Prevention for Asthma: Foods that Trigger Asthma in Children, Adults

Prevention for Asthma: Foods that Trigger Asthma in Children, Adults

Asthma attacks can be triggered by a multitude of factors. Stress, environment and foods are leading causes of asthma attacks. Knowing what foods trigger an attack will help to avoid and reduce the amount that is consumed. According to the International Food Information Council, food-related asthma attacks are rare and account for only 6 percent of attacks in children and 2 percent in adults. While the actual trigger of an attack by food is rare, it is possible for patients with severe food allergies.

Food may cause asthma in kids

1. Children who frequently eat fast food are far likelier to have severe asthma compared to counterparts who tuck into fruit, a large international study published on Monday said. Researchers asked nearly half a million teenagers aged 13-14 and children aged six and seven about their eating habits and whether in the previous year they had experienced wheezing, eczema or an itchy, blocked nose when they did not have cold or flu.

Prevention for Asthma Foods that Trigger Asthma in Children, Adults

2. Scientists from Spain, New Zealand, Australia, Germany and the UK have been conducting a study for the last 12 months. They studied the diets of 6-7 year olds and young teenagers. They found that children who ate fast food, in particular burgers, more than three times a week, had a increased chance of developing severe asthma, eczema and rhinitis.

Children between the ages of 6 and 7 were said to have a 27% increased risk of these conditions and young teenagers had up to a 40% increased risk. Scary stuff.

The good news is that eating fruit can help protect young people from developing severe asthma. Eating three or four portions a week reduced the symptoms in 6-7 year olds by 14% and in young teenagers by 11%.

3. Most kids eat too many high-salt foods. Sodium is hiding in most packaged snack products at grocery stores - even in seemingly innocent choices like cottage cheese. If you have a child with asthma, read labels carefully, and try to wean them off of high-salt snacks and on to whole food snack such as fruit. It's a healthier choice, and it could have the bonus of improving their asthma symptoms.

Foods that Trigger Asthma in Children, Adults


More than 3 million people in the United States are allergic to some form of nut, according to the AAAI. Peanut allergies are most common among those sufferers. Nut allergies can trigger an asthma attack or cause anaphylatic shock in patients. The oil from the nut is the root cause of the allergy, causing swelling of the airways. Examining food labels and taking precautions against cross contamination is necessary to avoid the oils that are produced by nuts.

Prevention for Asthma Foods that Trigger Asthma in Children, Adults


Seafood allergies are common in the United States. More than 2 percent of the population of the United States is affected by seafood allergies, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI). This is more than the more widely publicized peanut allergies. Seafood produces in most instances anaphylatic shock, but can trigger asthma attacks. The proteins in seafood is the cause and trigger of an attack or allergic reaction. Most generally, an attack will be severe. Those affected by the allergy should carry an ephinephrine pen, in case of accidental ingestion. This can be caused by cross contamination at restaurants or in severe instances inhaling the cooking substance. 

Soy & Wheat

Soy and wheat trigger asthma attacks in as many instances as dairy and egg products. While severe reactions from soy or wheat products are rare, the opportunity for it is still possible. Anaphylactic shock is uncommon when associated to wheat and soy allergies, although an asthma attack triggered by this allergy can become severe.

Dairy & Eggs

Dairy and egg allergies are prevalent mostly children. While this childhood allergy can be carried into adulthood, patients usually outgrown it. For patients suffering from egg and dairy allergies, the likelihood of an asthma attack being triggered from consumption is high. For many, soy substitutes are available in place of dairy products, but can lead to other challenges, as soy also can trigger asthma attacks and food allergies.

Sulfates & Additives

Sulfates added into processed foods and occurring naturally have been shown to trigger asthma attacks. These can be found in lemon juice, processed potatoes, dried fruits and vegetables and pickled foods. Sulfates can be carried under the names sulfur dioxide, sodium sulfite, potassium bisulfite, sodium bisulfite, potassium metabisulfite, and sodium metabisulfite.

Additives such as food dyes, and preservatives such as benzoates and BHA and BHT have been traced to asthma attacks, but there is no clear evidence that this is an initial trigger. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) and aspartame also have been thought to trigger asthma related attacks, but again, no clear evidence supports this suggestion.