Following a proper diet is an important part of managing COPD. Use these food tips to eat right and gain control over COPD symptoms.
If you or someone you know is living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), getting proper nutrition and following a healthy diet is essential. This chronic lung disease causes an obstruction in the airflow from your lungs, resulting in symptoms like breathing difficulties, coughing, and wheezing. Broadly put, COPD is a blanket term for a range of lung diseases, which include emphysema, asthma, and chronic bronchitis.
This health condition is caused primarily by exposure to annoying gases or some particulate matter, and cigarette smoke has been found to be the chief cause of people getting affected by COPD. The symptoms of COPD often do not appear in people for a long time, and by then significant lung damage has occurred in most cases. More often than not, these symptoms usually worsen as time passes, especially if you continue being exposed to cigarette smoke.
The good news is that COPD is a treatable condition, and you can gain control over the symptoms as well as reduce your risk of developing other associated health conditions, by going for the proper treatment and adhering to your doctor’s advice. Watching what you eat and how you eat it can be vital in managing COPD and improving your overall health. Just a few dietary modifications can go a long way in providing relief from the symptoms of COPD. In fact, research has revealed that the right kind of diet is linked to better breathing in people suffering from this disease. Here are some of the ways in which you can modify your eating habits to keep your lungs healthy and battle the symptoms of COPD in an effective manner.
The food you eat acts as the fuel that your body needs to perform various activities, including breathing. As part of a process known as metabolism, your body uses this food to create energy for all the activities that you do every day. So it’s necessary that we provide our body with the nutrients that it needs for proper functioning. For people with COPD, even the simple activity of breathing requires more energy—as many as 10 times more calories are needed as compared to people who do not have this condition. Hence, eating the right kinds of food is essential for those with COPD. Maintaining a healthy mix of all the nutrients and vitamins you need is the best way to fight this lung condition. Eat a variety of foods including vegetables, fruits, meats, grains, and dairy products in order to maintain a balance in your diet. Doing this will also ensure that you don’t have to eat the same kind of food every day, and thus reduce temptation to indulge in some unhealthy snacks or foods.
Consuming high-fiber and whole grain foods such as brown rice, whole grain bread, cooked dried peas, beans, pasta, bran, and cereals will control your blood glucose levels and also improve the functioning of your digestive system. Fresh vegetables and fruits contain many essential minerals, vitamins, and fiber that can keep your body healthy and make you better equipped to deal with COPD symptoms. However, some fruits and vegetables might be more beneficial to you as compared to others. Check with your health practitioner to know which ones suit you the best, as your symptoms might vary from another person with COPD. If you love indulging in meat and seafood, stick to low-fat proteins like the lean cuts of poultry, meat, and fish. Also, oily fish like sardines, salmon, and mackerel can do you good.
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