Maintaining a Healthy Diet for COPD Patients

If you have COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), you know how difficult everyday tasks can be. Having trouble breathing can be exhausting, and not having enough oxygen in your body leads to fatigue. While you still need to take the medication your doctor prescribes you; you can look into other health and diet tips for COPD patients.

One thing you can do that can make a big difference in how you feel, is changing your diet. People who have COPD should be eating a particular diet to have more energy in smaller quantities. With COPD you may have found yourself getting full much quicker, and getting tired while you're trying to eat, which means you're not finishing meals leaving you without the calories you need to stay active.

You have to make sure you're getting the proper nutrition with proper portioned, nutrient packed foods that provide a lot of energy. There are also some foods you need to stay clear of because they can make you feel sluggish.

Talk about your ideal diet with your doctor, as well as other health tips for COPD so that you can feel better overall. Here is a list of foods that are most helpful for people with COPD.


Oatmeal is truly the perfect breakfast food. It contains fiber, protein, and essential minerals all of which will give you a boost of energy. Oatmeal is an alternative to cereal, which provides you a boost via carbohydrates and sugar, but can then cause a crash soon after. You also don't have to eat a lot of it to reap the benefits of this superfood.

You can also make oatmeal taste any way you want. Instead of buying the flavored packets, which are full of sugar, go for the plain instant oats. You can add fresh fruit like blueberries or strawberries for flavor and the added health benefits of anti-oxidants.


Spinach is full of iron and vitamin C. Iron is especially important to you because you most likely have low iron levels in your blood. The iron will contribute to higher amounts of energy. Vitamin C will give your immune system a boost, which is important because getting sick can be very dangerous for anyone with COPD.


Beans are packed with protein and fiber. You don't have to rely mainly on beans as your source of fiber and protein, if the gassy side-effect makes you feel uncomfortable and bloated. However, they are one of the best sources of long-lasting energy, and prevent dips and spikes in your blood sugar levels.


Yogurt is a food that you should definitely stock up on if you have COPD. It's soft so it's easy to digest, which means it provides more energy sooner than solid foods. It contains “good” bacteria that our digestive systems need called "probiotics". Probiotics help eliminate harmful bacteria from the body and are necessary for immune system function.

Seeds and Nuts

Not only are almonds, pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts and cashews a great source of protein, but they also contain magnesium, which helps prevent muscle fatigue. Eat these as a great quick snack, but the raw kind with no salt and sugar are best. Roasted pumpkin seeds with some olive oil is a delicious, energy-packed snack. You can also make your own trail mix to carry with you on the go.

About Scott Ridl: Scott joined American Medical Sales and Rentals in 2008 as a Web Manager and Content Writer. He is a writer and designer. He is extensively trained on oxygen therapy products from leading manufacturers such as Inogen, Respironics, Chart, Invacare, ResMed and more. Scott works closely with respiratory therapists and oxygen specialists to educate the community about oxygen therapy products, COPD, asthma and lung diseases. He writes weekly columns and is passionate about educating the community on oxygen therapy and respiratory issues.

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