Holiday Nutrition Do's and Don'ts for COPD Patients

The holidays are in full swing and with the holidays comes lots of gatherings filled with different foods. While these may look tempting, those living with COPD may want to think twice before indulging in different holiday foods. Many COPD patients do not realize that what you eat can increase or decrease symptoms. Eating the appropriate foods and avoiding certain foods can help manage your symptoms, making it easier to breathe and make the most of the season.  

Many foods like beans or carbonated beverages can cause bloating and produce gas in your system. As the abdomen increases in size from bloating and gas being built up – it can also cause pressure onto the diaphragm making it harder to breathe. Always talk to your doctor before making major changes to your diet but here are some foods to indulge in that can decrease mucus in the body, as well as some to avoid.  

Here are some foods that can decrease the mucus in the body: 

  • Rose hip tea 
  • Onions 
  • Garlic 
  • Celery 
  • Nuts 
  • Pickles 
  • Salmon  
  • Pumpkin  
  • Pineapple 
  • Celery 
  • Onion 
  • Honey 
  • Ginger 

Foods to avoid: 

Curated Meats – lunch meats, bacon, pepperoni, etc. While the charcuterie board may be calling your name, curated meats can be very troublesome for those with COPD. Curated meats use nitrates and nitrites to stay preserved for so long. While it may make your meats last much longer it can also be damaging to your health. According to a study that was made by the European Respiratory Journal, eating curated meats can be linked to patients that experience an increase of worsening COPD symptoms. 

Foods that cause Excess Mucus –  Foods that contain histamine or cause your body to produce more histamine can lead to excess mucus in the body. This can make it difficult to breathe or cause shortness of breath. Here is a list of foods to avoid: 

  • Alcohol 
  • Cider 
  • Sour Cream 
  • Vinegar 
  • Yogurt 
  • Chocolate 
  • Eggs 
  • Shellfish
  • Too much sugar or salt 
  • Cabbage 
  • Preservatives 
  • Processed Foods 
  • Excess Meat or Curated Meat 

Make sure to always talk to your doctor before making any major changes to your diet. While it may be tempting to indulge this holiday, try to be mindful of what you eat and make sure to take note of how you are feeling. This may be a little bit more work but taking an extra step for your health will always be worth it.  

If you or a loved one has COPD and is interested in portable medical oxygen, please contact or call us at 888-327-7301. 

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