According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 15 million Americans have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Unfortunately, there is no current cure for COPD, and that includes eating a plant-based diet.
Plant-based diets encourage people to eat more healthy and organic foods, such as vegetables, berries, seeds and nuts. This diet also emphasizes the eating of minimally processed foods, and its proponents advise against eating highly processed foods like white sugar and flour. Although it can’t cure COPD, moving to a plant-based diet can have several important benefits for COPD patients.
3 Benefits Plant-Based Diets Can Have for COPD Patients
COPD patients should be on the lookout for lifestyle changes that can help decrease their symptoms. If you’re interested, you can talk to your doctor about moving to a plant-based diet. Such a diet may offer COPD patients 3 specific benefits:
- Helps decrease your weight — The lungs of an overweight person must work harder to supply their body with oxygen. This can be an issue for COPD patients who already have decreased lung function. Plant-based diets have been shown to help decrease weight. In fact, a review of 12 studies on plant-based diets reports that people on these diets lost about 4.5 pounds in an average time of 18 weeks.
- Decreases inflammation — Plant-based diets encourage people to eat more antioxidant-rich foods. This includes foods like spinach, kale, raspberries and blueberries, to name a few. Antioxidants are molecules that help to neutralize free radicals in the body that cause inflammation. There’s even a medical study with findings that increasing the levels of antioxidants in your body can help it more effectively deal with the inflammation that COPD causes.
- Decreases exacerbation risk — An exacerbation is a sudden and severe worsening of COPD symptoms, and 1 study reports that COPD patients could have more than 3 exacerbations annually. Getting more vitamins from the foods you eat could help decrease your risk of exacerbations. A medical study reports that vitamins A, C, E and D could help to achieve this goal, and eating a plant-based diet can help you consume more vegetables and fruits that are high in these vitamins.
Lung Health Institute Offers Natural Treatment Options for COPD
A major component of the AI2 is information about many lung-healthy food options, including vegetables. Also provided are specific recipes that are designed to help your lung health. Other information in these plans includes exercise tips, sleeping tips and advice about creating a tracking journal. All these natural methods are combined with the intention of benefiting you in several ways: They can help to boost your immune system, and these methods can train your body to fight inflammation using fats as well.
Take the next step to Breathe Easier™. Contact a Lung Health Institute patient coordinator today for more information or to schedule a free consultation.