Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can affect an individual’s lungs and its functions. This is a progressive condition that is irreversible. While there may be no direct cure for COPD, there are some dietary changes that help you manage the symptoms better and make it easier for one to cope with the condition. However, before that you would need to learn of the foods that irritate COPD, so that you can avoid them.
Seven foods that irritate COPD:
- Aerated drinks
Drinks that have been aerated using carbon dioxide and contain artificial sweeteners and preservatives can affect a person who already has COPD. Sugar or sugar substitutes have zero nutritional value and it is much better to stick to water when you want to stay hydrated.
- Excess salt
You need to eat salt to maintain the sodium balance, but excess salt can cause water retention. This is called edema. In this, water gets stored into the fat surrounding the diaphragm. Instead of using excess salt, you could try to introduce more herbs or spices to your food.
- Fried foods
When food is fried it is greasy and digesting such food requires more effort. It takes longer to break down the fats and the bloating feeling causes much discomfort. The diaphragm starts to hurt because of the gas that is produced. Moreover, fried foods cause unwanted weight gain and this extra fat will tend to gather in the stomach area, exerting a lot of pressure on one’s diaphragm and making it hard to breathe.
- Acidic foods
People suffering from COPD will know that acid reflux is dangerous for them. So, it is best to cut down the intake of acidic drinks and foods like citrus fruits, fruit juices, spicy foods, and coffee.
- Cold cuts
These are foods that irritate COPD like hot dogs, ham, or bacon, as these contain nitrates. Nitrate is typically added for extending their shelf life and color. But adding nitrates can increase COPD symptoms.
- Cruciferous vegetables
When you experience a lot of bloating, it becomes difficult to breathe easy, and cruciferous veggies, like broccoli, cauliflower, and radish, are fiber- and nutrient-rich but can also cause gas. So, it is best to limit your intake of these vegetables if you have been diagnosed with COPD.
- Dairy foods
Milk might be good for our body but it has casomorphin that increases mucus inside the intestine. So, whenever there are flare-ups, people with COPD tend to have more mucous production. This leads to more phlegm, which must be eliminated from the body. The easiest way to do this is by coughing.
None of these foods mentioned above need to be eliminated completely from one’s diet. However, these can turn out to be possible triggers. Every individual reacts differently to different kinds of foods. There are also many COPD-friendly foods one can add to their daily diet to ease the symptoms.