What Foods Aggravate Asthma: 8 Nigerian Foods to Avoid

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What foods aggravate asthma? Are there ways or things I should do naturally to  reduce this frequent bout of asthma attacks? What can I do differently to manage this condition?

As Professional first Responders, we can categorically say there is no proof that any diet can cure asthma  but avoiding certain foods can reduce its occurrence. Some of the foods we eat can aggravate inflammation and make your asthma symptoms worse. Symptoms associated with asthma is inflammation and narrowing in the lungs.

According to the World Life Expectancy’s latest publication on Asthma in year 2018, deaths arising from this health condition in Nigeria reached 8,373 or 0.43% of total deaths. 

In this post, I will highlight what foods aggravate Asthma especially 8 Nigerian foods that people consume on daily basis without  knowing the health implications especially as it relates to asthma attacks.

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1.   Frequent Consumption of Processed Meat

Too much consumption of processed meat like Killsi and Suya can worsen asthma symptoms because of the methods involved in the processing. The smoke, oil or other additives used in preparing it can spark up reactions in asthma patients though it might not be the case for everybody. But long exposure to smoke and other additives can worsen asthmatic symptoms.

2.   Fast Foods

Fast foods high in saturated fats, sugar  and salt increase airway inflammation in individuals with asthma. On the other hand , maintaining a healthy weight with fast foods is extremely difficult and when you become overweight, a lot of pressure is exerted on the lungs to work harder, hence difficulty in breathing which can be a trigger for asthma attacks.

3.   Processed Foods

Preservatives and artificial colorings are contained in many processed foods and this may worsen lung inflammation which will eventually lead to asthma symptoms like difficulty in breathing, chest tightness and shortness of breath over time. For instance, nitrate is a preservative used in processed meat like hot dogs, ham, bacon and some sausages. This additive or chemical can be injurious to health not only to asthmatics.

4.   Fried Foods or frying Foods

Asthma symptoms can be triggered by the process of cooking or preparing a meal as in the case of frying egg or any other frying that produces fumes. Cooking being  one of the many forms of combustion can produce fumes and gas particles like carbon monoxide as seen in the case of kerosene stove. These fumes can lead to difficulty in breathing hence provoking asthma attacks.

5.   Roasted or Smoked Foods

There is a tendency for every asthmatic to react after regular consumption of road side roasted or smoked foods like roasted  plantain popularly known as “boli” in South West Nigeria, roasted yam, roasted corn and even smoked fish due to the method of preparation. The long exposure to smoke, dust and contaminants from the air can worsen inflammation and hence the severity of  asthma attacks.

6.   Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners are chemicals used to sweeten foods and they are widely used in processed foods like dairy products, canned foods, candies, jams and jellies, soft drinks, powdered drink mixes and other beverages. These foods taken over time can lead to inflammation in the lungs which could result to difficulty in breathing  and shortness of breath as seen in individuals with asthma.

7.   Wine and Beer

Research has shown that a preservative used in the production of wine and beers known as sulfite may aggravate asthma episodes in individuals with this health condition. Too much consumption of wine and beer can also lead to obesity which in turn could result to shortness of breath and breathing problems.

8.   Dried Fruits

Sulfites are a type of preservative found in preserved foods and beverages such as alcohol, dried fruits, bottled lemon,  and pickled foods. Regular intake of these foods over time may aggravate asthma attacks in individuals with asthma.

Read also: Asthma Natural Cure Food

Generally, imbibing a healthy lifestyle will go a long way in reducing the rate at which you experience the attacks. Changing from your normal diet that consists mainly of processed foods and fast foods to plant-based diet can help fight inflammation which is the main symptom associated with asthma. In my article, List of food to eat during white fasting, you will see a comprehensive list of plant -based diet to incorporate into your diet plan.

So far, I have mentioned 8 Nigerian foods that aggravate asthma. when you identify and avoid these foods, it will go a long way in reducing the rate at which asthma attacks occur.

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Paschal Achunine
Paschal Achunine
Paschal Achunine Is the founder of Health Emergency Initiative(HEI) for Indigent patients. HEI stands as next -of-kin to indigent patients in public hospitals and also for road accident victims.

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