A well-rounded diet improves breathing?
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Adults with progressive lung diseases have better health outcomes when they include fish, grapefruit, bananas and cheese in their diet.
WHAT WE KNOW
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a blanket term for the progressive lung diseases emphysema and chronic bronchitis. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 15 million people have COPD in the United States todayy.* The disease is often preventable, and smoking is the leading cause. Nevertheless, COPD remains the third leading cause of death in U.S. adults.
In a study of 2,000 adults with COPD, certain foods were associated with better lung functioning. The results of the study have yet to be published, but the preliminary findings demonstrate that a better diet benefits lung health. Bananas aren’t the magic fix for those diagnosed with COPD, and consuming large quantities of cheese isn’t a cure-all either. What researchers did find, however, is that people who ate fish, grapefruit, bananas, and cheese often had diets that included lots of other healthy foods as well. In addition to breathing easier, people who had eaten any of those foods showed better lung function on standard tests, had a quicker walking pace, and tended to have lower levels of certain inflammatory indicators in the blood. The researchers speculate that individual foods in this study were representative of a higher quality diet overall.
Our health is impacted by the choices we make each day. The COPD study demonstrates that it is never too late to make changes for the better. The adults in this study had been diagnosed with lung disease and were still reaping the benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables!
4 Simple Ways to Maintain a Healthy Diet
- Don’t stress over creating elaborate meals and tracking calories – focus on filling half your plate with fruits and veggies for each meal/snack.
- Understand the components of a healthy diet.
- Educate yourself on the nutritional and emotional benefits of a healthy diet. A diet rich in fruits and veggies lowers your risk of death from any cause.
- Make fruits and veggies a part of every meal or snack. Recipes with Lots of Fruits & Veggies
*”Diet Tied to Better Breathing in COPD Patients: MedlinePlus.” U.S National Library of Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine
, 21 May 2014. View Article