Food is the fuel your body needs for everything you do, including breathing. Your body uses food for energy as a part of a process called 'metabolism'. This is when food and oxygen are changed into energy and carbon dioxide.
Eating healthily also helps the body fight infections. Chest infections are illnesses that can be dangerous for people with a lung problem. You can reduce your risk of infection by eating well.
Five essential nutrients
There are five nutrients that are essential for health and life.
Found in milk, eggs, meat, poultry, fish, nuts, pulses (such as beans).
The body uses proteins to repair damaged tissue
Remember to trim the fat off meat - too much fat is not good for you.
Found in bread, cereal, rice, pasta, fruit and potatoes
They are the easiest form of energy to digest
If they are high in fibre, they help with your bowel function and lower your cholesterol.
Found in butter, margarine, olive oil, vegetable oil, nuts
They are mainly a source of energy and vitamins A D E and K.
Found in liver, eggs, meat, fish and dried fruits such as raisins
Milk and cheese are rich in calcium (and vitamin D)
Calcium and vitamin D help with healthy bones and teeth. Iron is important for your blood
Calcium is especially important for people who are on high amounts of steroid treatment.
A – improves eyesight and helps fight infections - it's found in butter and many dark green vegetables
B – necessary for normal nerve function, good digestion, good appetite and healthy skin - found in wholegrain breads and cereals, meat, fish and dairy products
C – good for fighting infection. The best sources are citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruit), strawberries and broccoli
D – helps with healthy bones and teeth. Found in milk and cheese
E – found in whole grain cereals
K – regulates blood clotting - found in cauliflower, kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts, soya beans, meat and green tea.
Your ideal weight
If you are overweight, your heart and lungs have to work harder to supply oxygen to your body.
Too much fat makes it more difficult for your lungs to work properly. Losing weight through diet and exercise will make breathing easier.
If you are overweight, try eating smaller portions. Increase the amount of exercise you do to encourage weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week. Losing weight too quickly may not be good for you.
Being underweight is not good either. You can feel weak and tired, and you may be more likely to develop a chest infection. It's important for you to eat enough calories to prevent muscle wasting or weakening.
Talk to your nurse or Doctor to find out your ideal weight.
Sugar contains no nutrients. We do not need sugar for energy; we get all the energy we need from other foods we eat. Too much sugar in your diet makes obesity and tooth decay more likely.
Watch out for salt