Indian Diet Plan to Improve Lung Health: Foods to Recover from COVID-19 & other lung diseases
India has one of the highest prevalence of many lung diseases including Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Pneumonia, Asthma, Tuberculosis and Lung Cancer. Along with rising pollution and lifestyle habits like smoking, lack of awareness also contributes to the deteriorating lung health in Indians. Persistent coughing, difficulty in breathing etc which could be warning signs of an underlying lung disease are often disregarded. As a result, people reach hospitals at advanced stage of irreversible conditions like COPD, leading to higher chances of morbidity and mortality.
Human lungs function like filters, absorbing pollutants and harmful dust particles present in the air. Regular maintenance and cleansing of these filters are essential for its normal functioning. Over-exerting lungs by not detoxifying it regularly or ignoring its reducing capacity to work smoothly can make it vulnerable to several infections. The best way of restoring and improving lung health is by practicing respiratory therapy and following a good diet (Nutrition Therapy). In this article, we will focus on the latter.
Role of Nutrition in Lung Health:
Fresh fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants, enzymes, vitamins and minerals are proven to help in boosting lung function. However, foods rich in simple carbohydrates like white bread, sugar, cakes, chips etc. can cause inflammatory changes in the lungs like hypoventilation, reducing the amount of oxygen entering lungs. Similarly, saturated fats, spicy and deep-fried foods can also interrupt with breathing by causing bloating and discomfort.
A good diet for the lungs will be rich in Omega 3, fibre, Vitamin C, D and E etc. which contributes to the strengthening of respiratory system. It should contain a fine balance of whole grains (brown rice, oats), whole pulses and legumes with husk (whole or broken black/green gram, kidney beans, soy) vegetables (green leafy veggies, peas, beans), fresh fruits (melons, papaya, oranges) and Omega-3 rich foods (walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, canola oil).
What are Recovery Foods for Lung Diseases?
Recovering from lung diseases like COVID-19 require intake of more fluids, proteins, immunity-building and nutrient-rich foods. Small frequent meals within every 2-3 hours that are rich in probiotics, healthy fats, proteins, vitamin C, zinc and selenium are suggested. Including more liquids in the diet is recommended to dilute respiratory secretions thereby preventing chances of complications like pneumonia. One should avoid caffeinated drinks like tea and coffee. Instead, diluted fruit juices, smoothies, clear soups, rasams and other herbal drinks like turmeric milk, kadha etc. are recommended.
Given below is a suggested sample diet plan for recovering from lung diseases.
Indian Diet Plan for Recovering from COVID-19 & other lung diseases
1 glass of Green Tea/ Lukewarm lemon juice with 4-5 overnight soaked almonds
1 cup of Mixed Veg Semolina upma with 1 boiled egg white
1 glass of Papaya oat smoothie with roasted pumpkin seeds or cut fruits with lemon juice
1 katori brown rice, roasted or steamed fish (fatty fish)/ sambar, mixed veg sabzi, 1 cup curd
1 cup of Tomato soup/ herbal tea with dried ginger, black pepper and cloves with roasted walnuts
1 bowl of Salad with sprouts, cucumber, tomato and carrot with a sprinkle of lemon juice
2 palak roti with sauteed paneer
1 cup of low-fat milk with turmeric and black pepper
Are you recovering from a lung disease or is looking forward to enhancing your lung capacity? Talk to our nutritionists and respiratory therapists at +91 7337556006 to get your customized plan made today.