Often, patients suffering from COPD are told to change their lifestyles. The most obvious one being asked to quit smoking. If you are a non-smoker, you may be asked to avoid second-hand smoke. However, that’s not all – you will also be asked to change your diet and eat right. While the balanced diet may not cure your COPD, it can aid your body to fight off infections and also boost energy and improve your general well-being. Many experts say that a well-balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight are integral for managing COPD.
What would entail eating right for COPD patients? Just because you are being asked to transform your eating habits for a balanced meal does not mean it should be bland or boring. You can greatly improve the taste of the food without compromising on its nutritional value in various ways. Here are some tips to follow for maintaining a healthy diet in the hope of managing your COPD symptoms.
Including a variety of food to create a balance meal is important. By including the likes of low-fat protein, whole grain foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, and high potassium food in your daily diet, you are looking at a balanced meal.
Knowing What to Avoid
There are certain types of food that will set you back and are best avoided. This includes staying away from high sodium food (which results in high water retention), fruits and vegetables that cause bloating and gas, dairy products that can make phlegm thicker, caffeine that can interfere with medication, and spiced or fried foods that may affect your digestion and importantly breathing.
As a COPD patient, you should take plenty of fluids such as six to eight glasses of non-caffeinated drinks on a daily basis. By hydrating yourself, you will be thinning out the mucus making it easier to cough up. Limiting or ridding your intake of caffeine and alcohol is advised as it can interfere with medication; this should be discussed with your doctor.
Watching Your Weight
This can go both ways, being underweight and overweight where patients who suffer from chronic bronchitis have a tendency to be overweight while those with emphysema tend to be underweight. In the event of being underweight, COPD symptoms can cause lack of appetite, depression and feeling unwell that may result in a drop in weight. This in turn will make you weak and be at a higher risk of infection. As a COPD patient, breathing will take up 10 times more calories per day than one who is not. For those who are overweight, as the heart and lungs will need to work harder, breathing will prove to be more difficult and not to mention, the excess body weight will also require more oxygen thus putting your body into overdrive. That is why many COPD patients have been asked to lower their body weight to improve and manage their COPD symptoms.
As eating right requires forethought, being prepared is key. Making mealtime easier, plan and prepare them ahead of time, and not to mention have snacks at hand to follow your healthy diet and programme.
There are many ways in which your COPD treatment can be improved, one being taking care of yourself with a balance diet. Follow the above tips and suggestions to make life easier. Stay tuned for more great ways for living better with COPD.