Alpha-1 Kids and Healthy Living

Healthy Living

NashA healthy diet helps to keep your lungs and body strong and it may help prevent illness.

Eat food from all 4-food groups:

  • Vegetables and Fruit
  • Grain Products
  • Milk and Alternatives
  • Meat and Alternatives

Avoid foods that have little nutritional value such as chips, pop, candy, cookies, bacon, hotdogs, French fries, etc.

  • Eat small, frequent meals and snacks (5 – 6 meals/snacks)
  • Eat your main meal when you have the most energy
  • Drink beverages after meals, so you do not fill up on liquids
  • Limit salt intake (too much salt can cause you to retain fluid making it harder to breathe):
  • Use herbs or no-salt spices like pepper, onion powder, basil, etc.
  • Avoid adding salt to food when cooking and at the table
  • When reading labels limit foods with more than 300 mg of sodium (salt)
  • Use your oxygen while eating and after meals (helps to digest food)
  • Try to drink 6 to 8 cups of non-caffeinated fluids such as water, milk, 100% juice, decaffeinated tea, soup, etc. each day
  • Enough fluid is needed to hydrate the body
  • Fluid helps keep mucus thin and easy to cough up


Antioxidants are substances found naturally in food that protect your body’s cells from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals. Free radicals can build up in your body from the chronic inflammation that occurs with Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency

Eating foods that contain antioxidants every day can help protect your body from free radical damage.

Some vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium can act as antioxidants.

Flavonoids, polyphenols and carotenoids are antioxidants found in plants

The best way to get antioxidants is from food.

  • Eat a variety of colourful fruit and vegetables every day. Eat at least one dark green and one orange vegetable every day.
  • Include whole grains, nuts and seeds, soy products, dried beans, peas, and lentils more often.
  • Many multivitamins contain antioxidants and these are safe to take undefined but it is always better to get nutrients from food.
  • There’s no need to take additional antioxidant supplements undefined more is not always better!

Compiled by Beth Haliburton, registered dietitian in Toronto and Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency Canada board member. Adapted from: COPD Nutrition Tips published by Chronic Disease Network and Access Program and Antioxidants published by PEN, Dietitians of Canada.


DISCLAIMER:This website is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your physician. It is not the intention of this website to provide specific medical advice but rather to provide the Canadian Alpha-1 Community with information to better understand their health and their diagnosed disorder. Specific medical advice will not be provided and Alpha-1 Canada urges you to consult with a qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to your personal questions.
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