Thursday, October 20, 2011

Everyday Health Tips

From TV stars affected by breast cancer to multiple medical POV’s on pancreatic cancer, Everyday Health is your source for experts spanning the health spectrum, from in-depth medical conditions to wellness, including delicious, healthy recipes.  Here’s a quick look at what’s hot this month.

November is COPD Awareness Month (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and 13 million Americans are diagnosed with this condition in the U.S.  There are food that affect quality of life with COPD, exercises to ease it, ways to prevent COPD flare-ups, advice for caregivers, and how to better manage and track the symptoms with a free mobile app.  The free COPD app from Everyday Health helps to monitor and manage breathing with an easy-to-use tracker, it provides condition information and treatment options, up-to-the-minute weather reports to track local air quality, and allows users to connect with a community of peers.

Seven Healthy Food Choices for COPD

When working to manage COPD, nutrition should figure into your list of concerns. People with COPD have greater calorie requirements because of the effort it takes to breathe and get through each day — the calorie usage of the muscles involved every time you take a breath could be 10 times greater than for someone without COPD. You might not think calorie requirements are a concern if you’re overweight, but being overweight doesn’t mean you’re adequately nourished, says Amy Jamieson-Petonic, MEd, RD, a wellness coach at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and an American Dietetic Association spokeswoman.

1. Choose high-fiber foods made with whole grains, instead of refined carbohydrates such as white bread.

2. Lower-fat milk offers protein, calcium, vitamin D, and some fat to meet the calorie requirements you need to get through the day. Jamieson-Petonic recommends a daily menu of about 3,300 calories for people with COPD, including about five servings of milk (not skim).

3. Choose omega-3 fatty acids and poly- and mono-unsaturated fats instead of saturated (animal) fats or hydrogenated fats.

4. High-fiber fruits and vegetables provide you with essential nutrients, such as a wide variety of vitamins, including vitamin A (which has been linked to improved COPD symptoms), minerals, and inflammation-fighting antioxidants.

5. Beans, peas, and other legumes are high-fiber foods that also contain zinc, an essential mineral in a nutritious COPD diet. Research suggests that getting enough zinc might help improve COPD symptoms. The recommended daily intake of zinc is 11 mg for men and 8 mg for women; a half-cup of chickpeas contains 1.3 mg

6. Many people with COPD have a protein deficiency and may not even know it. A lack of protein can lead to losing muscle, or muscle wasting, as the body cannibalizes its own protein stores. Fish, chicken, eggs, nut butters, and dairy are all healthy, easy-to-fix sources of lean protein. You can also add protein powder to smoothies. Over the course of a day, you need about 1.5 grams of protein for each kilogram (2.2 lbs.) of body weight.
7. There is some evidence that vitamin D deficiency may contribute to COPD and worse COPD symptoms. The body makes its own vitamin D from sunlight, but you may not be getting enough sun exposure to meet your needs. Choose foods that are supplemented with vitamin D such as fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and tuna.

This article is reprinted with permission from Everyday Health, the largest provider of health information.

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