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Managing Your Nutrition

Vegetables on counter top

Eat healthier, Breathe easier

For people with a lung disease, such as emphysema or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), eating a balanced and healthy diet is important to help with breathing and help fight infections and prevent illness.

Healthy Nutrition Tips:

Drink plenty of fluids

This helps to keep your airways clear of mucus. If you have a heart problem, talk with your provider about your recommended fluid intake amount.

Control your salt intake

Salt may keep fluids in your body. This may cause swelling and make breathing harder.

Limit caffeine

Caffeine can interfere with some medicines and may make you feel nervous.

Eat a variety of foods

This will help you get the nutrients you need. Make sure to include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein and dairy products.

Avoid overeating and foods that may cause gas and bloating

These foods may include fried or greasy foods, apples, dried beans, broccoli and cabbage.

Eat four to five small healthy meals a day

Large meals can make you feel full. This may make it hard to breathe.

Eat your main meal early in the day

This may give you more energy during the day.

Choose healthy foods that are easy to fix

Save your energy for eating. Make extra food and freeze it for quick meals.

Use your oxygen during meals (if you use oxygen)

Your body needs energy to eat and digest foods. This requires more oxygen.

Some people who suffer from lung disease may use up to ten times the calories of a healthy person just trying to breathe.

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