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Improve Blood Oxygen Levels with these COPD-Friendly Foods

18 Aug 2016
| Under COPD, Diet and Nutrition, Tips | Posted by | 13 Comments
Improve Blood Oxygen Levels with these COPD-Friendly Foods

We all eat–some much better than others–yet those who live with the ever-looming concerns about symptom flare ups and oxygen therapy management that accompany a COPD diagnosis, need to be extra cautious about food choice. Certain diets made up of COPD-friendly foods can help improve blood oxygen levels, yet others can cause excessive boating and compress the chest. This makes the already difficult task of breathing with a lung disease all the more difficult. However, a well-informed eater can actually improve blood oxygen levels with these foods.

How does food improve blood oxygen levels?

Here’s the myth: food composed of an abundance of oxygen will supply more of those O2 molecules into my blood. The digestive system and the lungs work very differently when extracting elements and nutrients. Oxygen is not transferred into the blood through the digestive track.

Oxygen makes its way into our blood when the air we breathe transfers the oxygen through an exchange of gasses that happens deep in the tiny alveoli of the lungs. During this exchange, the body swaps gas waste in the form of CO2 with the oxygen. The oxygen is then picked up in the red blood cells which have a protein called hemoglobin that suck up the oxygen molecules. Those red blood cells then deliver the oxygen molecules to the organs of the body which allows them to function properly.

Low blood oxygen means poor organ performance. Certain foods can help improve blood oxygen levels for those with COPD by increasing the abundance of the hemoglobin protein the red blood cells use in the transference process. If you think of the blood stream as a train track, you can consider the train cars hemoglobin and people on the train oxygen molecules. Increasing hemoglobin is like adding more cars which allows more people or oxygen get to the desired destination. Eating certain foods can build more trains!

COPD-Friendly foods that improve blood oxygen levels

Hemoglobin is composed of the building blocks found in iron, vitamin C and folic acid-rich foods. Here are our top 5 foods that have can help with hemoglobin production:

Improve Blood Oxygen Levels with these COPD-Friendly Foods

5. Shrimp. A lean seafood, Shrimp are a good low calorie protein substitute for red meat. Packed with nutrients like vitamin B-12, phosphorous, selenium, choline, copper, iodine and certain antioxidants, shrimp are also an excellent source of protein.

4. Oranges. Packed with Vitamin C, oranges are easy to find all year and are tasty, too. Oranges are also packed with fiber, and they are excellent sources of vitamins B and A as well as nutrients such as folate, pantothenic acid, calcium, copper and potassium. Feeling hungry? Try an orange.

3. Nettle. This herb contains many flavanoids and vitamins such as quercetin, vitamins B, C and K1. It also contains calcium and magnesium. Nettle is used in making a great tea. Try it with honey. Remember to discuss drinking nettle tea with your doctor before you try it.

2. Apples. Another easy-to-find, delicious fruit, apples, help increase hemoglobin production and make a great snack. Apples are rich in antioxidants, flavanoids and dietary fiber, including phytonutrients, B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, calcium, potassium and phosphorous.

1. Almond Milk. This dairy-free alternative won’t cause increased mucus production like regular dairy milk. As an added bonus, almond milk contains numerous vitamins and minerals, such as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, folate, riboflavin, thiamine and vitamins C, E and B-6. You can find almond milk at most grocery stores, and it comes in chocolate and vanilla flavors, too.

Improving blood oxygen levels in other ways

Those coping with a lung disease know very well that there is little traditional medicine can do to help manage symptoms or improve lung function. Adopting a holistic and proactive approach to your disease can help turn a symptom management plan into a disease treatment plan. Looking for additional treatment approaches beyond traditional medicine has helped hundreds of those with COPD like Thomas V. from Keene, New Hampshire. Thomas took his treatment into his own hands and found stem cell therapy for lung disease to be the answer. Now, he is outside in his garden and going on regular bike rides without become short of breath like he was before treatment.

