The Best Foods To Help Reduce Asthma Symptoms

Asthma is a chronic pulmonary disorder characterized by the narrowing of airway passages leading to the lung, including the nasal passageways, mouth, nose, and larynx, which causes difficulty breathing. Certain triggers such as seasonal, environment or food-related allergies may irritate the immune system and cause an asthma attack in which the airway passages close and the person affected has trouble breathing.

High in carotenoids


According to one study, women who ate foods high in carotenoids including carrots, tomatoes, and green leafy vegetables had lower rates of asthma. The study also found individuals who are prone to asthma tend to have lower levels of carotenoids in their blood. Carotenoids are antioxidant pigments necessary for giving vegetables their unique coloring. Vitamin A is converted to carotenoids in the body. Eating foods high in vitamin A may be able to help reduce asthma symptoms, such as carrots.



A 2010 study found that foods high in folate or vitamin B9 may be able to reduce inflammation, allergic reactions, and wheezing by regulating the inflammatory process. Foods high in folate include green leafy vegetables, beans, and nuts. Beans have the added benefit of fiber, which helps promote fullness and regulates the digestive system, where approximately seventy percent of the immune system resides. High fiber foods may boost the immune system by improving digestive health and removing toxins from the body.

Nuts And Seeds


Along with being high in folate, nuts and seeds are an excellent source of vitamin E, which has been shown to reduce the inflammatory process in asthma patients. Foods high in vitamin E may also be able to reduce wheezing. Add a handful of nuts or seeds to oatmeal in the morning or salads for lunch or dinner. Eating a handful of raw nuts along with fresh blueberries is the perfect midmorning or mid-afternoon snack to boost antioxidant levels.

Green Leafy Vegetables


Low levels of magnesium may increase the risk of developing asthma, according to a 2012 study. The study discovered that increasing dietary magnesium may be able to reduce the duration and severity of an asthma attack along with symptoms, such as muscle spasms. Magnesium has also been shown to relax bronchial and smooth muscle tissue, which allows for easier breathing during an asthma attack. Green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, and some grains are a good source of magnesium.

Broccoli Sprouts

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Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable containing a compound known as sulforaphane. According to research conducted by the University of California, Los Angeles, sulforaphane provides a broad range of antioxidant enzymes effective in blocking harmful air pollution, which may help reduce asthma symptoms. The researchers stated, “We found a two-to-three-fold increase in antioxidant enzymes in the nasal airway cells of study participants who had eaten a preparation of broccoli sprouts. This strategy may offer protection against inflammatory processes and could lead to potential treatments for a variety of respiratory conditions.â€Â

Garlic And Onions


Foods belonging to the garlic family such as onions, shallots, and chives have natural antimicrobial and antibacterial properties that may be able to fight off infections and boost the immune system. Garlic also contains an anti-inflammatory compound known as quercetin to reduce the severity of asthma attacks. Chopped fresh or cooked garlic and onions can be added to just about any dish, including whole wheat pasta, chicken and vegetable stir-fries, cheesy vegetable bakes, and homemade soups.

Raw Milk

Verywell Health

Raw milk is milk that has not been pasteurized or heated to high temperatures to kill off any germs or bacteria that might cause infection. However, the heat used during the pasteurization process also kills off many naturally occurring probiotics, enzymes, and vitamins and minerals. Raw milk and cultured dairy contain probiotics that improve digestion and inhibit allergic reactions by reducing the number of allergens that pass through the digestive tract. Raw milk is not legal in all states, therefore, it may be difficult to find.



Avocados are an excellent source of vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid. Research indicates individuals with asthma may need higher doses of pantothenic acid as they are not able to utilize it properly. Pantothenic acid is best known for its role in supporting adrenal function, which is needed to control stress levels affecting the immune system. Pantothenic acid deficiency is common in people who take a medication used for treating asthma called theophylline.



Salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce asthma symptoms by reducing inflammation in the airway passages with their remarkable anti-inflammatory properties. Other fishes high in omega-3 fatty acids are orange roughy, trout, tuna, sardines, and mackerel. Opt for wild-caught fish whenever possible as most farm-raised fish are treated with additives and food dyes, which may provoke asthma symptoms. Salmon is also a good source of pantothenic acid as well.


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Processed foods containing refined sugar, hydrogenated oils, preservatives, pesticides, color dyes, gluten, soy, and eggs have been linked to asthma conditions, especially in children. The best way to reduce asthma symptoms using food is by eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Blueberries have one of the highest antioxidant content known to man. They are useful for boosting the immune system and eliminating inflammatory toxins that narrow passageways during asthma attacks. Add a handful of them to morning smoothies for protection against asthma symptoms.


    HealthPrep Staff