Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) refers to a group of diseases that damage the lungs. Bronchitis and emphysema are two common kinds of COPD. Although COPD cannot be cured yet, the condition can be managed better with the right medications and diet. Here are the top foods to eat for COPD patients:
Foods with complex carbohydrates
Complex carbohydrates should be chosen over simple carbs if one has COPD. Foods with complex carbohydrates take longer to be digested, so they keep one energized for much longer. They also contain fiber and nutrients, which the body needs to stay active and healthy.
The American Lung Association recommends consuming at least 20-30 grams of fiber every day to stay healthy and fit. One can choose fiber-rich fruits and vegetables that are easier to digest and nutrient-rich. Other top fiber-rich foods to choose from are:
- Dry beans
- Brown rice
- Whole-grain cereals
Proteins and healthy fats are the two most important macronutrients needed for a person with COPD. Dairy products are one of the essential foods to eat for COPD patients because they are great sources of unsaturated fats and proteins. One can include yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, and milk in their everyday diet.
For non-vegetarians, meat is among the most beneficial foods to eat for managing COPD. Eating enough proteins strengthens the respiratory muscles and enables them to cope with the disease better. One should include at least one portion of protein-rich meat in their diet to get their daily dose of protein.
Another nutrient that is extremely important for the lungs is potassium. Potassium deficiency can aggravate the symptoms of COPD, so patients should ensure that their diet includes potassium-rich foods. Some of the top high-potassium foods to eat are:
- Leafy green vegetables
This is one of the top foods to eat for managing the symptoms of COPD because of its nutritional value. Oatmeal is packed with complex carbohydrates and is easy to digest, so it keeps one full for longer.
Drinking a lot of fluids is important for a COPD patient too. Fluids keep the lungs clear and prevent toxin accumulation in the body. One can drink regular tap water or fresh fruit juices, but it’s advisable to stay away from carbonated drinks that do nothing but harm the system.
These foods to eat for managing COPD symptoms, along with the right medications, can help nourish one’s body and keep the lungs strong enough to handle the disease. COPD patients can also contact a nutritionist to figure out how much of each food type they should consume for maximum benefits.