Foods and Sulfites

You eat to nourish and energize your body. However, for some people, certain foods and sulfites cause allergic responses, such as asthma.

Food Allergies

Food allergies are an allergic response to proteins found in foods. Healthcare providers believe that certain foods contain allergens. By eating these foods, you exposure your airways. Your body goes through the same process of protecting and defending you from the allergen. People with food allergens and asthma need to be diligent in avoiding foods that cause sensitivities. The response to an allergen is immediate. So, you may not get a warning sign. Your symptoms can also progress quickly, putting you in a dangerous situation.

  • Runny nose
  • Itching in the mouth
  • Throat tightness
  • Trauma to the larynx
  • Hoarseness
  • GI problems

Manage Food Allergies

  • Avoid foods you’re allergic to
  • Use an epinephrine injection 1 with severe reactions 
  • If your allergy is airborne, avoid places that cook known allergens 
  • Develop a clear and concise plan of action


Have you noticed that your breathing changes after you eat or drink certain foods? A food allergy or sensitivity to sulfites may be the cause. Sulfites are additives used to preserve foods or keep them from browning. However, sulfites are not just in foods. They are also in alcoholic beverages, like beers and wines.

Sulfites and Asthma

How sulfites affect your breathing is unknown. However, high concentrations of sulfites are known to induce or aggravate your asthma symptoms.

  • A sudden tightening of airway muscles
  • Audible wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Stomach cramps
  • General itching and swelling
  • Possible loss of consciousness

Limit Your Reactions

To control your asthma, you should pay attention to how you react to sulfites and limit your intake.

  • Avoid processed or pre-packed foods 
  • Take B-12 vitamins before eating or drinking
  • Adopt a low-sulfite diet