Prolonged inflammatory lung problems that cause difficulty in breathing is termed as a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Common indicators of COPD are cough, wheezing, difficulty in breathing, and excessive mucus production. It is initiated by continued exposure to harmful gases. If one has COPD, they will have to alter many aspects of their daily life. The most important change will be in the foods they eat. Listed below are few food triggers for COPD.
Cured meats and cold cuts
Nitrate is a preservative that is present in cold cuts and processed meats to preserve their color and extend their shelf-life. These are not healthy food options for people with COPD. If these processed meats are consumed in large amounts, it might worsen the lung condition. Foods that one must avoid are hot dogs, bacon, salami, and ham.
Fried food is one of the most common food triggers for COPD. It contains a lot of oil and fats and takes time to digest. After eating fried food, one’s stomach will feel bloated. This bloating causes difficulty in breathing, especially in a person who is suffering from COPD. Fried food also lowers metabolism and increases belly fat. This puts an added burden on the diaphragm, thus leading to difficulty in breathing. Fried chicken, French fries, pickles, jalapeno poppers are some food items that one should avoid.
Salt is essential for the body; however, too much intake of salt could lead to edema that is water retention. Water retention causes issues with breathing in a person who is suffering from COPD. One can use spices and herbs instead of extra salt to add flavor to food. For example, lemon is a better alternative to salt in salads.
Any type of drink that is carbonated should be on the list of food triggers for COPD. These beverages contain added colors, sweeteners, and preservatives that cause gas and bloating and hence, are very dangerous for someone suffering from COPD. Gas and bloating leads to restlessness and trouble in breathing. These drinks also contain caffeine and added sugar that have no nutritional value and could lead to dehydration. So water is the best alternative to these carbonated and aerated drinks.
Although milk is a rich source of calcium and vitamin, it has a substance known as casomorphin. This enhances the production of mucus which leads to increased phlegm. The increased phlegm is disposed of from the body by wheezing and coughing, and hence, increases the severity of symptoms of COPD. One should refrain from having a warm cup of milk before dozing off. They should also avoid yogurt, ice cream, buttermilk, and cheese. Soy milk and almond milk are better alternatives for dairy products.
These are some of the common food triggers for COPD. One can consult their doctor to form an effective meal plan for their condition.