While you may not believe that changing your diet can have an impact on your breathing, that couldn’t be further from the truth! If you eat the right vitamins and minerals, almost every aspect of your lifestyle will improve. Here’s how watching what you eat can help your COPD symptoms.
The Metabolic Process
Food converts into fuel your body can use through the process of metabolism. Oxygen and food go in, and carbon dioxide and energy come out. Metabolizing carbohydrates produces higher quantities of carbon dioxide, while metabolizing fat produces less. Eating a diet lower in carbs and higher in healthy fats can help you breathe easier by reducing the oxygen required to complete the process.
Choose Carbs Carefully
You may have heard of simple and complex carbohydrates—you should try and avoid the simple ones. Simple carbs consist of foods like candy, soft drinks, and anything high in sugar. Complex carbs include fresh fruits and veggies. If you’re hoping to lose weight, stay away from bread and pasta. However, if you’re looking to gain weight, opt for whole-grain carbs along with your fruits and vegetables.
Eat Healthy Fats
Mono and poly-unsaturated fats don’t contain the cholesterol that’s in trans fats and saturated fat. Look for foods like nuts, sunflower seeds, and avocados, and avoid foods like butter, lard, and anything fried.
Get Your Vitamins
A daily general-purpose multivitamin is a great idea to ensure you’re getting enough of the various vitamins your body needs. Some minerals are critical, too! You need a little sodium in your diet, but too much can increase your blood pressure. Try to limit your daily sodium intake to less than 2.300 milligrams (which is about a teaspoon of table salt).
Now that you know how watching what you eat can help your COPD symptoms, remember that eating healthy isn’t the only way to make breathing easier. Lifestyle changes ranging from exercise to smoking cessation can have a significant impact, too!