Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a rare but serious health condition that can severely affect a person’s quality of life. This genetic condition causes thick, mucus-like secretions to get deposited on organs, tissues, and passageways, causing infections and respiratory issues.
Getting the right amount of nutrition is of utmost importance for cystic fibrosis patients. By getting the right amount of calories, people with this condition can prevent weight loss and fight infections, managing the condition effectively. Here are some foods to include in the diet to help manage cystic fibrosis:
- Include healthy proteins
Proteins are vital for the body to survive and for cells to rejuvenate. They help build muscle and tissues. People with cystic fibrosis often complain of feeling tired, and proteins can help them feel better and stronger. Some protein-based foods to include in the diet to help manage cystic fibrosis are meat, eggs, beans, legumes, and soy.
- Add a lot of good fats
According to experts, women with this condition need about 2,500 calories every day, while men with the condition need 3,000 calories. However, piling the plate with empty calories that come from junk food will do no favors to the body. One of the best ways to help manage cystic fibrosis is to include foods with healthy fat in the diet. Healthy fats include polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats that come from sources like olive and coconut oils, avocados, cheese, and butter. One must ensure that these are part of the regular diet as they help the body fight infections better and also prevent weight loss.
- Consume antioxidant-rich food
Antioxidants that come from natural food sources are an ideal choice to help fight infections better. Since patients of cystic fibrosis easily develop infections, antioxidant-rich foods are necessary to help manage the condition. Some natural sources of antioxidants are fruits, vegetables, fresh greens, pecans, and dark chocolate, so include these in the regular diet.
- Include adequate dairy products
People with cystic fibrosis can get weaker if they are calcium deficient. To prevent this, the consumption of dairy products is most helpful. They can have a glass of warm milk every night before going to sleep and also add a few pieces of dark chocolate or cocoa to the milk for flavor as well as added benefits. Besides, they can also add cheese to their salad bowls and make smoothies with fresh yogurt for snacks and breakfast. By consciously including dairy products in meals and snacks, one can increase the calcium levels in their body and prevent deficiency and any associated complications.
- Consume salt to prevent sodium deficiency
Salt depletes faster in the body of a cystic fibrosis patient as compared to others as they sweat a lot. To deal with this, one should check with their doctor and include more salty snacks in between meals if they are sodium-deficient. They can also drink water flavored with rock salt to boost sodium levels.