Foods That Help With Breathing Issues

Treatments and Medications to Consider

If you suffer from allergies, asthma, nasal polyps, NTM lung disease, MAC lung infection, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection, or cold and flu, chances are you’ve experienced issues with breathing at one point or another. There are many ways to help treat and medicate breathing issues, whether that be with an air purifier, puffers, Flonase, Stiolto, Spiriva, Allegra, Claritin, Dupixent, or in more serious cases, oxygen therapy. There are also prevention methods, so look into joining things like the Novavax clinical trials (this example is a vaccine for Covid) or other vaccinations to protect yourself.

It is a well-established fact that vaccines play a crucial role in treating numerous respiratory and breathing disorders. Among the respiratory conditions that benefit from vaccines are Influenza, Pneumonia, Whooping Cough, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), and Tuberculosis, among others. Interestingly, the common cold, which is highly prevalent, remains without a vaccine. Notable vaccine manufacturers, including Novovax, Fluarix Quadrivalent, Vaxelis, Infanrix, Kinrix, Pediarix, Pentacel, and others, produce these immunizations.

But did you know that there are certain foods and changes you can make to your diet that will help you with breathing issues? Based on what you eat, different nutrients make you produce more carbon dioxide for the amount of oxygen used, and others make you produce less. Read on to see what foods and nutrients you should incorporate into your diet to help with your breathing:

1. Whole grains
Whole grains are packed with important vitamins and nutrients like vitamin E, fatty acids, selenium, and fiber that are all great for lung health and have antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Avoid refined grains and instead reach for whole-wheat bread, quinoa, oats, barley, and other whole grain products.

2. Garlic
Garlic is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, thanks to the compound known as allicin. What’s more, garlic has been shown to improve lung function by decreasing oxidative stress. These properties make them a healthy additive for a great boost of flavor to your meals.

3. Leafy greens
Spinach, kale, collards, romaine, and broccoli are great sources of the antioxidant carotenoids. Eating a balanced diet with a good amount of leafy greens is shown to reduce risk of lung cancer and will boost healthy breathing and lung function.

4. Sources of protein
Good sources of protein include most meats, nut butter, milk, eggs, fish, and beans. Getting enough protein supports the maintenance of strong respiratory muscles as well as strengthening respiratory cells, thanks to proteins assistance in repairing cells and making new ones.

5. Tomatoes
Tomatoes are the biggest source of lycopene—an antioxidant known to improve lung health. Tomatoes have been shown to reduce airway inflammation and improve lung function. Try adding sliced tomatoes to your sandwiches or chop them up and add to a fresh salad.

6. Lots of fluids
I know what you’re thinking—water isn’t food! But, it is an important enough factor in helping you breathe, so it needed a place on this list. Staying hydrated is essential to keeping mucus thin for easier removal, thus keeping your airways clear and unblocked. Spread out drinking 6-8 glasses of water a day, and keep in mind that many caffeine-free beverages and a variety of foods contain a substantial amount of water as well.

There is a strongly held view among many individuals that an athlete cannot be a vegan. In the current day context, when a large number of men and women from varying professions and fields of life are consciously opting for meat and dairy-free food, the question arises about how athletes, especially those who are involved in high-end competitive sports can cope and sustain their performance on a vegan diet.



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      Eggs and dairy products such as milk, cheese, and cottage cheese are among the most commonly available sources of protein for those who prefer to follow a plant-based diet. However, in the case of vegans,especially the athletes, when even these sources of protein are eliminated from their diet, the best high-protein foods available include grains and nuts, not to mention soy and soy-based products.

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          Meat remains one of the few sources of vitamin B12, which is considered essential for everyone. Meat is especially necessary for athletes. Vitamin B12 levels need to be adequate in order to prevent muscle fatigue and enhance the endurance of the athletes. Unfortunately, an entirely plant-based diet would be near devoid of vitamin B12. However, on the plus side, there are now a large number of cereals and vegan food products that are fortified with vitamin B12 so that an athlete gets their daily requirement of vitamin B12.

