World Pneumonia Day: Home remedies, foods to eat and avoid for speedy recovery | Health

Pneumonia is an acute respiratory or airway disease that affects lungs and causes discomforts like breathing, breathlessness, shortness of breath along with other complications like cough, fever, a lot of fatigue etc. Pneumonia can be very serious and if not managed can prove deadly. The lungs are made up of small sacs called alveoli, which fill with air when a healthy person breathes. When an individual has pneumonia, the alveoli are filled with pus and fluid, which makes breathing painful and limits oxygen intake, says World Health Organisation (WHO). (Also read: World Pneumonia Day 2022: What is walking pneumonia; warning signs and treatment)

Pneumonia is spread through direct contact with infected people. There are more than 30 causes of pneumonia but it is most commonly caused by viruses or bacteria. While it can be life-threatening for people of all ages, it is the single largest infectious cause of death in children worldwide. Cough that produces green, yellow or bloody mucus, fever, bluish lips and fingernails, loss of appetite, heavy sweating, rapid breathing, shaking chills are all symptoms of pneumonia.

While bacterial pneumonia gets treated by medication, viral pneumonia takes it own course and gets better with time. A healthy diet, more fluids, rest, oxygen therapy, and medicine for pain, cough, and fever control can help manage symptoms.

“Pneumonia is a kind of respiratory or airway disease which causes discomfort and difficulty in breathing, breathlessness, shortness of breath, along with it certain other complications like cough, fever, lot of fatigue in general. Patients suffering from it definitely have a decreased appetite but simultaneously there is an increased requirement (of nutrients). To meet the nutritional needs is tough, challenging, but not impossible,” Dr Varsha Gorey, Senior Clinical Dietitian, HOD, Dietetics Departments, Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai told HT Digital in a telephonic interview.


Dr Gorey suggests the following nutrition tips for people dealing with pneumonia.

– Soft diet: Ideally such patients should be given soft diet which has warm or moist foods not dry foods. These are beneficial because they are easy to swallow.

– Sip small portions of hot liquids frequently: The requirement for food and water varies from patient to patient. Instead of taking large portions of liquids at one go, it is better to sip hot liquids frequently. Gulping lots of liquids can cause discomfort whereas sipping hot liquids have a soothing effect.

– Home remedies: There are several home remedies which can help broaden the airways so that discomfort or distress caused can be reduced. The food such as garlic, ginger, pepper, tulsi or basil, honey or turmeric can be easily taken.

– Avoid processed foods, go natural: Along with that, we need to have foods which are natural and avoid those that are processed as they contain preservatives and they are harmful. Eating food and then sleeping should be avoided or avoid immediately lying down after eating as this can cause breathlessness.

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