While we have spoken about COPD recently, in today’s article we’ll see why making healthy food choices help to manage your COPD.
(Read more about causes, symptoms, and treatment of COPD)
If you have been diagnosed with COPD, your doctor might have asked you to adopt a healthy choice of diet. You might wonder how diet can make positive changes in your COPD condition. Let’s clear the air! A healthy diet change might not cure COPD but incorporating the right foods along with medications will definitely improve the condition and make you feel better.
But how is food related to breathing?
This is a question that most of you might ask. Let’s try explaining! Food uses the process of metabolism to change into fuel. We use oxygen and food for metabolism to produce energy and carbon-dioxide. If you eat more carbohydrates, its metabolism produces more carbon-dioxide for the amount of oxygen used; but metabolizing the fats produces the least. So if you have COPD, try eating more fats rather than carbs that will help you to breathe easily.
Modern health experts also believe that supporting your COPD treatment and medications with a healthy diet can alleviate the symptoms and make you feel better.
Here we have put together a suggested idea of a healthy diet that will ease those suffocating symptoms.
Keep a check on calorie intake
If you are a COPD sufferer, you must try and maintain your weight. If you are overweight, try to lose your weight by eating fewer calories.
Avoid crash diets
Yes, there are a number of diet plans floating over the internet that claim fast weight loss. This is not appropriate, especially if you have COPD. You must try to lose weight by having a balanced diet with whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and lean protein. Ensure that you get all the vitamins and minerals in your diet so as to strengthen your immune system and fight away infections of the respiratory system.
Many doctors recommend exercising as part of the COPD rehabilitation plan. Hence proteins are important to build lean muscles and give you the energy to keep up with the exercise and the daily work routine. Having milk, chicken, eggs, fish, and beans are some great protein options.
Load up your plate with antioxidants
Cigarette smoke is one of the main causes of COPD and it increases the level of oxidants in the lungs and decrease in antioxidants. So have foods loaded with powerful antioxidants like green tea, flax seeds, spinach, pomegranates, berries, turmeric, and ginger.
Vitamin C is said to improve the functioning of the lungs. Oranges, cantaloupe, grapefruits, and kiwi are some good choices.
Salt causes water retention in the body that makes it difficult for the lungs to breathe. Get rid of the table salt, instead keep other unsalted seasonings to flavor your dishes.
Foods that lead to gas problems
Some fruits like apples, peaches, and apricots can cause bloating and gas due to fermentable carbohydrates in them. This can cause breathing troubles in people with COPD.
Similarly, beans, legumes, cabbage, cauliflower, might also lead to bloating. These vegetables and fruits might not prove to be harmful to all. You must know what to eat and what not to eat depending on how your body reacts to these foods.
Have small portions
You must check your portion size when you are eating. This is important because more food in the stomach means indigestion that presses up against the diaphragm leading to breathing problem.
With a healthy diet and medications, you can manage COPD and improve your quality of life.