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Pneumonia is a respiratory disorder caused due to inflammation of the alveoli (air sacs) of one or both lungs. It can be viral, bacterial, or fungal; Pneumonia fills up the air sacs with fluid or pus that leads to breathing problems. Mucus or phlegm (the liquid) causes discomfort, fever, cough, and chills.
Pneumonia symptoms range from mild to life-threatening. Children and the elderly are more vulnerable to it due to a weaker immune system. In case the symptoms aggravate, you must consult a doctor to avoid fatality. While there are several home remedies for pneumonia, it is advisable to see a doctor for medication. Once you get it, you’ll probably have to take medication for some time in addition to a modified diet.
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- Chest Pain
- Shortness of Breath
How to Prevent Pneumonia
The best way to prevent pneumonia is to keep your immune system strong. Maintaining proper hygiene is also helpful.
- Cut down on smoking or give up entirely
- Wash your hands with soap. Or use a hand sanitizer if you can’t wash your hands
- Avoid exposure to ill people
- Get proper rest
- Eat healthy – fruits, vegetables, lean protein
Keep toddlers away from people with colds or the flu to reduce the risk. Teach them to keep their noses clean and dry and to sneeze into their elbow instead of the palms. See a doctor if you have a persistent cold so that it doesn’t turn into pneumonia.
- Don’t exert yourself. Get enough rest to recover from a cold
- Drink plenty of water and other fluids to eliminate congestion
- Install a humidifier
- Boost your immune system with Vitamin C and zinc supplements
How to Regain Strength after Pneumonia
Drinking plenty of water is important to flush out the bacteria, virus, or fungi from the system. Apart from water, drinking fresh juices can also help in eliminating the mucus from the lungs. Water and other liquids flush out the toxins that harm the lungs along with foreign particles that obstruct the respiratory tract. Experts recommend drinking 6-8 glasses of water every day.
Oranges, berries, kiwi fruit, and papayas are packed with Vitamin C that boosts the immune system and speeds up recovery. These fruits contain essential antioxidants that fight the foreign particles that cause environmental damage. Eating two servings of these fruits each day helps recover from Pneumonia much faster. Eating fresh fruit is much more effective than drinking juices, especially packed juices with high sugar and preservatives contents. Once the fruits are juiced, blended, stored, or exposed to the environment, they lose their Vitamin C content quite easily.
Once you get Pneumonia, your body needs all the energy it can get. Whole grains like brown rice, barley, quinoa, and barley are high in carbohydrate content and provide a lot of energy. Their Vitamin B content facilitates energy production and helps control body temperature. The benefits of whole grains include a strong immune system due to the presence of the mineral selenium.
Pneumonia patients can benefit from a diet rich in protein. Nuts, seeds, beans, white meat, and cold-water fish like sardines and salmon contain antioxidants that are good for the body. These foods help repair damaged body tissue in addition to building new body tissue. Fish is good, especially salmon since it contains Omega-3 fatty acids that prevent aggravation in the lung tissue.
Probiotics benefits include improved immunity and they block the growth of the pathogens that cause pneumonia. Probiotics increase good bacteria numbers in your gut that produce fatty acids like butyrate. This fatty acid is known to improve the immune system.
Eating curd or yogurt, drinking milk or concentrated probiotic drinks like Yakult is good for the health. Non-fat or low-fat cheese is also good. However, you should consult a doctor before increasing probiotic consumption.
Everyone should include more green leafy vegetables in their diet. Green vegetables are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that counter the damage caused due to oxidative stress. They are also rich in Vitamin E, which fights free radicals and helps boost immunity. Eat spinach, kale, lettuce, etc. every day to stay healthy.
Honey has been used as a natural preservative for centuries due to its amazing benefits. It has healing properties matched by a few other foods. It helps in curing cough and cold, which are common symptoms of pneumonia. It has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that make it a good food for pneumonia patients.