List of Super Foods To Include in a COPD Diet
Black Tea. Photo courtesy of Getty Images, user Burke/Triolo Productions
Black tea contains xanthine alkaloids from which the stimulant theophylline is derived. Theophylline is a bronchodilator used in the treatment of COPD that helps open up the airways and decrease dyspnea. Studies suggest that a high intake of black tea may provide a protective effect against the development of COPD.
Soybeans. Photo courtesy of Getty Images, user Maren Caruso
Although further research is needed to confirm a cause and effect relationship, studies suggest that long-term consumption of soy products may benefit COPD by improving lung function, reducing breathlessness and lessening a productive cough. It may also reduce the risk of developing COPD. Additionally, flavonoids from soy foods may have an anti-inflammatory effect on the lungs, possibly protecting smokers from dangerous tobacco carcinogens .
Including the following in your daily diet will help provide for maximum health:
Good Source of Fiber. Photo courtesy of Getty Images, user Jacob Snavely
A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology that included over 111,000 participants found that those who had the highest fiber intake (particularly cereal fiber) had a one-third lower risk of developing COPD than those who consumed the least amount of fiber. Fiber can be found in whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Good Source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Photo courtesy of Getty Images, user Maren Caruso
COPD is characterized, in part, by chronic inflammation in the lungs. Research suggests that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids may protect the lungs against chronic inflammation, thus shielding them from the harmful effects of smoking. Omega-3 fatty acids may also help improve COPD symptoms .
Consider including some of the following foods, which are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, in your daily diet :
- Fatty fish (salmon, herring, tuna, mackerel, sardines)
- Cooking oils (canola, flaxseed and soybean)
- Nuts (walnuts, butternuts)
NOTE: The above list of super foods is meant to provide you with dietary choices that may benefit your health. It should not replace sound medical advice from your primary care provider or a registered dietician.
AICR. Phytochemicals: The Cancer Fighters in the Foods We Eat.
Aniwidyaningsih W, Varraso R, Cano N, Pison C.Impact of nutritional status on body functioning in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and how to intervene. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2008 Jul;11(4):435-42.
Celik F, Topcu F. Nutritional risk factors for the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in male smokers. Clin Nutr. 2006 Dec;25(6):955-61.
Hirayama F. et. al. Soy consumption and risk of COPD and respiratory symptoms: a case-control study in Japan. Respir Res. 2009 Jun 26;10:56.
Matsuyama W. MD, PhD et. al. Effects of Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids on Inflammatory Markers in COPD. CHEST December 2005 vol. 128 no. 6 3817-3827.
Planas M, Alvarez J, et. al. Nutritional support and quality of life in stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients. Clin Nutr. 2005 Jun;24(3):433-41. Epub 2005 Apr 21.
Varraso R. et. al. Prospective Study of Dietary Fiber and Risk of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Among US Women and Men. Am. J. Epidemiol. (2010) 171(7): 776-784.
Waldal, I.C. et. al. Diet and 20-year chronic obstructive pulmonary disease mortality in middle-aged men from three European countries. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2002) 56, 638–643.
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