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

asparagus beans (pinto, kidney, black, navy) broccoli
brussels sprouts cabbage carbonated drinks
cauliflower cucumbers melons
garlic onions (raw) peas (split, black-eyed)
peppers radishes rutabagas
turnips sausage spicy foods

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

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