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            A good diet plan requires the inclusion of adequate protein and most athletes require at least 90 to 100 grams of protein intake per day. Merely adding a handful of cereals or sprouts to one’s salad would not have a major impact. Supplementation with vegan high-protein foods is essential for athletes who choose to be vegan. Moreover, one needs to consume a variety of proteins spread throughout the day to ensure the production of all the necessary amino acids. Apart from this, it is also essential that the diet plan of athletes who are vegans includes adequate carbohydrates and both macro and micronutrients to ensure sufficient energy, stamina, and endurance. Although many people fail to give importance to hydration, they must remember that staying hydrated all the time is another significant component.

            High-protein foods that are vegan and plant-based are now increasingly popular and more accessible both at retail stores and online as well. Some of the best high-protein foods that can be included in the daily meal plan of any athlete who is vegan by choice would include the following.

            • Nut, butter, sourced from non-dairy sources such as peanuts, cashew nuts, almonds and so on
            • Non-dairy milk, including soy milk, almond milk, melon seed milk and so on
            • Sprouted whole grain bread can be another source of protein
            • Large servings of tofu and tempeh
            • Spinach, green beans, green peas, and legumes are excellent high-protein foods.
            • Quinoa
            • Kidney beans, pinto beans, and other such beans are also considered as excellent high-protein foods.

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            There are many different types of cancer such as leukemia, breast cancer, and melanoma. This means that there are many different warning signs to look out for. However, if you figure out that you or a loved one has cancer, there are plenty of treatment options to consider. Cancer drugs like Eribulin, Omacetaxine, and Vorinostat can work to treat cancer in a variety of patients. Specifically, AYVAKIT® (avapritinib) for unresectable or metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) is an option for those with GIST to consider. Additionally, various therapies are available to treat cancer such as hormone therapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy, and more. If you or your loved one has cancer, it’s important to consult with a medical professional about tailoring the best possible treatment plan. Otherwise, if you suspect that you or your loved one may have cancer, here are 4 early warning signs to keep an eye out for:

            1. Pain

            While this warning sign is very general and can, of course, be caused by any number of things—various conditions, illnesses, lifestyle choices, and more—pain can also be caused by cancer. The disease can result in different types of pain due to the chemicals that a cancer releases, the spread of cancer throughout the body—also known as metastasis—and a tumor or mass putting pressure on another area of the body. Experiencing persistent pain is always worth getting checked out by a medical professional, whether the underlying cause is cancer or otherwise.

            2. Skin changes

            There are various skin changes that can be early warning signs of cancer. Jaundice—also known as the yellowing of the fingertips or eyes—is one of these, while noticeable changes in a mole is another. For the latter, it’s best to contact a medical professional if a mole is large or growing larger, has changed color or is getting darker, is asymmetrical or has jagged edges, or has irregular borders. 

            3. Fatigue

            Plenty of us know how it feels to be exhausted after an all nighter. Fatigue, however, differs from the typical exhaustion that many of us are accustomed to: if your tiredness refuses to ebb away with sleep or rest, this could be an early warning sign of cancer. Since cancer uses the nutrients present within the body to grow, the nutrients that your system is used to having are no longer readily available, thus resulting in fatigue. 

            4. Blood in the stool

            If you notice blood in your stool, this is usually coming from somewhere in the stomach, intestines, esophagus, or GI tract. While bright red blood can indicate an issue in the rectum or end of intestines, dark red blood can indicate an issue located higher up, such as somewhere in the stomach. Finding blood in the stool can be a sign of cancer, but it could also be a sign of many other conditions such as stomach ulcers, hemorrhoids, and more. No matter what, it’s important to reach out to a medical professional if you notice blood in your stool. 


            Hereditary angioedema, a rare genetic disorder, manifests with recurring episodes of severe swelling affecting the face, extremities, gastrointestinal tract, and airways, often leading to breathing difficulties. While these episodes can be distressing, there are treatment options available, including Haegarda, Berinert, Firazyr, Takhyzyro, and Orladeyo, to name a few. Various factors can trigger these episodes, such as mental stress, infections, trauma, fatigue, physical exertion, weather conditions, and dietary choices. In this article, we’ll focus on common food triggers associated with breathing issues in hereditary angioedema:

            1. High-histamine foods
            Histamine is a chemical in the body that plays a role in allergic reactions, and some foods are naturally high in it, potentially triggering episodes in individuals with hereditary angioedema. Some of the foods include: aged cheeses, smoked and cured meats, fermented foods like sauerkraut, and certain alcoholic beverages, such as red wine and champagne. With HAE, it’s important to be mindful of your histamine intake, as these foods may contribute to swelling and breathing difficulties.

