The official blog of the Lung Institute.
When it comes to COPD, diet is everything.
The symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can be pretty difficult to live with. As a disease that affects mobility and general energy levels, finding the strength to do even your day-to-day routine can be a challenging proposition. Though there are medications and emerging treatment options available designed to help alleviate symptoms often the first steps in taking control of one’s health are through simple diet and exercise.
As we’ve mentioned before, proper COPD diet and exercise can have a profound effect on the quality of life and spirit for someone with lung disease. It can boost energy levels, create a healthier body, and through it, allow better breathing. However, addressing one’s diet can be challenging for someone without lung disease. Limited mobility can make it difficult to simply go to the store, let alone cook and plan a meal. Though dieting with lung disease can be difficult, we’re here to help.
With your health in mind, the Lung Institute is here to give you a comprehensive diet plan to keep you healthy and breathing better. Here’s our COPD Diet: 5 Tips to Keep You On Track.
5. Eat Your Protein
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that protein is a vital nutrient when it comes to the body’s health. To start, it plays a vital role within the protection of the body, creating antibodies throughout that fight infection. When looking to increase your body’s protein intake, look to lean meats (specifically chicken), eggs and legumes (beans). Although it can seem difficult to substantially increase your protein with a limited ability to cook, it isn’t, as you can easily supplement your protein intake by eating things like peanuts, almonds and other nuts throughout the day. If you’re not a fan of peanuts, try eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. If grilling chicken is too intensive, settle for chicken salad. The key is to figure out whatever method is easiest for you to gain the necessary protein.
4. Stay Hydrated in Your COPD Diet
Here, at the Lung Institute, we cannot stress this enough: drink more water. In most cases, Americans are often chronically dehydrated, and this can lead to a lot of problems. For starters, being dehydrated can lower energy levels. Secondly, it can lower cognitive function. However, staying hydrated can help you sleep better, reduce headaches, reduce phlegm and generally allow you to feel and breathe better. As we need water to live, it’s vitally important to make sure you get enough of it. Studies have shown that the average person should look to drink at least half a gallon of water a day, so put down the soda and coffee, and start your day with a glass of good old H2O.
3. Fruits and Vegetables Are Your Friends
Not only do fruits and vegetables taste pretty good, they’re also incredibly good for you. Fruits and vegetables are jam-packed with key vitamins and nutrients that are not only good for the body but also good for those with COPD. In choosing which fruits and vegetables to eat for a COPD diet, follow these general guidelines:
Eat – (Rich in vitamins, fiber and potassium)
- Leafy greens
- Beets and potatoes
Avoid – (Cause gas)
- Peaches and melons
- Brussel Spouts
Keep these tips in mind for your COPD diet, and plan your meals accordingly. Just be sure to leave some room for a healthy spinach salad or a fresh orange.
2. Fish Are Friends and Food
Fish are often overlooked in dieting because they aren’t always cheap and aren’t as popular as other meats. However, they are often the healthiest meats around as they are rich in essential proteins, fatty acids and omega-3 vitamins. Although we’d recommend not to eat fried fish, a nice grilled salmon or mackerel with a bit of lemon juice and rosemary seasoning can be just what the body needs to feel better and breathe easier. When looking at the best fish for lung disease, the most beneficial fish will be salmon, mackerel and sardines. Just take it easy on the salt.
1. Got Milk
As we stated above, protein is incredibly necessary for the body’s health; however, for those who are generally beyond the age of 50, it’s vitally important to make sure one’s calcium and vitamin D intake is taken seriously. As vitamin D allows the body’s bones to heal and become stronger, it has the added effect of alleviating COPD symptoms and allowing better breathing. When consuming dairy, open yourself up to the full spectrum of the food group: cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products. However, just be mindful that dairy products can have the added effect of increasing mucus and phlegm build-up within the throat and lungs. If dairy worsens your mucus production, try fortified non-dairy milk and cheese alternatives, such as almond milk, soy milk and veggie cheeses.
So What’s Next?
Managing a COPD diet can be difficult when mobility and energy are limited. However, it is incredibly important to your continuing health. To address the progressive symptoms of lung disease, the first step in this process is to quit smoking. The second is to address your lifestyle through simple diet and exercise changes. With these behavioral changes, it’s possible to greatly affect the pronouncement of symptoms within those with COPD, pulmonary fibrosis and emphysema. However, when lifestyle changes fail to improve your quality of life in the way that you may expect, it may be time to consider stem cell therapy. Rather than addressing the symptoms of lung disease, stem cell therapy may directly affect disease progression and may improve quality of life.
If you or a loved one suffers from a chronic lung disease like COPD, PF or ILD, the Lung Institute may be able to help with a variety of adult stem cell treatment options. Contact us today at (800) 729-3065 to see if you qualify for stem cell therapy, and find out what stem cell therapy could mean for you.
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