Have you experienced breathing issues lately?
Do you often get tired easily even just by doing minor household tasks?
Are you having symptoms of sinusitis and asthma?
In that case, you may need to pay more attention to your respiratory system, and your lungs play a vital role in it.
Why are lungs important?
Every cell in the body needs sufficient oxygen to live. The air that you breathe contains oxygen and other elements of gas. The respiratory system is responsible for moving the fresh air into your body, while keeping away the waste gases.
Once oxygen reaches the lungs, it is then moved into the bloodstream to be distributed throughout the body. Oxygen is exchanged in each cell for a waste gas called carbon dioxide.
Your bloodstream then carries the CO2 back to the lungs where it is removed from the bloodstream and exhaled. This vital process is called gas exchange, which your lungs and respiratory system automatically perform.
Aside from gas exchange, lungs also make a significant contribution to the immune system. Infection-causing microbes, pollutants, and viruses are being captured by the lungs’ mucuses and shuttled upward by a tiny cell called cilia, for us to swallow or cough.
Sneezing is also another natural way of the lungs to help your body get rid of the pollution and infection even before these harmful invaders pass beyond the sinuses.
That being said, it is very important to keep your lungs and respiratory system functioning properly in order to live healthy and comfortably.
How to keep your lungs healthy
Here are some of the natural ways to keep your lungs in their optimal condition:
- Avoid smoking and secondhand smoking
- Have regular exercise and avoid a sedentary lifestyle
- Get yearly checkups
- Practice yoga and deep breathing exercises
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Avoid areas that release toxic gases such as: ammonia, chlorine, formaldehyde, hydrogen sulfide, methyl bromide, methyl isocyanate, oxides of nitrogen, ozone, phosgene, and sulfur dioxide
- Eat healthy
Consuming nutritious foods and beverages will greatly support and protect your lung health. It will also maintain strong respiratory muscles and immune system.
Top 25 foods for healthy lungs and improved breathing
- Water – staying hydrated makes it easier for your lungs to cough up the mucus that may cause breathing problems, discomfort, and infection. Water also keeps your mucosal linings thin to help your lungs function better.
- Apples – are rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help strengthen the immune system, fight off infection, and reduce lung decline.
- Barley – is high in fiber, which shows a protective effect on lung function and helps reduce a person’s risk of lung-related diseases.
- Beans, nuts, and seeds – are rich sources of magnesium that contribute to a healthy cardiovascular system and lung function.
- Beetroot and beet greens – contains compounds that can help improve breathing, improve lung function, and optimize oxygen intake.
- Blueberries – contain high levels of anthocyanins that provide a wide array of benefits to your lungs such as protecting it from oxidative damage.
- Carrots – are rich in antioxidants that maintain healthy lungs and help lower the risk of developing lung diseases. Some research stated that drinking carrot juice regularly can help prevent lung damages that can progress to lung cancer in smokers.
- Cayenne and red bell pepper – these mild peppers are potent sources of zeaxanthin, carotenoids, lutein, and capsaicin that protects the lungs from lung cancer and helps stimulate healthy secretions to defend the mucous membranes in the lungs.
- Chili pepper – chili peppers may be spicier than cayenne and red bell peppers, but the compounds that make pepper spicier can help lung cancer spread and reduce inflammation in the airways to improve lung function.
- Cocoa – cocoa lover? Good news is that cocoa is high in antioxidants and flavonoids, which help relax the lungs’ airways and lowers the risk of respiratory symptoms.
- Cruciferous vegetables – like cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli are a potent source of isothiocyanates that have antioxidant and anticarcinogenic properties, which can help reduce the risk of lung cancer.
- Edamame – has isoflavones that aid in improving lung functions and reduce breathlessness symptoms.
- Garlic and onions – these wonder herbs are rich in allicin that contains antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties, which helps overcome or prevent respiratory infections that clogs the lungs or causes asthma attacks.
- Ginger tea – is also known as lung-cleansing tea due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It helps reduce the excess mucus that clogs the bronchial tubes and contributes to the recovery of respiratory infections.
- Grapefruit – is rich in antioxidants that support your lung health and is very beneficial in cleansing the lungs for people that just quit smoking.
- Green tea – is rich in antioxidants that protect the lung tissues from the negative effects of inhaling harmful smoke/gases, and help reduce inflammation in the lungs.
- Lentils – is high in fiber that improves and supports lung function.
- Olive oil – can help protect you against respiratory conditions like asthma and helps reduce lung inflammation.
- Oranges – oranges and other citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C and lung-friendly antioxidant properties that are great in fighting inflammation and infection.
- Oysters – have plenty of nutrients like selenium, zinc, copper, and B-vitamins, which are vital to lung health and function.
- Pomegranates – are full of antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as flavonoids that can benefit people who are suffering from chest mucus and asthma.
- Pumpkin – is a potent source of carotenoids which is associated with higher lung functions and promoting mucus discharge from the lungs to ease bronchial asthma.
- Red cabbage – is rich in anthocyanin that helps slow down the decline in lung function.
- Tomatoes – is the richest source of lycopene, which is very beneficial to lung health. Consuming fresh and organic tomato juice may help improve inflammation in the airway if you have obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma.
- Turmeric – helps reduce inflammation in the airways, improves lung function, and protects the lung from damages caused by smoking/secondhand smoke and pollution.
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