Any connection between breathing and diet?

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A bloated stomach can leave you gasping for air besides causing severe headaches. It is important to identify the specific foods which cause you to inflate and avoid them completely…writes  Naaznin Husein (Former president of the Indian Dietetic Association, Mumbai Chapter.) 

You didn’t ever think that your dietary habits could also determine your breathing patterns, did you? Yes, there is a relation between breathing problems and diet.

Nutrition from the food we eat circulates through every part of the body. Hence our diet can be the direct cause as well as the solution to all our problems. At a time when record-high pollution levels in major cities across the country are proving to be a nightmare for people with breathing difficulties, these easy-to-follow dietary habits can provide significant relief. 

  1. Cut down on the carbohydrate content

Carbon dioxide, the end product obtained after the breakdown of carbohydrates, can cause trouble breathing. Replace this with whole grains, fibrous fruits, and sources of proteins like pulses, eggs, fish, etc. 

  1. Include potassium in your diet 

Potassium deficiency can also be a cause of breathing issues. Fruits like apples, pears and amla can help you make up for it. 

  1. Avoid foods that cause you bloating

A bloated stomach can leave you gasping for air besides causing severe headaches. It is important to identify the specific foods which cause you to inflate and avoid them completely. 

  1. Drink lots of water

It lubricates the joints, forms saliva and mucus, and delivers oxygen throughout the body. It boosts skin health and beauty, cushions the brain, spinal cord, and other sensitive tissues, and regulates body temperature. 

  1. About milk products

Avoid dairy products if they cause phlegm. 

  1. Monitor your salt intake

Limit the intake of salt as excess salt may cause the body to retain fluids, which can make breathing difficult.  

  1. Reduce weight

Shedding off those few extra kilos can reduce the pressure on your lungs, hence allowing them to function better. 

Despite following your medication sincerely and protecting your lungs from pollution, you find yourself breathless at some points during the day, it might be helpful to take a closer look at your diet.

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