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Fruits and Vegetables that Fight Lung Disease

1 Apr 2016
| Under Diet and Nutrition, Lifestyle, Lung Disease, Tips | Posted by | 7 Comments
Fruits and Vegetables that Fight Lung Disease

Diet can affect how we absorb oxygen. According to the American Lung Association, COPD sufferers burn 10 times as many calories from breathing, compared to people with healthy lungs. This hyper-metabolic state, that is, a state of increased metabolic rate, can lead to anorexia and malnutrition. The heart and lungs of overweight people have to work harder than they should, but being underweight can result in low energy and feeling sickly. Balance is the key, so let’s discuss Fruits and Vegetables that Fight Lung Disease.

Plant-Based Iron Sources

Fruits and Vegetables that Fight Lung Disease

You can boost blood iron levels – and therefore oxygen – through other iron-rich foods. An ounce of cashew nuts or a medium baked potato each offers 1.9 milligrams of iron, while 1/2 cup of kidney beans boosts your iron intake by 2 milligrams. Lentils boast an impressive amount of iron – 3.3 milligrams per 1/2 cup – and a quarter block of tofu (made from protein-rich soybeans) has 2.2 milligrams.

These foods contain a different form of iron, called non-heme iron, that isn’t absorbed as easily as the iron from meat. To boost iron absorption, pair them with foods that have vitamin C, like citrus fruits and vegetables such as bell peppers. For example, eat lentils or beans on top of a spinach salad, add cashew butter to a fruit smoothie or use tofu in a vegetable stir-fry to increase iron absorption.

Hemoglobin Boosting Foods

Fruits and Vegetables that Fight Lung Disease

Eat beans to raise hemoglobin levels. Good sources include garbanzo beans, dried peas, red kidney beans, lentils, soybeans, black beans, white beans and cowpeas. The American Dietetic Association encourages eating these foods in tandem with vitamin C-rich foods to maximize iron absorption. The Office of Dietary Supplements lists citrus fruits and juices, kiwi fruit, broccoli, baked potatoes and tomatoes as rich sources of vitamin C. Snack on dried prunes, apricots, raisins, Brazil nuts and almonds.

Antioxidant Properties of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and Vegetables that Fight Lung Disease

The antioxidant properties of certain fruits and vegetables allow the body to use oxygen more efficiently, so it enters the bloodstream in the proper amounts. Antioxidants include vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and coenzyme Q10. Antioxidant-rich foods include blueberries, cranberries, artichoke hearts, strawberries, plums, blackberries, and as previously mentioned, the incredibly healthy and nutritious red kidney bean.

Other Nutrients for Increasing Blood Oxygen

Fruits and Vegetables that Fight Lung Disease

Other nutrients can influence red blood cell and iron levels in the blood – and, by extension, the amount of oxygen. For example, protein provides amino acids the body needs to manufacture cellular proteins, including oxygen-transporting hemoglobin. Meat, fish, shellfish, eggs and dairy offer oxygen-boosting protein, as do nuts, seeds, beans and other legumes such as peanuts. Protein-rich foods include fish, beans, peas, nuts and seeds. Protein is essential to protecting and maintaining the body.

Vitamin A promotes the body’s production of oxygen-carrying red blood cells. The body constantly needs new red blood cells to replace old, damaged ones, and it needs vitamin A to do it. Getting more vitamin A can boost blood hemoglobin levels, so blood cells can carry more oxygen. To get more vitamin A, consume red and orange produce such as sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, mangoes, pumpkin and butternut squash as well as leafy greens like collards and kale.

Consult Your Doctor

Consult Your Doctor

Some medicines for lung disease have side effects and may react with nutrients. There is so much advice available on diet that many people don’t know where to begin. We recommend speaking with a pulmonologist, who may recommend visiting a registered dietician who is experienced with the dietary needs of patients with lung disease.

People diagnosed with degenerative lung disease have to be especially aware of their lifestyle choices, including what they eat. Try to get plenty of fruits and vegetables along with high-protein foods such as, fish, eggs, meat and soy. Drinking plenty of water can help thin mucus and phlegm, making it easier to expel by coughing. Liquid supplements may help those who can’t seem to consume sufficient calories. As always, consult your doctor about which foods are best for you.

Currently, there is no cure for degenerative lung diseases, but they can be effectively treated. Early diagnosis and timely treatment are crucial to helping control symptoms of lung disease. There are different treatments available, including stem cell therapy. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a chronic lung disease, contact us at the Lung Institute or call (800) 729-3065 to speak with a patient coordinator.

7 Comments

  1. PB

    3 months ago

    Dear Tania,

    Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, at this time, most doctors aren’t going to recommend anything that is not considered traditional medicine, especially when the treatment is not yet covered by insurance. Generally, doctors practice traditional medicine and are very statistical. Even though there are many advancements in the field of regenerative medicine, many doctors are still skeptical. However, we are hopeful that in the future stem cell treatment will be covered by insurance. Keep in mind that this process can take time though. Also, feel free to share our most recent findings with your doctors, and remember that we are happy to answer any questions you have. Contact us at (855) 313-1149 to speak with one of our patient coordinators today. We hope this helps you, and we look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  2. Tania

    3 months ago

    My doctor said it won’t help people with interstitial lung desease

  3. PB

    6 months ago

    Dear Joan,

    Thanks for your comment. We’re glad to hear that you’ve found our articles helpful. For more information about how oxygen affects different parts of the body and ways to improve blood oxygen levels, check out our interactive Oxygen and You page and articles.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  4. Joan

    6 months ago

    The Lung Institute is a very informative site and I particularly enjoy the links. I’ve found when I have a problem (blood oxygen), the more information I can get on the subject, the better and this site answers so many questions.

  5. Pingback: Lung Institute | The Importance of Oxygen and the Lungs

  6. PB

    8 months ago

    Dear Darrel,

    Thanks for your question. The Lung Institute specializes in treating people with certain chronic lung diseases with autologous stem cells. Interstitial lung disease is one of the lung diseases we treat. We would be happy to answer any questions you have about stem cell therapy for interstitial lung disease, so feel free to contact us today by calling (855) 313-1149. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  7. Darrel Utt

    8 months ago

    Can interstitial lung disease be helped with stem therapy?

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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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