A healthy and balanced diet can help manage COPD symptoms and improve overall health. According to a 2010 study published in the journal Acta Medica Iranica, adequate protein intake is vital for those with COPD as it supports healthy lung function and immunity. Foods that are high in protein include grass-fed meats, poultry, fish, and eggs. A diet that is high in healthy fats and low in carbohydrates may be ideal as carbohydrates can increase the level of carbon dioxide in the body, per Healthline. Foods that are high in healthy fats include fatty fish, avocados, nuts and seeds, olive oil, and coconut oil.
Fruits and vegetables are also an important part of the COPD diet. According to a 2019 study published in the journal Nutrients, foods rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may be beneficial since COPD is an inflammatory disease. The study says that some of the best choices include green leafy vegetables, apples, peppers, and pears. Fruits and vegetables rich in calcium, vitamin C, and potassium may be helpful since those nutrients positively impact lung function. When considering your meals, it is important to limit foods that can worsen COPD symptoms, such as caffeine, processed and fried foods, and foods high in sodium, per Healthline.