It’s a well-known fact that a balanced diet helps maintain a healthy mind and body. It provides the energy to stay active throughout the day and supports the immune system. All this includes the health of your lungs. Consuming the right food with ample doses of nutrients can make breathing easy and even minimize common and rare lung diseases.

However, certain popular foods and essential food items can aggravate breathing difficulties and pose a threat to life. Check them out and avoid them altogether if possible, or at least limit their intake to improve your lung health and breathing condition.

1. Foods high in salt
Consuming a pinch of salt cooked in a dish isn’t harmful, but a diet heavily loaded with salt can spark trouble. It can cause bloating and retains excess water that can cause breathing problems, including asthma. Broths, frozen foods, and processed meats contain an excessive amount of sodium, causing heart problems apart from various lung diseases. Instead, substitute salt with herbs and spices to add flavor and enhance the taste of food.

2. Caffeinated drinks
Caffeine and carbonated beverages lead to excessive gas production and bloating since they’re overloaded with sugar. They are very high in calories and have almost zero nutritional value. Caffeine increases your heart rate, which puts excessive pressure on the lungs, causing breathing difficulties. It can lead to COPD, asthma, and wheezing, all that can be life-threatening.

3. Fried foods
Fried foods produce gas, leading to bloating and abdominal discomfort, and put too much pressure on the diaphragm. This leads to increased breathing difficulties that only worsen as you put on more weight. The unhealthy fats in fried foods raise cholesterol levels, lead to heart diseases, and increase the pressure on your lungs.

4. Alcohol
Alcoholic beverages contain sulfites as preservatives that aggravate asthma symptoms, wheezing, and breathing problems. While consuming alcohol regularly isn’t good for anyone’s health, those suffering from breathing difficulties should keep it to a minimum and avoid consuming before bedtime. It can disrupt your sleep and can worsen breathing problems. Try drinking non-alcoholic beverages that are free from artificial ingredients.

5. Too much of dairy products
While dairy products have numerous health benefits, it can worsen breathing problems and other lung diseases. Excessive amounts of dairy cause the body to produce more mucus that clogs the airways, making breathing very uncomfortable and worsens the condition. Switch to other sources of calcium and healthy fats by replacing milk and dairy products.

6. Cruciferous vegetables
Vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, radish, and cauliflower produce high amounts of gas, causing bloating and increased pressure on your lungs. While they are excellent sources of fiber and nutrients, limit their intake to reduce asthma and breathing problems.

7. Processed foods
Processed foods, including fast food, are loaded with preservatives like parabens, nitrates, and tartrazine. They also contain artificial coloring agents, and all these can lead to lung inflammation. These foods and packed foods increase asthma symptoms and cause other lung diseases, making breathing very difficult.