COPD, a chronic lung disease that blocks airflow, makes breathing difficult for patients and can affect their day-to-day life. It is an irreversible energy-sapping condition, but an energy-boosting diet for COPD patients can help provide more energy, enabling them to lead a quality life with the condition. Here’s what an energy-boosting diet for COPD patients should include:
Protein-rich foods like meat, fish, and eggs should be an integral part of most meals for COPD patients. Protein helps build muscle and allows the body to heal, also helping stave off infections.
- Milk with oatmeal
Since a nutritious breakfast is important for COPD patients, oatmeal is a great option. To begin with, one should add more blueberries and raspberries to their oatmeal, along with their choice of milk. In some cases, milk can cause more phlegm, but one can opt for more dairy-free options like oat milk or nut milk. Also, it’s best to skip the sugar to make it a healthy breakfast option and an integral part of an energy-boosting diet for COPD patients.
- High-calorie nutritious foods
Since most COPD patients feel tired as the body uses extra energy to carry out the breathing process, high-calorie foods are required to increase their energy levels. So, one must stay away from foods with empty calories like pies, ice cream, and mashed potatoes. Instead, baked fish, chicken, and lean meat are favorable options to add to an energy-boosting diet for COPD patients.
We know that cheese is an excellent source of calcium, which is necessary for bone health. COPD patients can pair cheese with rice, potatoes, and vegetables to enhance their energy levels and satiation.
- Adequate fluids for hydration
People with COPD must drink enough fluids to drive out mucus, which can choke the airways and cause breathing problems. Fluids keep the mucus thin in the airways, helping relieve congestion and breathing trouble.
- Herbs to replace refined salt
COPD patients must opt for herbs to augment food flavors instead of table salt. It’s important to reduce sodium intake as it causes water retention, which aggravates any existing breathing problems.
- Fibrous foods
COPD patients need to consume at least 25-30 grams of fiber, which points to including plant-based foods like beans, whole-grain bread, vegetables, cereals, fresh fruits, and low-sodium soups like lentil, carrot, and split pea.
- Potassium-rich foods
Foods rich in potassium like potatoes, bananas, tomatoes, and oranges are beneficial additions to an energy-boosting diet for COPD patients.
Eggs help prevent weight loss, which is common among COPD patients, and one can stick to the egg whites if they’re worried about their cholesterol levels.
- Snack on
For snacks, one should opt for nutrient-dense foods to make the calories count. Foods like nuts, wheat crackers, and pudding cups are delicious yet healthy snack options.
This condition can occur due to food adulteration, smoking, and air pollution, but following an energy-boosting diet for COPD can keep breathing problems at bay.