            2. Tree nuts
            People with hereditary angioedema are frequently advised to steer clear of tree nuts, as they commonly trigger swelling and breathing problems. This category includes walnuts, cashews, almonds, and similar nuts.

            3. Spicy foods
            Ingredients like chili peppers, hot sauces, jalapeños, cayenne pepper flakes, and other spicy components often used to add flavor to dishes can pose risks for individuals with hereditary angioedema. Spice is a known trigger, so consider reducing the level of spiciness in your meals or entirely eliminating spicy foods and ingredients from your diet.

            4. Food additives
            Surprisingly, some food additives such as preservatives and artificial sweeteners can act as triggers for hereditary angioedema in certain individuals. Always read food labels carefully and avoid products containing these additives.

            5. Artificial food coloring and flavorings
            Artificial food coloring and flavorings found in many processed foods and beverages can be problematic for individuals with hereditary angioedema. These artificial additives have been known to trigger allergic reactions and exacerbate symptoms in some cases, so be sure to review ingredient labels carefully and consider opting for natural and unprocessed alternatives whenever possible.

            It’s crucial to remain vigilant and attentive to your body’s reactions after consuming various foods. If any food item triggers an episode, make a note of it and avoid it in the future. Always consult with your healthcare provider regarding dietary choices, as individual reactions can vary significantly. Work closely with your doctor to create a personalized diet plan tailored to your specific needs and sensitivities.


            Eosinophilic esophagitis is a chronic allergic/immune condition of the esophagus, causing a large number of white blood cells (known as eosinophils) in the inner lining of the esophagus. These eosinophils can release substances into surrounding tissue, causing inflammation, eosinophilic asthma symptoms, and other symptoms such as decreased appetite, abdominal pain, trouble swallowing, vomiting, and so on. Symptoms often vary by age, but the biologics for eosinophilic esophagitis include medications like Dupixent, Dupilumab, proton pump inhibitors, and topical steroids. To help manage the condition, there is also the option of dietary therapy, in which you practice the six-food elimination diet (SFED), outlined below:

            1. Wheat

            The SFED diet has patients eliminate wheat from the diet, as it is a common allergen and food trigger for some conditions, especially eosinophilic esophagitis. Some substitutes for wheat ingredients in a meal include barley, oats, corn, potatoes, and beans. 

            2. Milk

            Milk is another top allergen and food trigger for a variety of conditions—so much so that it is often recommended you eliminate dairy and wheat first on this list of foods. Milk goes hand in hand with all dairy products, but luckily there are many dairy substitutes made with bases like almond milk, oat milk, coconut milk, and rice milk.

            3. Egg

            Another common allergen and trigger are eggs, earning them a spot on this list of foods to eliminate. While they are a great source of nutrients, you can substitute them for alternatives in cooking and baking with items like applesauce, mashed banana, yogurt, buttermilk, ground flaxseed or chia seed, and more. 

            4. Nuts

            Many schools are nut-free due to the common allergy to them—the top nut allergies are towards peanuts, walnuts, almonds, cashews, pecans, and pistachios. If you still crave that crunch, you can try replacing them with seeds like pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and more. 

            5. Soy

            Many individuals have issues with soy allergies and sensitivities, which is why they are another food to be eliminated in this diet. Soy is found in many items, such as infant formulas, canned broths, soups, canned tuna, baked goods, processed meats, energy bars, and more—be sure to check the labels of every food before consuming.

            6. Shellfish

            Lastly, shellfish is another common allergy and sensitivity that can cause undesirable reactions. Foods that fall under the category of a shellfish allergy include shrimp, crabs, lobster, squid, oysters, scallops, and snails, making it a good idea to avoid seafood almost entirely during the SFED diet. 

            The six food elimination diet was proposed by a gastroenterologist due to limited access to allergists that perform food allergy evaluations for eosinophilic esophagitis. The diet was so successful that it resulted in an 88% resolution of diseases in children with the condition. However, you should keep in mind that the diet is quite challenging to follow as major changes in eating habits will need to occur. Before beginning the SFED diet, be sure to speak to your healthcare team to make sure it’s right for you.

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