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The Best Diet for Bronchitis Patients

vitamin C-rich foods

Story at-a-glance -

  • Leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach, collard greens and Swiss chard: The trio of antioxidants, flavonoids and carotenoids helps effectively combat infections
  • Milk and milk products, especially in high amounts: Although there are some benefits that grass-fed milk and its byproducts have to offer, it’s best to reduce your intake if you have bronchitis

It’s important to watch what you eat if you have bronchitis. Two major symptoms of this disease include a persistent cough and sore throat,1 and both of these can be alleviated by eating healthy.

Consuming a diet that can enhance your immune system and help fight the inflammation that has clogged your airways is extremely important.

These Foods Can Work Wonders for Bronchitis Patients

To potentially treat bronchitis and assist in preventing further occurrences of this disease, make it a point to regularly consume:2

Leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach, collard greens and Swiss chard: The trio of antioxidants, flavonoids and carotenoids help effectively combat infections.

Ideally, eat these vegetables raw or use quick and gentle cooking methods (cooking to a tender crisp, not a mushy texture), to preserve more nutrients and biophotons (weak emissions of light that radiate from cells of living things).3

Garlic, especially when eaten raw: Sulfur-containing compounds in this allium vegetable, allicin in particular, are responsible for garlic’s health benefits.

These include helping ward off infections that happen because of a cold or a flu and fighting many types of diseases.4

Garlic was also proven to have antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal capabilities.

Vitamin C-rich food: For people with illnesses such as bronchitis, vitamin C is beneficial because it assists in enhancing immune system function and combats viral illnesses and allergy-related conditions.

Popular vitamin C-rich foods include citrus fruits, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, kiwifruit, papaya, red bell pepper and sweet potatoes.

If you’re planning to eat fruits, make sure to consume them in moderation because they contain fructose.

This is a type of sugar that can be dangerous to your health if consumed excessively.

Fermented foods such as raw kefir, kimchi, natto, miso and sauerkraut: Fermented foods help replenish the amount of beneficial bacteria residing in your gut, especially if you are already taking an antibiotic to help cure the illness.

Fermentation also preserves food for a longer period of time, delivers instant energy and increases the bioavailability of nutrients, especially in vegetables.

Grass-fed meats, such as organic and grass-fed beef: High amounts of vitamin A and E, omega-3 fatty acids, beta-carotene, zinc and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a known immune system enhancer are present in grass-fed beef.

Healthy fats: To help lessen inflammation when you have a disease like bronchitis, your body needs substantial quantities of healthy fats.5

The best sources of healthy fats for your body are raw, organic eggs from pasture-raised chickens, raw nuts like macadamias and pecans, grass-fed butter, coconuts and coconut oil, and animal-based omega-3 fats like krill oil.

Spicy foods: They were proven to not only prevent occurrences of runny nose, but to help thin mucus in your lungs and allow you to cough more productively.6

Chili peppers or cayenne pepper contain a compound called capsaicin, both a potent anti-inflammatory and a pain reliever.

Capsaicin helps suppress pain by lowering your body’s supply of substance P, a chemical component in nerve cells that sends pain signals to the brain, as well as desensitizing sensory receptors in the skin.7

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Avoid These If You Have Bronchitis

To fully recover from the sickness and prevent symptoms from worsening, refrain from consuming these items:

Alcohol and caffeinated drinks: They negatively affect the central nervous system by slowing down reflexes for both coughing and sneezing that are important for clearing air passages. They also dehydrate your body and potentially make mucus thicker, harder and tougher to eliminate.8,9

Refined and processed food, such as sodas, candies and ice creams, and/or items that contain high amounts of either sugar or white flour:10 Processed foods are often devoid of nutrients since they’re eliminated in the processing method, and contain synthetic vitamins and minerals that are lackluster compared to real nutrients.

Processed food tends to have high amounts of sugar too, typically in the form of refined fructose or high-fructose corn syrup. Unfortunately, most people consume excess sugar nowadays, and this can lead to a weaker immune system and a slower healing process.11

Also, the body, specifically the liver, has a limited capacity to metabolize the sugar that you eat. This means that excess sugar from food that the liver is unable to absorb turns into body fat, leading to a higher risk for diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, dementia and cancer.

On the other hand, refined food, as the name implies, contains refined carbohydrates that swiftly break down to sugar in your body. As mentioned earlier, high amounts of sugar can disrupt your health. Consuming high amounts of refined carbohydrates can result in an increase in both insulin and leptin levels, as well as insulin resistance, all of which can be detrimental to your health.

Milk and milk products, especially in high amounts12 Although there are some benefits that grass-fed milk and its byproducts have to offer, it’s best to reduce your intake if you have bronchitis. Dairy products can increase the amount of mucus in the airways, and the saturated fat present in milk is responsible for triggering phlegm production, resulting in an inconvenience in breathing.13

However, if you really want to drink milk, consume minimal amounts of raw, grass-fed milk, and not the low-fat or no-fat varieties in grocery stores. Raw, grass-fed milk is a storehouse of vital nutrients for your body, such as:

Beneficial bacteria that can enhance your gastrointestinal tract

High amounts of omega-3 fats and low amounts of omega-6 fats

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)

Vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K

Digestive enzymes, growth factors and antibodies

Healthy, unoxidized cholesterol

If you like yogurt made with grass-fed milk, you can also have minimal portions of it. Yogurt is known to be rich in beneficial bacteria14 that can aid in replenishing your gut microbiome and enhancing your immune system.

Dried or canned fruits:15 Skip these types of fruit items and eat fresh fruits instead (in moderation). This is because some companies add sugar liberally to these processed goods. The extremely high amounts of sugar make it easy for a person to overeat, building up the amount of the sugar in the body.16,17

Sulfur dioxide may also be added to some varieties of dried fruit as a form of preservative. Unfortunately, this chemical was proven to cause side effects such as stomach pains, skin rashes and asthma attacks. Another chemical called acrylamide was also found in dried fruit and is known to damage your nerves.18

As for canned fruits (and all canned foods in general), a chemical called bisphenol-A (BPA) is commonly lurking in these products, as it can leach from the containers. BPA has been shown to be an endocrine disruptor by copying or interfering with your body’s hormones and disturbing the proper function of your endocrine system. Other side effects have also been linked to BPA, such as:

Reproductive abnormalities

Neurological effects

Increased risk for breast and prostate cancers, diabetes, heart disease and other health problems


Introduction: Bronchitis

What Is Bronchitis?

Is Bronchitis Contagious?

Types of Bronchitis

Bronchitis Causes

Bronchitis Symptoms

Bronchitis Treatment

Bronchitis in Children

Bronchitis During Pregnancy

Bronchitis Prevention

Bronchitis Diet

Bronchitis FAQ


Bronchitis Prevention


Bronchitis FAQ

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