Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide and a growing healthcare problem. Identification of modifiable risk factors for prevention and treatment of COPD is urgent, and the scientific community has begun to pay close attention to diet as an integral part of COPD management, from prevention to treatment. This review summarizes the evidence from observational and clinical studies regarding the impact of nutrients and dietary patterns on lung function and COPD development, progression, and outcomes, with highlights on potential mechanisms of action. Several dietary options can be considered in terms of COPD prevention and/or progression. Although definitive data are lacking, the available scientific evidence indicates that some foods and nutrients, especially those nutraceuticals endowed with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and when consumed in combinations in the form of balanced dietary patterns, are associated with better pulmonary function, less lung function decline, and reduced risk of COPD. Knowledge of dietary influences on COPD may provide health professionals with an evidence-based lifestyle approach to better counsel patients toward improved pulmonary health.