Whether you have mild respiratory conditions like the common cold or severe illnesses like mesothelioma, a rare respiratory cancer, your body, and respiratory concerns can benefit from an improved diet.

For example, people with mesothelioma can eat fiber-rich foods to improve their quality of life. Check out MesotheliomaGroup‘s site to learn about the different mesothelioma stages and potential treatments for this condition.

What are some foods that can help improve the condition of women with respiratory issues? 

This article lists and explains the potential benefits of specific foods for women with respiratory conditions.

Foods to Improve Your Respiratory Condition

A balanced eating pattern is an essential aspect of health. Women should enjoy nutritious meals from all food groups, including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, low-fat or fat-free dairy, and lean protein. 

But women also have special nutrient needs, and these requirements change during each stage of a woman’s life.

Here are some foods that can benefit women with respiratory concerns:

Iron-Rich Foods

A Portuguese Society of Pulmonology study indicated that iron deficiency can worsen chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).  

The potential impact of a low iron level on people with COPD may be due to iron’s critical role in red blood cell and respiratory enzyme production. 

Although iron is necessary for optimal health, the amount required varies based on a woman’s stage of life. A woman’s need for iron increases during pregnancy and decreases following menopause. 

Red meat, chicken, turkey, pig, fish, kale, spinach, beans, lentils, and several fortified ready-to-eat kinds of cereal are examples of foods high in iron. 

Plant-based sources of iron are more readily absorbed by your body when consumed with meals high in vitamin C.

Try a spinach salad with mandarin orange slices, fortified cereal with strawberries on top, or lentil soup with tomatoes for a meal that provides both of these nutrients.

Daily Calcium and Vitamin D Requirements

Several studies suggest a positive link between vitamin D and lung health. 

At the same time, calcium may also help in the development of healthy lungs.

Women require more calcium and vitamin D as they age, adequate vitamin D intake is also crucial.

Fatty fish like salmon and eggs, milk and plant-based milk substitutes, yogurts, and juices are all excellent sources of vitamin D.

On the other hand, calcium maintains bone strength and aids in lowering the risk of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition wherein the bones become brittle and susceptible to breaking.

Yogurt, low-fat or fat-free milk, and cheese are well-known calcium-rich foods. Additionally, you may get much calcium from sardines, tofu, tempeh, bok choy, sesame seeds, soybeans, and green leafy vegetables.

Folic Acid During the Reproductive Years

A study in Sweden indicated that in some individuals with severe COPD, consumption of folic acid was below recommended levels. 

This observation suggests that folic acid deficiency may correlate with respiratory health. 

At the same time, folic acid is beneficial for women in decreasing the risk of congenital disabilities. 

You can improve your intake of vitamin B by consuming foods that naturally contain folates, like oranges, beans, leafy green vegetables, and peas. 

Moreover, several foods—bread, specific rice, and morning cereals—are fortified with folic acid. 

It is advisable to eat a variety of foods to satisfy nutrient demands. 

Still, taking dietary supplements containing folic acid may also be necessary. This requirement benefits pregnant or nursing women whose daily needs for folate are higher at 600mcg and 500mcg, respectively. 

Consult a qualified dietitian, nutritionist, or doctor before beginning any new supplement regimen.

A healthy diet promotes wellness and aids in disease prevention. A nutritious diet involves selecting various nourishing foods from each food group (fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, and proteins) in the right portions for your meal plan.

Another aspect of healthy eating is avoiding foods with added sugar, saturated fats, sodium (salt), and trans fats.

On the other hand, some women may need vitamins, minerals, or supplements at specific moments in their lives, like before or during pregnancy. 

Still, most women must get the required nutrients through their food and liquids.

Types of Respiratory Illnesses

Three of the most common lung conditions in women are chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, and lung cancer.

Asthma is a chronic (ongoing) condition that affects the bronchial tubes or the lungs’ airways.

COPD includes conditions like emphysema and chronic obstructive bronchitis. These conditions impair lung airflow and make breathing challenging. With time, COPD can grow worse.

Lung cancer develops when malignant lung cells multiply and spread unchecked. These malignant cells can spread to different parts of the body, infiltrate adjacent tissues, or do both. 

Another example of respiratory cancer is mesothelioma, a rare condition usually caused by asbestos exposure.

What you eat and drink depends on several factors, including where you live, the types of food available to you in your neighborhood and within your budget, your culture, and your preferences.

Usually, factors outside your immediate control—like how close the grocery shop is to your home or place of employment—can impact healthy eating. 

You can make minor adjustments in your daily life to eat better by concentrating on the decisions you have control over.