10 Best Foods To Keep Your Lungs Healthy

Neha Ghosh

Lungs are an important organ of the body that play a vital role in helping the body function properly. With a rise in air pollution and the population that smokes, respiratory illnesses such as asthma, cystic fibrosis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have increased drastically. As per the World Health Organization (WHO), exposure to air pollution causes 4.2 million deaths worldwide every year.

Too much exposure to air pollution can cause the mucous to gather in the lungs to capture the pathogens and microbes, making your chest feeling full and congested.

Including certain foods in your diet will protect your lungs from harmful pollution and help you breathe better.

Best Foods For Healthy Lungs

1. Apples

Apples contain phenolic compounds and flavonoids that are known for reducing inflammation in the air passageway. A research study published in the European Respiratory Journal found that children who drink a glass of apple juice a day are less likely to develop a wheezing problem [1].

2. Green tea

Green tea is loaded with antioxidants that may decrease inflammation in the lungs and promote better healing. The antioxidant quercetin acts as a natural antihistamine which slows down the release of histamine that causes allergy symptoms.

A 2017 study found that 1,000 adults in Korea who drank two cups of green tea per day had better lung function than those who didn't drink green tea [2].

3. Fish

Fishes such as mackerel, trout, sardines, and herring can help treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). According to the researchers at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, the omega 3 fatty acids found in fishes can help the body combat lung infections [3].

4. Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds are another superfood for the lungs. Nuts like almonds, cashews, walnuts, pistachios, Brazil nuts and hazelnuts and seeds such as pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, and sunflower seeds provide your body with plenty of magnesium, an essential mineral that acts as a bronchodilator [4].

5. Extra virgin olive oil

Olive oil is packed with monounsaturated fats, vitamin E and vitamin K that can help protect against oxidative stress in the lungs and prevent lung tissue damage [5].

6. Broccoli

Broccoli contains a compound called sulforaphane, which increases the activity of a gene found in the lung cells that protects the organ from damage caused by oxidative stress. It also improves airflow in the lungs in asthmatics [6].

7. Ginger

Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce inflammation in the body. It also helps in detoxifying the lungs and promoting the elimination of pollutants from the lungs. This spice also relieves congestion, unclogs air passages, and improves circulation to the lungs, thereby enhancing lung health [7].

8. Garlic

Garlic contains flavonoids that stimulate the production of glutathione that helps to eliminate the toxins and carcinogens which further aid in the proper functioning of the lungs. A study showed that people who consumed three cloves of raw garlic twice a week were less likely to develop lung cancer by 44 per cent [8].

9. Whole grains

Incorporate whole grain foods like brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat into your diet. These foods lower the risk of chronic lung disease and promote good respiratory health.

10. Cayenne pepper

Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin that helps stimulate secretions and protects mucous membranes in the upper and lower respiratory tract. So, it is best to add cayenne pepper in your meals while cooking or you can drink cayenne pepper tea to get rid of the asthma symptoms.

Diet Tips For Better Lung Function

  • During the day eat more food and at night eat less.
  • Avoid foods that cause gas or bloating.
  • Consume 4 to 6 meals a day.

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