Leading a regular life becomes quite challenging when one faces breathing troubles sporadically. Breath-related issues, such as shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, and pain or pressure in the chest are usually symptoms of lung diseases like MAC disease and COPD. Certain foods we regularly eat can negatively affect our lungs and exacerbate breathing problems. So, this article lists some common foods one must avoid to ease breathing issues and control MAC disease and COPD symptoms.
1. Fried foods
Fried foods, such as French fries, fried chicken, and potato chips, are among the unhealthiest foods anyone can eat. These foods can cause gas and bloating, making breathing more difficult in those suffering from breath-related conditions. Fried foods, being calorie-dense, can also lead to weight gain, which increases pressure on the lungs.
2. Salty foods
Too much salt spells more trouble when you’re suffering from breathing problems. That’s because salt, or sodium, can cause fluid retention in the body, triggering high blood pressure and shortness of breath. Steer clear of various high-salt foods like canned soup, pasta sauce, and tortilla chips, and replace salt with spices and herbs in dinner recipes.
3. Processed meats
Ham, hot dogs, sausages, and other processed meats are usually loaded with nitrates to improve color and prolong shelf life. Studies have found that nitrates can aggravate symptoms of lung diseases, especially COPD. Besides, processed meats tend to be high in sodium, contributing to breathing problems.
Sodas are infused with carbon dioxide. This can lead to excess gas, bloating, and heartburn, all of which can make it harder to breathe. Additionally, sodas are devoid of essential nutrients and high in sugar and calories, promoting excess weight. One must particularly avoid caffeine-containing sodas, as caffeine increases respiration rate, heart rate, and blood pressure.
Whole milk and other dairy products can aggravate symptoms in those with conditions like MAC disease and COPD. When milk breaks down, it produces casomorphin, which has been found to increase mucus and phlegm. Excess mucus clogs the airways and makes breathing laborious. Try replacing cow milk with plant-based alternatives, like almond milk, coconut milk, or oat milk.
6. Cruciferous vegetables
Cruciferous veggies, such as broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower, are fiber-rich and nutritious. But, they generate lots of gas when the body breaks them down. Gas and bloating are uncomfortable and can increase shortness of breath and other problems.