Bronchitis refers to the swelling of the lining of the large airways called bronchi in the lungs. The swelling causes more mucus than normal to be produced. This can block the airflow through the lungs and may damage them as well. Bronchitis is mainly of two types:

  • Acute bronchitis is an acute disease of the lungs that lasts 2 to 4 weeks and can be treated.
  • Chronic bronchitis is a long-term disease of the lungs. It is one disease in a group of lung diseases called COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). The damage often worsens over time. It cannot be cured.

The causes of bronchitis are many, including bacterial or viral infections, smoking, air pollution and allergy. But, whether it’s acute or chronic, your diet can aid you in recovery or management of symptoms. In this article, we share some diet tips and changes that can help in dealing with bronchitis. 

(Read more: Chest congestion)

  1. Best foods for bronchitis: what to eat
  2. Control the sodium (salt) in your diet
  3. Ayurvedic diet tips for bronchitis
  4. Diet habits that may help manage bronchitis: what t
  5. Indian food chart for bronchitis
Doctors for Bronchitis Diet and Diet Plan

From a frequent cough and a sore throat to a stuffy or runny nose - there are many uncomfortable symptoms of bronchitis. Many of these can be alleviated to an extent when you alter your diet to come to your body’s aid though. Following are a few types of foods you should have more of if you have bronchitis: 

(Read more: Lung infections)

High energy foods

Food provides your body with nutrients (carbohydrates, fat and protein) that affect how much energy you will have and how much carbon dioxide is produced. Carbon dioxide is a waste product that leaves your body when you breathe out (exhale). If there is too much carbon dioxide in your body, it might make you feel weak and lead to breathing difficulties. To manage these symptoms, opt for foods that provide more energy. To increase your calorie intake, eat homemade laddus or energy bars, pudding and Indian homemade desserts such as kheer and halwa. Paneer dishes, custard, sandwiches, fruits or vegetables with yogurt dip, etc can be had as snacks.


Drink plenty of fluids. Try to drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of non-caffeinated beverages each day to keep mucus thin and make it easier to cough up. Limit caffeine (contained in coffee, tea and several carbonated beverages and chocolate) as it might interfere with some of your medicines.

(Read more: Home remedies to get rid of mucus)


Due to frequent fever and breathing problems, you may experience muscle loss and low energy levels in the body. Try to have protein-rich meals to recover and maintain muscle mass as well as your energy levels. In this situation, add one high-protein food in each of your meals. For example, eggs for breakfast, legumes for lunch, cheese for dinner and nuts and seeds for snacks. 


An antioxidant-rich diet helps the body fight infections. Chest infections are illnesses that often lead to hospitalization for people with bronchitis, so it is important to reduce your risk of infection by including more antioxidant-rich foods in your diet. Have more vitamin A, vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids and zinc-rich foods in your daily diet. You can have all the colorful fruits and vegetables, eggs, fatty fish and nuts in your meals.  

Citrus fruits

Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C, which is beneficial as it assists in enhancing immune system function and combat viral fever. Try to have 1-2 citrus fruits (lemon, orange, sweet lime, gooseberry, etc) daily. 

Cough Relief
₹719  ₹799  10% OFF

Eating too much salt can cause water retention in the body (which is very common with this disease), which can make breathing more difficult. With simple techniques, you can control your salt intake, such as:

  • Use herbs or no-salt spices to flavor your food.
  • Don't add salt to foods after cooking.
  • Avoid namkeen, pickle, papad, etc.
  • Read food labels and avoid foods with more than 300 mg sodium/serving.
  • Check with your doctor before using a salt substitute. Salt substitutes might contain other ingredients that can be just as harmful as salt.

Ayurveda also provides solutions for dealing with bronchitis. Following are some ayurvedic diet remedies that can provide relief. 

Ginger with honey

  • Why: Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that provide relief in the case of swollen bronchial tubes. 
  • How: Grate 2 inches of fresh ginger. Warm the grated ginger and add one teaspoon of honey and have it warm. 

Turmeric tea

  • Why: Turmeric is an ancient medicine to treat any infection. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant rich properties which can help to reduce inflammation. If you are taking it in a warm or tea form, it can also help to thin the mucus in bronchitis.
  • How: Add half a teaspoon of turmeric powder to 250 ml of water. Boil it till 125 ml (half of the liquid) is left. You can add 1 teaspoon of honey and drink it as your tea. 

