preservatives have a tendency to worsen lung problems. Studies have also shown that people who consume nitrates are more likely to develop COPD. It is also wise to limit your intake of food additives. Monosodium glutamate, or MSG, is one of the most commonly used food additives. Sodium nitrites, high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners are some of the other additives that you will need to avoid. Not only can additives worsen your COPD or asthma symptoms, but they may also increase your risk of developing lung cancer.


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