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Asthma : An Asthma-Friendly Diet

Can the foods you eat affect your asthma? While there's no diet that will eliminate or cure asthma, your food choices may improve your symptoms -- or at least not make them worse.

The Mayo Clinic offers the following recommendations:

Take vitamin D. People with more severe asthma often have low vitamin D levels, and replenishing this vitamin may improve symptoms. In addition to a daily vitamin D supplement, salmon, milk, and eggs are good sources of vitamin D. Also spend a few minutes in the sun each day to increase your levels.

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Brightly colored fruits and veggies are good sources of antioxidants like beta-carotene and vitamins C and E, which help control lung irritation and inflammation. Apples may be particularly helpful -- a British study found that people who ate five apples a week had a 32 percent reduced risk of asthma than people who ate less.

Avoid sulfites. Sulfites can trigger asthma symptoms in some people. Used as a preservative, sulfites can be found in wine, some dried fruits, pickles, and other foods. Read labels carefully.

Avoid allergy-triggering foods. Kids with food allergies are likely to have asthma as well. In children with both conditions, the asthma tends to be more severe.

Eat to maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight can make asthma worse. Losing even a little weight can improve symptoms.

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