Do you know of another way to improve blood oxygen levels? Share them in the comments below.

13 Comments

  1. PB

    3 months ago

    Dear Lee,

    Thanks for your comment and for your question. It’s true that insurance doesn’t cover stem cell treatment. While we’re hopeful that treatment will be covered in the future, it can take some time before the insurance companies see a financial benefit in their favor and then decide to cover it. Treatment cost varies depending on treatment type, so it’s best to contact us to speak one-on-one with a patient coordinator to discuss your personal health and treatment options. Feel free to call us at (855) 313-1149, and we look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  2. Lee Greenwood

    3 months ago

    I’m 74 year old male who has been extra healthy until this COPD diagnosis 5 years ago. I have managed it fairly well, but as of late, have noticed it is getting more and more difficult to do the things I love to do.. I still work at home as a consultant in the construction industry and most recently gav e up my motorcycle since it wasn’t appropriate to ride it with an oxygen bottle strapped to the rear seat and my wife was worried I would not be as alert as I used to be. I have been reading about the stem cell treatment and wondering if it could benefit me and wanted to know the approximate cost of the treatment as I hear insurance doesn’t cover it. I take 2 inhalants and recently started nebulizer treatments 4 times a day on something new other than albuterol. I also take simvistatin and lisinopril for cholesterol and heart.

  3. PB

    3 months ago

    Dear Betty,

    At the Lung Institute, we treat people who have certain chronic lung diseases, such as COPD, emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis and interstitial lung disease. However, we don’t treat people with cancer. We recommend talking with your doctor regarding clinics, treatment facilities, hospitals or clinical trials for people who want to try stem cell therapy for cancer. Your doctor will be able to best advise you on which places to contact. We hope this is helpful, and we wish you the best.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  4. Betty

    3 months ago

    Can Stem cell help cancer patients??

  5. Pingback: Managing Emphysema in 5 Tips | Lung Institute

  6. sh

    3 months ago

    Hello Glen,
    Thank you for your comment. We do treat IPF patients with stem cell therapy. To know if you are a qualified candidate for stem cell therapy, more medical information is needed. Please give us a call at (855) 313-1149, and one of our patient coordinators can go over all the information with you in detail. Have a great day.

    Kind Regards,
    The Lung Institute

  7. sh

    3 months ago

    Dear Lynda,

    We are happy to answer any questions you have regarding stem cell treatment. Each person’s situation is unique–that’s why our patient coordinators ask specific medical history questions to determine whether a person is qualified for stem cell treatment. Please contact us at (855) 313-1149 to speak with one of our patient coordinators and receive answers to your questions.

    Best Regards,
    The Lung Institute

  8. Lynda

    3 months ago

    Would stem cell therapy help with MAC disease now cleared for 5 years but has left a lot of scarring. I have COPD and damaged airways and am steriod dependent. I am 52.

  9. Glenn hantz

    3 months ago

    I have idopathic pulmonary fibrosis my doctor said on a level from 1 to 5 I’m a 7 I’m 54 years old is stem cell even a possibility

  10. PB

    3 months ago

    Dear JoAnn,

    Many of our patients have used fundraising to help them raise money for treatment. To read more about fundraising tips, click here. We hope this is helpful for you, and feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149 if you have any questions regarding stem cells, treatment or cost. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  11. JoAnn

    3 months ago

    I wish I had the money for stem cell treatment but that will never happen

  12. PB

    4 months ago

    Dear Carolyn,

    First and foremost, we’re sorry to hear that your husband has been going through such a difficult time with COPD. We are happy to answer your questions and your husband’s questions regarding stem cell treatment and to discuss stem cell treatment options. Feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149 to speak one-on-one with a patient coordinator. We look forward to hearing from you and your husband soon.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  13. carolyn isaac

    4 months ago

    My husband has copd, the doctor says final stages he is on oxygen 24/7 3/4 litters, he was told he was too old for a transplant, he is 67, is there anythng you can do for him?

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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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