It seems there is a diet for everything these days. This comes as no surprise from a generation ingrained with the four food groups early in life. What you consume either positively or negatively affects the overall health of our bodies. Chronic conditions like COPD can benefit from foods targeted to help ease symptoms and feel better. Here are some simple tips to follow as you begin eating your way towards better COPD management.
The Role of Food in Breathing and General Guidelines
Your body changes food to fuel during the process of metabolism. Oxygen and food fuel this process, and the finished products are energy and carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is a waste we exhale to remove from our body. COPD creates a state of hyper-metabolism in the patients it affects. In this state, the body uses more energy to perform essential body functions, such as breathing. Using the proper nutrients in a diet can help you breathe easier.
In some people with COPD, reducing their carbohydrates and incorporating more fats in their meals has helped them improve their breathing. Here’s why:
- Carbohydrates produce the most carbon dioxide for the amount of oxygen used during metabolization. Fat produces the least.
COPD causes constant irritation and inflammation of the airways. Foods proven to reduce inflammation and those rich in antioxidants should also be included.
Specific Foods to Include:
- Complex carbohydrates:
- fresh fruit and starchy vegetables
- whole grains
- whole-grain bread and pasta
- beans and lentils
- Healthy fats:
- Mono and polyunsaturated fats
- meat and poultry, and fish
- nuts and seeds
- dark leafy greens
Foods to Avoid:
- Fast food
- Fried foods and those that contain high levels of unhealthy fats
- Foods containing a lot of sugar
- Table salt
- Foods that cause bloating and gas
A COPD diet in combination with exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight not only can help you breathe easier but also lower your risk of developing complications.
Restoring Hope Through Research
The link between nutrition and managing COPD is an example of the knowledge we continually gain through ongoing research endeavors. Clinical research studies and their participants help gather vital safety and efficacy information on potential new options developed to treat conditions like COPD. In turn, they help restore the hope of a better and longer future for those diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
If you have COPD, currently enrolling research studies at Clinical Site Partners may be an option. Find out more today by calling us at (407) 740-8078 or visiting our website.