10 Dietary Options to Alleviate Respiratory Distress Amidst COVID-19

Breathlessness poses significant health challenges amidst COVID-19. Here are 10 essential dietary selections to incorporate into your meals.

10 Food Choices To Combat Breathlessness During COVID-19
10 Food Choices To Combat Breathlessness During COVID-19

With the resurgence of COVID-19 cases driven by the rapid spread of the new Omicron variant, safeguarding our lung health is paramount. Our lungs play a pivotal role in ensuring proper air circulation and breathing. Consequently, when the lungs are compromised, issues such as shortness of breath can arise. Shortness of breath emerged as a significant concern during the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to health complications.

To address these challenges, incorporating certain foods into your diet can aid in increasing oxygen levels in the body and mitigating issues associated with shortness of breath. Additionally, some of these foods can bolster immunity, making them invaluable additions to your daily dietary regimen. These expert-recommended foods offer a holistic approach to lung health and overall well-being.

Is It Possible for Diet to Alleviate Shortness of Breath

Clinical Nutritionist, Ms. Shilpa Singh from Fatima Hospital, Lucknow, highlights that while foods may not cure shortness of breath, they can play a preventive role against associated adversities. She explains that certain fruits, nuts, and vegetables contain antioxidants that enhance oxygen levels in the blood. Additionally, these foods possess anti-inflammatory properties, which contribute to strengthening immunity and reducing the frequency of shortness of breath occurrences. In the current climate where respiratory issues are on the rise, incorporating these food items into one’s diet can diminish the risk of severe infections.

Is It Possible for Diet to Alleviate Shortness of Breath

Foods That May Alleviate Breathing Difficulties

1. Eating Apples Regularly Can Help Maintain Good Health

The adage “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” holds some truth as apples contain nutrients that may help prevent shortness of breath and enhance lung function. Rich in vitamin C, E, and beta-carotene, apples contribute to improved lung capacity and overall fitness. Additionally, their antioxidant properties promote lung health and support blood regulation within the body.

2. Walnuts

While nuts in general are known for their health benefits for lung health, walnuts stand out as particularly beneficial. This is due to their high content of omega-3 fatty acids, which play a crucial role in preventing lung disorders and respiratory conditions. The omega-3 fatty acids found in walnuts also possess anti-inflammatory properties, which can have positive effects on inflammatory ailments affecting the lungs. Therefore, incorporating walnuts into your diet can help alleviate issues such as shortness of breath and complications associated with respiratory disorders.


3. Incorporate a Variety of Berries into Your Diet

Berries, renowned for their abundant antioxidants, notably Acai and blueberries, are highly effective in combating shortness of breath and respiratory disorders. Regular consumption promotes long-term lung health and strengthens lung function. Berries, rich in vitamin C, combat cell damage caused by free radicals, thereby enhancing immune function and overall health.

4. Optimal Lung Health is Linked to Regular Consumption of Broccoli

Despite being disliked by many, broccoli boasts numerous nutrients essential for improving breathing ability and lung health. Its rich array of nutrients, including Vitamin C, carotenoids, folate, phytochemicals, and L-sulforaphane, aids in combating lung problems by treating damaged lung tissues. L-sulforaphane found in broccoli triggers cells to activate anti-inflammatory genes, thereby mitigating respiratory issues and alleviating shortness of breath.

Optimal Lung Health is Linked to Regular Consumption of Broccoli

5. Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, a compound known to improve breathing by stimulating secretions and protecting respiratory membranes. This enhances oxygen passage, reducing issues like shortness of breath and enhancing lung strength. Cayenne pepper tea, rich in beta-carotene, is particularly beneficial for reducing asthma symptoms. Thus, incorporating cayenne pepper into your diet, especially during the COVID-19 period, is highly recommended.

6. Ginger: An Essential Nutrient for Boosting Health

Ginger is a highly sought-after food item renowned for its incredible health benefits and versatility in various dishes. It is extensively utilized to address a multitude of issues, including respiratory functions. Ginger contains anti-inflammatory compounds that aid in detoxification and prevent the spread of pollutants in the lungs.

Moreover, ginger helps alleviate congestion by unclogging air passages, thus facilitating better circulation to the lungs. Its consumption promotes lung health and provides relief from issues such as shortness of breath. Incorporating ginger into your diet, whether through ginger tea, adding it to salads, or using ginger paste in vegetables, can significantly enhance your overall health, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ginger: An Essential Nutrient for Boosting Health

7. Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds offer significant benefits for lung health by shielding lung tissues from exposure and reducing damage caused by radiation. Including flaxseeds in your diet can aid in breathing and alleviate shortness of breath. A study published in the BMC Cancer Journal supports the notion that a diet rich in flaxseeds can substantially decrease lung issues and mitigate radiation exposure to lung tissues, a major contributor to lung disorders.

8. Hydration for Lung Health

Water is essential for maintaining overall health, despite the fact that our bodies are composed of approximately 70% water. Adequate water intake is crucial for combating issues like shortness of breath and improving lung function. Dry lungs are more susceptible to inflammation and damage, underscoring the importance of staying hydrated by consuming at least 6-8 glasses of water daily. Hydration facilitates detoxification of the body and helps prevent the occurrence of shortness of breath.

9. Turmeric: A Potent Anti-Inflammatory Herb

Turmeric is renowned for its healing properties and has been extensively studied for its effectiveness. It is capable of alleviating burns and inflammation effectively. The curcumin compounds found in turmeric are particularly beneficial for reducing inflammation in the lungs, such as that caused by the coronavirus. Moreover, turmeric enhances airflow to the lungs, relieving chest tightness and other respiratory issues, thus promoting better breathing. Incorporating turmeric into your diet can be done in various ways, with popular options being turmeric milk and adding turmeric to meals.

10. Garlic’s Role in Promoting Lung Health

Garlic contains flavonoids that stimulate the production of glutathione, a compound crucial for eliminating harmful toxins and carcinogens that may affect the lungs. Incorporating garlic into your daily diet can enhance lung function, thereby reducing issues associated with shortness of breath.