Shortness of Breath and Eating

Shortness of breath can make eating hard work. If you use all your energy preparing a healthy meal, you may find yourself unable to eat and/or enjoy what you have prepared. Here are a few practical suggestions on how to conserve energy and get the most from your meals.

  • Eat five or six smaller meals instead of three big meals daily.
  • Plan to eat before you are too hungry or tired.
  • Breathe evenly while you are chewing and eating.
  • Stop eating if you need to catch your breath.
  • Relax at mealtime.
  • When cooking or baking, double or triple your favorite recipes to keep your freezer full for times when you do not feel like cooking.
  • Use prepared foods to save time and energy in the kitchen. Frozen meals, prepared foods or take-out meals from a restaurant can make your life easier.
  • Do the tasks that require the most effort when you have the most energy.
  • Don't stand in the kitchen when you can sit. Bring your chopping, cutting and mixing projects over to the kitchen table and sit while you prepare the food or keep a barstool by the kitchen counter.
  • Limit the foods that cause gas. Keep a food diary to determine which foods cause problems for you.

Foods That Commonly Cause Gas

brussels sprouts

beans (pinto, kidney, black, navy)
onions (raw)

carbonated drinks
peas (split, black-eyed)
spicy foods

This information has been approved by Emily McCloud, MS, RD  (June 2012).

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