Raw garlic

  • Why: Garlic is an ancient medicine for cold, cough, and mucus liquid and is still recommended by current practitioners. Garlic is proven to have antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal capabilities.
  • How: Take one clove of garlic and swallow it like a tablet on an empty stomach. You can use warm water to swallow it. For the rest of the day, you can take it in your chutney.

(Read more: Home remedies for dry cough)

Giloy Kadha

  • Why: Giloy is also known as Tinospora Cordifolia in scientific terms and it is also known as 'Amrita' in Sanskrit. Giloy helps remove toxins, purifies blood, fights infections and reduces inflammation. Taking giloy kadha can be helpful in managing the symptoms of bronchitis.
  • How: Take 250 ml of water (2 cups) and add 1 tablespoon of dry giloy powder, half a teaspoon of turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon of black pepper powder and half-inch ginger (grated). Boil all the ingredients in water in a vessel. After 10 minutes of boiling, strain it, add 1-2 teaspoon of honey and serve it warm. 

Herbal tea/ kadha

  • Why: There are few spices that are rich in antioxidants and have medicinal properties that are helpful to thinning mucus. 
  • How: Take 250 ml of water (2 cups), half a teaspoon of turmeric powder, half a teaspoon of black pepper powder, half-inch ginger (grated), holy basil leaves (7-10) and 1-2 teaspoon of honey. Boil all the ingredients in water in a vessel (without honey). After 10 minutes of boiling, strain it and add honey and serve it warm. 

(Read more: How to remove cough from chest)

Your care may include medicines and breathing exercises to help you breathe easier. You may need oxygen if you have chronic bronchitis. Your care may also include:

  • Avoid non-nutritious beverages such as black coffee and tea.
  • Try to eat more protein and fat and less simple sugars.
  • Eat small and frequent meals and snacks.
  • Walk or participate in light activity to stimulate your appetite.
  • Eat healthy and balanced food to boost your immune system. 
  • Drinking a lot of liquids to keep mucus thin.
  • Do not drink alcohol. It dulls the urge to cough and sneeze to clear your air passages. It also causes your body to lose fluid, making the mucus in your lungs thicker and harder to cough up. 
  • Avoid things that irritate your lungs such as dry foods, spices, etc.
  • Choose foods that are easy to prepare. You should save your energy for eating, otherwise you might be too tired to eat.
  • Ask your family or friends to help with meal preparations if you’re unable to cook yourself. 
  • Rest before eating so you can enjoy your meal.
Immunity Booster
₹288  ₹320  10% OFF

You can model your daily diet using the following sample diet chart: 

  • Early Morning: Warm water (1 glass) + almond (8-10) + walnut (4-6)
  • Breakfast:  Paneer stuffed moong dal cheela (2) + green chutney (1-2 teaspoon) 
  • Mid Meal: Apple (1 medium-sized) / herbal kadha (1 cup)
  • Lunch: Rice (1 bowl) or chapati (2) + kadhi (1-2 bowl) + bottle gourd kofta (1 bowl) 
  • Evening Tea:  Turmeric tea (1 cup) + roasted makhana (1 bowl) or boiled egg (2)
  • Dinner:  Vegetable soup (1 big bowl) + mixed veg paratha (2) + paneer curry (6-7 pieces) / chicken curry (1-2 piece)
  • Bedtime: Turmeric milk (1 glass)
Dr Viresh Mariholannanavar

Dr Viresh Mariholannanavar

2 Years of Experience

Dr Shubham Mishra

Dr Shubham Mishra

1 Years of Experience

Dr. Deepak Kumar

Dr. Deepak Kumar

10 Years of Experience

Dr. Sandeep Katiyar

Dr. Sandeep Katiyar

13 Years of Experience


  1. Rahman Irfan. Antioxidant therapies in COPD. Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis. 2006 Mar; 1(1): 15–29. PMID: 18046899
  2. Townsend Elizabeth A, et al. Effects of Ginger and Its Constituents on Airway Smooth Muscle Relaxation and Calcium Regulation . Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2013 Feb; 48(2): 157–163. PMID: 23065130
  3. Shojai Tabassom Mohajer, et al. The effect of Allium sativum (Garlic) extract on infectious bronchitis virus in specific pathogen free embryonic egg . Avicenna J Phytomed. 2016 Jul-Aug; 6(4): 458–267. PMID: 27516987
Read on app
Ask your health query from live doctors now!