Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a group of lung disease where the airways become narrow and inflamed, making it difficult to breathe. As the airways become narrow, air cannot pass through the lungs properly, thus making one feel short of breath and tightness in the chest. COPD is not a contagious disease and can be tackled with proper medication, treatment and by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. A well planned COPD diet plays a vital role in dealing with this disease, as the food that a person consumes directly affects the quality of life one maintains.
COPD diet must include foods with good nutritional value i.e. one should eat high-fiber foods and quality protein foods because people suffering from COPD have high-calorie requirements for everything they do including breathing and eating. COPD diet will not cure the problem but will help the person be energized throughout the day. People suffering from COPD should take the advice of a dietician who would help one make a COPD diet chart to meet the needs and help one follow a personal plan. Monitoring calorie intake, avoiding unhealthy fats is also advised by the dietician. People suffering from COPD should avoid fruits like apples, apricots, peaches as they might lead to breathing problems. Salt intake should also be monitored as it could affect the health and worsen the condition of the patient.
The following is the list of energy-boosting foods that should be a part of a COPD diet.
1. Whole grains
Including high fiber foods that have nutritional value like lentils, oats, quinoa instead of carbohydrates such as white bread to the diet is essential. The function of the lungs is to exhale carbon dioxide and a high carb diet increases the production of carbon dioxide which puts pressure on the lungs.
2. Fresh fruits and vegetables
Fresh fruits and vegetables provide essential nutrients and they also possess antioxidant properties which help in keeping the body healthy.
Calorie requirement can also be met with the inclusion of low-fat milk or yogurt as it contains proteins, calcium and vitamin D.
A COPD diet must include nuts like almonds, walnuts, cashews has high calories, proteins and healthy fats in them. Nuts also have omega-3 and antioxidant properties in them which help in boosting energy.
Beans, peas, and legumes are recommended to be consumed as they contain high fiber and essential mineral zinc which helps in improving and managing the symptoms of COPD. Beans also have antioxidant properties and promote energy to the body.
People suffering from COPD, sometimes have protein deficiency which can cause loss of muscle as the body starts using its own protein stores. So, a COPD diet should include foods that are rich in protein. Foods like eggs, oily fish such as mackerel, salmon, and sardines are rich in protein.
A human body weight represents 60 percent of water, so not drinking sufficient water might lead to dehydration, making the body feel tired. Drinking water gives the body energy.
8. Healthy fats
Avocados, olive oil, coconut oil provide overall nutrition to the body and should be included in the COPD diet.