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Most Effective Foods for Chronic Bronchitis

author image August McLaughlin
August McLaughlin is a certified nutritionist and health writer with more than nine years of professional experience. Her work has been featured in various magazines such as "Healthy Aging," "CitySmart," "IAmThatGirl" and "ULM." She holds specializations in eating disorders, healthy weight management and sports nutrition. She is currently completing her second cookbook and Weight Limit—a series of body image/nutrition-related PSAs.
Most Effective Foods for Chronic Bronchitis
Yogurt, fruits, vegetables and chicken soup may help ease chronic bronchitis symptoms.

Chronic bronchitis, a type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is a lung infection that blocks airflow and makes breathing difficult. Symptoms of chronic bronchitis include a lasting cough that brings up mucus, shortness of breath, wheezing, swelling of the ankles, feet and legs, and blue-toned lips. In addition to anti-inflammatory medications and inhalers that ease breathing, a healthy diet may improve your symptoms. For best results, seek specified guidance from a qualified health care professional.

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Probiotics are healthy bacteria that work against harmful bacteria in your digestive system. In addition to easing digestion and help to prevent infections caused by harmful bacteria, probiotics may help prevent respiratory infections, such as bronchitis, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, and reduce cold-like symptoms. Valuable sources of probiotics include yogurt with live active cultures, such as lactobacillus, kefir, a yogurt-like beverage, buttermilk, fermented soy products and various fortified foods and beverages.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are prime source of antioxidants -- nutrients that strengthen your body's ability to defend itself from infections and disease. According to a study published in "Chest" in May 2007, upping your fruit and vegetable intake may lead to fewer bronchitis symptoms. In the study, the diets and respiratory symptoms of 2,012 high school students were examined for one year. By the study's end, researchers found that participants who consumed fewest amounts of antioxidant-rich foods were most likely to develop chronic bronchitis and other respiratory problems, such as asthma and wheezing. To reap protective benefits of antioxidants, incorporate colorful fruits and vegetables, such as berries, citrus fruits, cantaloupe, red grapes, tomatoes, leafy greens, bell peppers, broccoli, sweet potatoes and winter squash into your meals and snacks routinely.

Chicken Soup

Chicken soup is a time-honored remedy for respiratory symptoms. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends chicken soup for sore throat relief, loosened mucus and reduced congestion. Consume broth-based soup over creamy soup, which may worsen phlegm buildup. Broth in soup also enhances hydration, which is important for flushing toxins from your body through urine. Incorporating vegetables into your soup provides additional antioxidant benefits. Protein in chicken and other soup ingredients, such as beans, lentils and turkey, provides amino acids -- the building blocks of lean tissue. Protein-rich foods also promote strong immune system function, sustained energy and tissue repair -- attributes that may support your recovery from bronchitis outbreaks.

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