10 Food Choices To Combat Breathlessness During COVID-19

Shortness of breath can be a major reason for health adversities during COVID-19, here are 10 food choices you must include in your diet.

Puru Bansal
Written by: Puru BansalUpdated at: Jan 06, 2022 11:15 IST
10 Food Choices To Combat Breathlessness During COVID-19

As we see COVID-19 cases rising again with new omicron variant spreading rapidly, it is high time we take care of our lungs. Lungs play major role in maintaining the air circulation and breathing. Hence if lungs are infected, then there could be problems like shortness of breath. During COVID-19 shortness of breath was one of the major reasons for health adversities and complications. Therefore we have some foods that could help increase the oxygen levels in your body and reduce the issues related to shortness of breath. Some of these foods can also help you build better immunity; hence try these expert recommended food by adding it to your daily diet.

Can Food Help Reduce Shortness of Breath?

According to Clinical Nutritionist, Ms.Shilpa Singh from Fatima Hospital, Lucknow, foods cannot cure shortness of breath but can prevent you from adversities. She explained that some fruits, nuts and vegetables have antioxidants in them that improve the oxygen levels in the blood. Also they have anti-inflammatory properties which help to build stronger immunity and it prevents people from getting shortness of breath often. In times such as these where respiratory problems are increasing, having these food items in your diet can lower the risk of severe infections. 


List of Foods That Can Reduce Shortness of Breath

1. Apples Keep the Doctor Away

It is a famous saying that eating an apple a day can keep the doctor away. Well it is true to some extent because apples have nutrients that can prevent shortness of breath and improve lung functions in the body. It has vitamin C, E and beta carotene that builds better lung power and keeps you fit. Apples also have antioxidants in them that keep the lung healthier and aids in blood regulation in the body.

2. Walnuts

Nuts as such are very healthy for lung health but particularly walnuts can be much more beneficial. This is for the reason that it has high amount of omega-3 fatty acids that prevent lung disorders and respiratory conditions. Omega-3 fatty acids present in the lungs are also anti-inflammatory that have positive effects in the inflammatory ailments. Walnuts can hence reduce problems such as shortness of breath and complications of respiratory disorders.


3. Eat plenty of berries

Berries are known for its rich source of antioxidants present in it. Particularly Acai and blueberry are very effective against shortness of breath and respiratory disorders. It can help keep your lung healthy for long and increase lung strength as well. Berries also have vitamin C in good amount that can help fight cell causing damage to free radicals. They also help to increase immune functions boost overall health.

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4. Healthy Broccoli means healthy Lungs

Many of you may dislike broccoli, but it has many nutrients that can be very helpful in gaining better breathing ability. This is because it has rich source of following nutrients that help fight lung problems-

  • Vitamin C
  • Carotenoids 
  • Folate
  • Phytochemicals
  • L-sulforaphane

All these nutrients are helpful to treat damaged tissues present in the lungs. Broccoli also has L-sulforaphane that is responsible to trick the cells to bring about anti-inflammatory genes. These genes can avoid respiratory problems and remove shortness of breath as well.


5. Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper actually has capsaicin in it that helps to improve breathing. This compound actually stimulated the secretions and mucus protects membranes from affecting the respiratory tracts. It helps in providing good passage for the oxygen to go in that reduces problems such as shortness of breath and increases lung strength. It is preferred to have cayenne pepper tea that is a great source of beta-carotene, this also has magnificent effects on reducing the symptoms of asthma. Hence it is a must have in this COVID-19 period. 

Also Read- Mushroom Guide 101: Types of Mushroom and Their Health Benefits

6. Ginger- the booster nutrient

Ginger is basically one of the most sorted out food item that can be included in variety of other foods and has amazing health benefits. Ginger is used widely to treat a number of problems including respiratory functions. Ginger has anti-inflammatory compounds that help to detoxify and prevents pollutants from spreading in the lungs. 

It also helps to relieve congestion and unclogging air-pores that help in circulation to the lungs. It boosts lung health and relieves problems such as shortness of breath. You can have ginger tea, ginger in salads, ginger paste in vegetables, etc to boost our health during corona virus. 


7. Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds are very healthy for the lungs as it protects the lung tissues from exposure. It helps to prevent radiation to the lung tissues and reduce damage that has occurred earlier significantly. Because of this you must add flaxseeds to your diet to aid breathing and remove shortness of breath. According to a study published by Journal BMC Cancer, diet consisting flaxseeds can significantly lower down lung problems and exposure to radiation of lung tissues which is a major cause of lung disorders. 

8. Water for Lungs

As we know our body has 70% of water in it, we still need to drink plenty of water in order to stay healthy. Water consumption can be related to shortness of breath and it is actually effective in improving lung functions in the body. Dry lungs can be more prone to inflammation and damage, hence you must drink atleast 6-8 glassed of water to keep yourself hydrated and in good health. Water helps to detoxify the body and prevents shortness of breath from happening in general.

9. Turmeric- the anti-inflammatory herb

Turmeric is also widely used and tested for its healing powers. It can cure burns and inflammation with ease. Curcumin compounds present in turmeric are also useful to relive inflammation in the lungs that happens because of corona virus. It can further enhance air passage to the lungs and relieve chest tightness and issues related to respiratory problems to boost breathing. It can be added in your diet in multiple ways, the best way is to have turmeric milk and turmeric in your meals. 

10. Use of Garlic

Garlic has flavanoids in it which are responsible for production of glutathione. These compounds aids in getting rid of the harmful toxins and carcinogens that can affect your lungs. Having garlic in your daily diet can improve lung function and thus reduce problems related to shortness of breath as well.

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