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Jan 1, 2009 04:45 PM

Foods to Avoid During an Asthma or Bronchitis Flare?

Certain foods and beverages seem to generate more respiratory secretions than others, milk and lemonade being perfect examples. What other foods & drinks would you recommend avoiding during an asthma flare or a bout with bronchitis, or before singing?

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  1. This probably goes without saying if you're already in a flare, but wine should go to the top of the list of drinks to avoid. I actually brought on a nasty asthma flare once after an afternoon of wine tasting (isn't that sad?!). Also stay away from preparing anything with jalapenos or other chiles.

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    1. re: kattyeyes

      Right. Sulfites can worsen asthma, especially allergy-related asthma. In addition to red wine, dried fruit is the other major culprit. I always have to remember to avoid dried fruit when I'm having a bout of asthma/asthmatic bronchitis. Allergens are additive, so several of them in combination can trigger an attack when none of them would on their own. For example, I can eat dried fruit and drink red wine, or I can hang out with my sister's cats, but I can't drink red wine at her house (wine + cats = wheezing).

    2. i'd say anything dry or crummy, anything still smoking.........and most importantly nothing you're allergic to. also, being too full in general is not good when you have breathing problems and already having trouble taking a deep breath. I have asthma, thankfully with few flare ups, but I know I have more trouble breathing during times of indulgence like the holidays.

      i'm sure I also remember reading somewhere about the connection between candied fruits and such like what is in fruitcake, and asthma.

      1. I"m prone to chronic bronchitis. I find anything cold really bothers me. Especially cold drinks so I avoid those when I'm having any type of lung issues. As mentioned above alcohol really bothers me and anything remoting resembling overeating. Generally, when I"m in one of the periods where I'm having bronchial trouble I try to eat mostly fruits, vegetables and lots of soups. The hot liquids(soups and teas) always seem to make me feel better and calm my chest but that's probably psychosomatic. I also eat honey when I'm having trouble for the soothing effect.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ziggylu

          Thanks for this! I've never had a problem with bronchitis until recently. I realized today the time coincides with my fondness for coffee frappes, which I down so quickly they hurt my chest. Hmmmmm, back to hot tea :-)

        2. Conversely, I've found that flax seed (in any form) improved my asthma dramatically. I'm not one to believe much in homeopathic remedies, but I was even able to stop using my meds. I had exercise-induced asthma, so I still try to eat flax seed before a hard effort to help make sure it doesn't flare up.