Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD is the third leading cause of death worldwide. Around 57 million Indians are affected with COPD. Normally in a healthy lungs when we breathe, the air passes through the tubes called airways to air sacs. But in a COPD patient movement of air via airways to air sacs becomes very difficult leading to difficulty in breathing. Around 40% of COPD people suffer from depression and anxiety. According to physicians COPD has no cure but use of drugs can slow down the progression of the disease. But there are millions of cases where drugs were not even able to slow down the disease and eventually led to death. The reason for this is the drugs treat the effect of the disease that is the symptoms and not the cause of the disease. Luckily, plant based nutrition dense diet has proved to be very effective in treating and even reversing COPD.
What is COPD?
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is the disease of the lungs which includes two main diseases namely chronic bronchitis and emphysema. In chronic bronchitis inflammation of the lungs occur while in emphysema the air sacs are damaged or the airways. The hallmark of COPD is shortness of breath, excess mucus production and wheezing. It is not necessary that smoking induce COPD. There are about one third of COPD cases of non-smokers as well. Other risk factors of COPD are occupational exposure to mines and dust, environmental pollution and allergens, age and genetics. There are four stages of COPD starting from mild COPD to severe COPD.
What causes COPD?
The root cause of COPD is the food we eat. People who consistently eat food rich in meat, refined carbohydrates, starch, salt, sodium, added nitrates & nitrites in processed meats, fried foods have higher chances of getting COPD as these foods increases the mucus production and cough. They damage the airways and inner lining of the lungs leading to inflammation. Dairy food products like milk, cheese, curd, ice cream and yogurt also increases the risk of COPD symptoms.
How does plant based nutrition dense diet reverses COPD?
Plant based nutrition dense diet being rich in phytochemicals, anti-inflammatory, fiber and antioxidants helps in treating the injured lungs, reduces mucus production, improves blood circulation, improves breathing and thus reverses COPD. Fresh and brightly colored fruits and vegetables like broccoli, cooked tomatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, apple, apricot, watermelon, berries, citrus fruits are very effective for treating COPD. Other foods like black tea; herbs like ginseng, milk thistle; cayenne pepper, flax seeds, chia seeds, soy products, olive leaf all improves the symptoms as well as the inflammation of the lungs.
Take home message
It is the third leading cause of death in the world with no medical treatment available which can cure COPD.
Diet rich in animal foods which have high nitrates & nitrites, dairy foods and processed foods which are high in salt and sodium increases the mucus production and cough.
Plant based nutrition dense diet are rich in carotenoids, fiber, phytochemicals and antioxidants are able to cure and even reverse COPD.