We are often asked by patients if there is anything they can do in regards to their diet to help reduce or eliminate the symptoms and long-term health risks of sleep apnea. While there is no magic diet to fix the problem, there are some healthy changes you can make to your diet that certainly cannot hurt.

Obesity is a common cause of sleep apnea, so any healthy changes you make to your exercise routine and diet will be beneficial in many ways. Studies have consistently shown that people that consume higher levels of fat, cholesterol, saturated fat and protein are at a higher risk for obstructive sleep apnea.

With that in mind, here are some foods to eat, and avoid, to kick start your healthy lifestyle changes:

Foods to Eat:

  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Mushrooms
  • Fruits
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Plant based oils- such as sunflower and flaxseed as they aid nutrient consumption
  • Drink plenty of water

Foods to Avoid:

  • Caffeine
  • Spicy foods
  • Soda
  • Alcohol
  • Sugary foods
  • Processed snack foods

Ramie Tritt, M.D., President, Atlanta ENT