Good nutrition is always important, but it can be even more crucial for those living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). What you eat can impact the health of your immune system, your respiratory health and your breathing. Here are some small changes you can make to your diet to help your health.
Pump up the Protein
Eating foods that are high in protein can help your body build muscle. It can also help to boost your immune system as the antibodies that help fight disease are made of protein. Also, many protein-rich foods contain other immune-boosting nutrients like zinc and magnesium.
Protein can be found in a large variety of different foods like eggs, black beans and nuts, as well as lean meats like chicken, low-fat dairy foods, seafood and soy products. Protein supplements are also a convenient way to further boost your protein intake.
Boost Your Vitamin D
You likely know that vitamin D is important for bone health, but it has also been shown to improve respiratory health. According to the National Emphysema Foundation, vitamin D can help prevent a decline in lung function over time.
Good sources of vitamin D are milk, cheese, yogurt and ice cream, as well as foods fortified with calcium and vitamin D like orange juice.
Cut the Salt
Going heavy with the salt shaker can cause the body to retain too much water and make breathing difficult. To decrease it in your diet, be sure to read prepared food labels and avoid those with more than 300mg of sodium per serving. You can add flavor in other ways like using fresh herbs or no-salt spices.
Creating a diet with your COPD symptoms in mind can make a big difference in your quality of life.
- Vitamin D and Lung Health: