The Asthma-Busting Diet That Helped David Beckham Become a Soccer Star


David Beckham is nothing short of a legend in the world of soccer, his stardom paving the way for those of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. In fact, Beckham was so good a popular saying, “bend it like Beckham” was even coined to describe his ability to “bend” the direction of a ball in the soccer field.

But what most people don’t know about the former sportsman is that he achieved all of this despite dealing with a respiratory illness that could’ve prevented him from even playing.

A Slight Case of Asthma

The now 43-year-old retired soccer player would continue to play the game professionally for three more years after the incident before officially retiring in 2013.

Beckham’s “slight case” of asthma was first discovered by the world when he was seen using an inhaler at the sidelines of a game during the FIFA World Cup 2010.

By then, the legendary player has already been a pro for about 17 years so the world was both surprised and concerned for his health. He would, later on, admit that he had been dealing with the illness for many years. In fact, he might have had it even before beginning his 21-year career at the age of 18.

According to Beckham, he never brought up the topic since it never affected his game until that time so he didn’t have much reason to talk about it in the press.

But his admission sent a wave of hope for young aspiring athletes who are also suffering from the same respiratory illness. Asthma is a chronic lung illness which makes the natural and important act of breathing difficult, even scary, for those who have it.

Beckham’s Secret to Controlling Asthma

Beckham now eats a slightly modified diet after officially retiring from playing soccer.

Now, almost a decade later, Beckham’s secret to managing his asthma is out.

According to research published in the European Respiratory Journal, eating a healthy diet has been proven to decrease the effects of asthma and control it more effectively.

Another source, The Daily Meal, reports that Beckham’s balanced diet composed of leafy greens, beans, lean meats and healthy fats, usually from olive oil and yogurt, helped him retain his high level of performance in the sport while keeping his asthma in check.

These foods match the results of the journal study and give hope to other asthmatics who may be looking for non-pharmaceutical ways to manage and control their condition.

Lifestyle Changes

There have been unconfirmed rumors that Beckham was a secret smoker of Cuban cigars around the time that the soccer star revealed that he has asthma.

Aside from diet changes, certain lifestyle changes can also help asthmatics live a better life despite their illness.

Losing weight, for those who are overweight, is usually recommended by doctors along with getting a healthy amount of physical activity on the daily.

Staying away from places with possible triggers and allergens like cigarette smoke, grass and pollen is another one. If it is unavoidable, doctors recommend that sufferers wear a mask to filter the air and prevent an attack.