Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are often surprised to learn that a diet can have an impact on their breathing and even help manage their symptoms. Although a healthy diet won't cure COPD, these eight foods often help soothe symptoms drastically.
Food 1 - Bran Cereal or Whole Wheat Toast:
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but this is especially true for those with COPD. Skipping breakfast can worsen fatigue, which is one of the symptoms of COPD. Eating a fiber-rich breakfast, such as bran cereal with a side of whole wheat toast, helps maintain energy levels throughout the day and ease fatigue.
Food 2 - Oatmeal with Berries & Milk:
Oatmeal with milk is another good breakfast option that is a good source of calcium, iron, fiber, vitamin A and protein; all essential nutrients for a healthy body. Top the meal with a cup of fresh berries to add a burst of flavor and antioxidants.
Food 3 – Fish:
Fish is an optimal food packed with protein and essential omega-3 fatty acids. Protein is extremely important for patients with COPD as it is used to build immune cells and produce antibodies which help promote the lungs ability to fight off infections. Prepare salmon, tuna, herring, sardines, or mackerel with a low-calorie, high-nutritious side items, such as carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, or sweet potatoes.
Food 4 - Peanut Butter Sandwich:
When there is no time to cook, a simple but nutritious peanut butter sandwich makes a good choice for lunch due to its high protein content. Use whole grain bread, fresh banana and honey to boost the nutrition content.
Food 5 - Grilled Chicken:
An ideal dinner for patients with COPD should consist of large amounts of lean protein, such as grilled chicken. Enhance the flavor with a touch of lemon and pepper. Coordinate the chicken with a side of green vegetables such as asparagus or broccoli.
Food 6 - Salad:
A fresh salad made with ingredients such as fresh lettuce, almonds, tomatoes, peppers, and onions is loaded with tons of essential vitamins and minerals. Add flavor and protein with a grilled chicken or fish. If you like dressing with your salad, oil and vinegar is the healthiest choice. However, you can also use a low-fat dressing of your choice.
Food 7 - Snacks:
Snacks between meals are essential to help keep energy levels high between meals. Some healthy snack selections are fresh fruits and veggies, cottage cheese, nuts, crackers and even tuna.
Food 8 - Fluids:
Fluids don’t only keep COPD patients hydrated but also help clear their pulmonary secretions so they can breathe better. Sodas and sugary drinks should be replaced with filtered water, fruit juices, and caffeine-free coffee or tea. Milk is another great source of fluid with the added benefit of many vitamins, minerals, and protein.
Not one single food will provide a COPD patient with all of the nutrients that they need to appease their symptoms so it is important that they consume a balanced, high-nutritious diet that is low in processed foods.