Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive disease that makes it difficult for you to breathe and live a normal life. There are treatments to help manage the severity of the disease, but there are no cures that can eliminate its presence in your life. Because of this, it’s important to take as many steps as you can to slow its progression and improve your quality of life.
One step that you can take to help your lungs function when you have COPD is to consume foods with the right vitamins.
Four vitamins that are good for people with COPD
Your lungs, as well as the rest of your body, can benefit from vitamins that help fuel certain functions. You can get many of these vitamins from a well-balanced diet, but you can also take supplements to help ensure you don’t miss out on any important ones. Four vitamins that can help improve your lung function include:
- Vitamin D — Vitamin D is naturally found in sunlight and many foods such as milk and salmon. Vitamin D can help improve the responsiveness of immune cells and anti-inflammatory cells in your system.
- Vitamin A — Vitamin A is found in many vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach and kale. Vitamin A is used to help repair damaged tissue in your body, including your lung tissue.
- Vitamins C & E — Foods high in vitamin C include strawberries, oranges and tomatoes. Foods high in vitamin E include peanuts, hazelnuts and leafy greens. The lack of both of these vitamins can increase the amount of coughing, wheezing and congestion caused by COPD. Vitamin E is especially lower in people who smoke.
- Zinc — Zinc is found in red meats, chicken, beans and nuts. It has been connected with reducing the severity of COPD symptoms, so it’s important to include foods high in zinc in your diet. Do note, some foods that are high in zinc may be high in nitrates, which can make your symptoms worse. Check the labels to make sure that you’re not eating anything high in nitrates.
It’s important to remember that these vitamins can only help supplement your medical treatments for COPD to improve your lung function. Do not replace your prescribed treatment with the use of vitamins.
Contact the Lung Health Institute for COPD treatment
Getting the right nutrients is very important for people with COPD, so you should talk to a patient coordinator at the Lung Health Institute about Anti-Inflammatory Initiative™ (AI²)™ if you want to improve your diet.
AI²™ is a diet program for people with COPD that comes in three levels to meet the needs of different types of patients. Please, contact us today if you would like to learn more about AI²™ and our other treatment options.