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Food for Pulmonary Fibrosis: What to Eat?

5 Sep 2017
| Under Diet and Nutrition, Pulmonary Fibrosis, Recipes | Posted by | 10 Comments
Food for Pulmonary Fibrosis: What to Eat?

When it comes to eating food for pulmonary fibrosis, diet really is everything.

Let’s start here: if you’ve been diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis (PF), finding relief for your symptoms (coughing, shortness of breath, fatigue) can be an all-encompassing desire. Although you may currently be on a short-acting or long-acting bronchodilator (inhaler), or perhaps even supplemental oxygen, the fact remains you’ve probably still seen a drop in your overall quality of life. And though there are treatment options to address internal disease progression, you may want something you can start today – right now – to affect your respiratory health in the long-term.

The good news is that you can, and it starts with eating the right food for pulmonary fibrosis.

With your health in mind, the Lung Institute is here to give you the diet breakdown for those with pulmonary fibrosis or other chronic lung diseases.

This is the definitive guide to Food for Pulmonary Fibrosis: What to Eat?

Proper Nutrition and its Effects on Pulmonary Fibrosis Symptoms

Okay, the basic understanding is that pulmonary fibrosis arises from internal scarring within the lungs because of cigarette smoke (or without any real cause). And, it causes difficulties in the intake and distribution of oxygen throughout the body. This creates the symptoms such as shortness of breath, coughing and fatigue. It should then be understandable that improving the body’s ability to intake oxygen molecules and distribute them throughout the body (through the heart pumping blood) would have a positive effect on relieving symptoms of lung disease.

It does.

Although proper nutrition isn’t emphasized as much as it should be, giving your body the right amount of nutrients is incredibly important to its ability to function. Imagine you have a car and instead of keeping its fluids topped off (transmission, antifreeze, oil, etc.), you only do it when you get around to it. After a while your car is going to start lagging in its ability to function. Without transmission fluid, your car has trouble switching gears. Without antifreeze, your engine overheats. Without oil, the parts grind and wear out.

Your body isn’t a car. It’s more important and requires more maintenance, so it’s important to give it all the daily vitamins and nutrients it needs to function properly and at maximum efficiency.

So, what does your body need?

Recommended Food for Pulmonary Fibrosis

Increase your Protein Intake – Fatty Fish and Poultry

When it comes to those with chronic lung disease, getting enough protein is often neglected. To overcome this, try adding some fish and chicken to your diet. Fish is packed with essential oils and fatty acids (Omega-3s) that your body—and brain—need to function properly.

On the other hand, some of the best protein available is found in lean meats like chicken and turkey. Remember, these foods should be grilled as opposed to fried, as the build-up of oil from frying can deprive these foods of much of the good nutrients and low calories that they’re known for.

Vegetables and Fruit in that Order

In choosing vegetables to eat, you should pick them like you’re picking crayons in a crayon box: color is your friend. And the brighter the better.

To start, try these:

  • Broccoli (no cheese)
  • Carrots (no ranch)
  • Tomatoes
  • Spinach, Kale or Arugula
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Squash
  • And Brussel sprouts

In terms of fruits, the best ones are typically the ones packed with vitamins and antioxidants, these include:

  • Citrus fruits (particularly oranges and orange juice)
  • Berries—the tarter the better (blackberries, blueberries, cranberries)
  • Cherries
  • Mango
  • And Bananas (although these are high in sugar, they’re loaded with potassium and manganese)

Drink Plenty of Water and Milk

We’ll address water first, since most of you reading this aren’t drinking enough of it. Which is completely okay because that’s the case for most people. However, out of all the vitamins and nutrients that can be pulled from everything on this list, water is infinitely more important; you just can’t live without it.

Drinking more water will increase your energy, help you sleep better, reduce stress, and help your cognitive ability overall.

In terms of milk, there’s a misconception that milk creates more mucus in those people with chronic respiratory illness.

It doesn’t.

