Patients with COPD should change their diet to include things such as protein and healthy fats in order to preserve strength and improve lung function.

A recent study found COPD patients who ate more of four foods – fish, grapefruits, bananas and cheese – seemed to have better lung function. Antioxidants might be the reason, although that’s far from proven. St. Florian says because most patients with COPD have a long history of smoking, which produces damaging free radicals in the body, antioxidants may help by fighting these off.