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The Relationship of proper nutrition and respiratory system

Proper nutrition is vital to every human being.

Our body has several systems that makes it function well, one of which is the respiratory system. This system is in charge of making you breath properly; external, internal and cellular respiration; regulation of Blood Ph; defense against microbes; and it controls body temperature. The respiratory system includes the nose, mouth, pharynx, larynx, trachea, bronchi and bronchioles. These parts are crucial for us to live and function properly. That is the reason why it is of utmost importance that we care and give the necessary nutrition for it to work at its best during the course of ones lifetime.


When one think of proper nutrition, the first thing that comes to mind is how the body absorbs the food and how it affects us physically. Contrary to that popular belief, what you eat also affects the way you breathe. Just as your body uses the food to fuel the body (and, in order to go about the day to day activities), proper nutrition can also make you breathe easier.


Oxygen and carbon dioxide are involved
in both respiration and metabolism.

Respiration is the process that gets oxygen from the air to the tissues of the body and removes carbon dioxide from the body. On the other hand, metabolism refers to all the chemical reactions, including the process of changing food to fuel in the body. Simply put, oxygen and food are the raw materials, while energy and carbon dioxide are the finished products. Therefore, proper nutrition or food consumption is the key for healthier respiratory system.


According to the American Lung Association, metabolism of carbohydrates produces the most carbon dioxide for the amount of oxygen used; metabolism of fat produces the least. For some people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), eating a diet with fewer carbohydrates and more fat helps them breathe easier.


Below is a simple guide on choosing what food you should eat to have the best possible nutrition for your body and of course, healthier respiratory system. But keep in mind: the food we eat should be varied in order for our body to meet the over-all nutritional requirements.


  • Choose complex and good carbohydrates: whole grain bread and pasta, fruits and vegetables. Minimize sugary food and drinks.
  • Eat at least 20 to 30 grams of fiber each day.
  • Never forget your protein intake: lean meat, milk, eggs, fish, nuts,beans and peas. They are good source of protein.
  • Have some mono and ploy unsaturated fats such as canola and corn oil (fats that are in liquid in room temperature). Try to limit or avoid foods that contain trans and saturated fat.
  • Sodium in moderation is fine unless you have health conditions regarding sodium intake, in which case you need to consult your doctor.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, specifically water.
  • You may take food supplements, vitamins or other natural products to help you achieve your nutritional goal. Although it is best to consult your doctor first especially if you are taking medications or has a current health condition.


Don’t forget your physical fitness activities. Eating right goes hand in hand with having an active lifestyle. A sedentary life even with the right foods can never be healthy.