Cough accompanied by chest pain, fever and shortness of breath, often spells doom for the sufferer as these symptoms are mostly associated with pneumonia, a potentially lethal lung infection that affects the air sacs. On the brighter side, it can be noted that this viral, fungal or bacterial infection is curable by antibiotics.
However, the effectiveness of the medication depends on the age and health condition of the victim. Those at the extremes of age and health conditions are the worst sufferers of this disease. Those with a weak immune system, recovering from any other respiratory disease, younger than 1 year or older than 65 years are strongly susceptible to this deadly respiratory disease. Though pneumonia is fatal, a person of any age stands a chance of being cured by consuming the medicines prescribed to him/her, along the diet that is prescribed to him/her.
Essentially, pneumonia occurs due to a weak immune system, and care should be taken to strengthen the immunity by taking a diet with healthy amounts of calories, protein, micronutrients and fluids.
Essential Diet Tips for Pneumonia
High calories is a must for patients down with pneumonia, to supply energy to the body to perform vital activities such as normal breathing, which is impaired during pneumonia. Butter, milkshakes, custard, and puddings, are dietary options for persons suffering from this disease.
However, as they have fever they may not be able to digest these foods. Instead, one can opt for high calorie dishes made using rice, wheat, oats, or other staples. Instead of one large meal, one can have calorie-rich small meals frequently.
As pneumonia is an inflammatory disease causing tissue damage, protein is required by the body for tissue repair. Proteins also provide energy. A considerable amount of the protein should be consumed at the beginning of a meal, as later on, one may feel the urge to stomach the protein-rich food owing to partial satiety.
Eggs, chicken, fish, soy products, dairy products, edible nuts and seeds are all protein-rich foods and they should be included in one’s daily diet.
Your diet for pneumonia should consist of moderate amounts of fat to provide calories to your body. Eat foods rich in healthy fats such as monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. Olive oil, fatty fish, avocados, soy milk, nuts, olives, peanut butter, sunflower seeds and tofu are all foods that are rich in healthy fats.
Avoid foods that contain high amounts of unhealthy fats such as saturated and trans-fats. Chicken with skin, butter, cheese, ice cream, coconut oil, margarine, pastries, and cookies are high in unhealthy fats and should be avoided.
Vitamins, Minerals And Phytochemicals
Vegetables and fruits have vitamins, minerals, phyotchemicals and antioxidants that strengthen the immune system. Although these do not add calories to the diet, they should be included in order to improve the levels of immunity in the body to fight against the bacteria, virus and fungi causing pneumonia and other infections in the bodies of the weak and the debilitated.
Pulmonary Expectorant Herbs
Some herbs act like natural pulmonary expectorants and are beneficial to the patient.
Sesame seeds, fenugreek, licorice, and eucalyptus should be boiled in water and the decoction consumed, as these clear the respiratory passage in a manner similar to pulmonary expectorants.