Instead, it may make phlegm thicker, but it does not actively create more of it. This is important because as you get older, osteoporosis gradually becomes a larger issue, particularly in those with chronic lung disease.

For more information on creating a great diet for chronic lung disease, read this: Creating a Healthy COPD Diet in 5 Easy Steps

Got It, So Now What?

Well first, plan a list of what you’ll need to get on your next grocery store visit. Second, if you haven’t done this already, quit smoking immediately. Smoking will make all your efforts to improve your health that much harder, amounting to two steps back for every step forward. With these behavioral changes, it’s possible to greatly affect the pronouncement of symptoms within those with pulmonary fibrosis.

However, when lifestyle changes fail to improve your quality of life in the way 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.

For more information on stem cell therapy and what it could mean for your life moving forward, contact us today or call us at (800) 729-3065. Our patient coordinators will walk you through our available treatment options, talk through your current health and medical history and determine a qualifying treatment plan that works best for you.

Interested in our article on Food for Pulmonary Fibrosis: What to Eat? Share your thoughts and comments below.


  1. Lung Institute

    1 week ago


    Because treatment costs vary based on treatment type, it’s best to speak with one of our well-qualified medical team to discuss treatment options. We’re happy to answer your questions about stem cell therapy, so feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149. We look forward to hearing from you soon. We do not have any clinics in the UK. We have five throughout the United States.


    The Lung Institute

  2. Christine

    1 week ago

    How much is the treatment. is it available in the UK

  3. Lung Institute

    1 month ago


    Thank you for your comment, and we are sorry to hear about your mother.

    Our stem cell clinics are only in five locations in the United States.

    Tampa, Florida
    Nashville, Tennessee
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    Dallas, Texas

    You can learn more about stem cell treatment options and have your questions answered by one of our patient coordinators. Feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149 for more information. We look forward to hearing from you soon.


    The Lung Institute

  4. tasneem kothari

    1 month ago

    My mother is suffering from lungs fibrosis. does stem cell therapy available in Pakistan?

  5. Lung Institute

    2 months ago


    We are happy to hear you had treatments at our Scottsdale clinic and hope you are doing well. If you have any questions about your treatment or any follow-up, please feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149. We look forward to hearing from you soon.


    The Lung Institute

  6. Beverly LeBlanc

    2 months ago

    I had stem cell treatment about 2 years ago in Scottsdale.

  7. Lung Institute

    2 months ago


    Thank you for the comment. We tried to provide a wide array of topics with our blog articles. The food ones are very popular. We hope you enjoy some of the other ones as well.

    If you ever want to discuss our stem cell treatments please contact one of our patient coordinators. They have a wealth of knowledge about stem cells, treatment options, candidacy and cost. Chronic lung diseases affect everyone differently, so we can best help you by speaking with you over the phone. Feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149, and we look forward to hearing from you soon.


    The Lung Institute

  8. Lung Institute

    2 months ago


    Thank you for your comment.

    Treatment cost varies depending on treatment type. We understand that each patient is unique and has individual needs. Because of that, we make sure to go over the patient’s history and our treatment options in detail with each patient. In order to determine if someone is a candidate for treatment, we need to gather more of their private medical history in a secure setting. The best way to do that is by giving us a call and speaking one-on-one with someone on our medical team over our secure phone line.

    We’re happy to answer your questions about stem cells, treatment options, candidacy and cost. So, feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149. We look forward to hearing from you soon.


    The Lung Institute

  9. Splat

    2 months ago

    Stem cell can make my xray cleared all the way? More or less how much this kind of therapy?

  10. Beverly LeBlanc

    2 months ago

    Thank you so much for food info. Very helpful.

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* All treatments performed at Lung Institute utilize autologous stem cells, meaning those derived from a patient's own body. No fetal or embryonic stem cells are utilized in Lung Institute's procedures. Lung Institute aims to improve patients' quality of life and help them breathe easier through the use of autologous stem cell therapy. To learn more about how stem cells work for lung disease, click here.

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