Maintaining the health of the lungs is essential for keeping the rest of the body healthy. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), exposure to air pollution results in 4.2 million deaths. Cigarette smoking is the cause of death for 1 in every 5 people. As the lungs are self-cleaning organs, this means they can begin to heal themselves once exposure to pollutants stops. In this article, we discuss some of the methods that people can use to try to cleanse their lungs.
It is possible for a person to “cleanse” their lungs and improve lung health. The best way for a person to ensure their lungs are healthy is to avoid harmful toxins, such as cigarette smoke and air pollution. Additionally, a person can also incorporate certain lifestyle behaviours, such as regular exercise and eating well. After lung pollutant exposure, a person’s chest may feel full, congested, or inflamed. Mucus gathers in the lungs to catch microbes and pathogens, which can contribute to a feeling of heaviness. People may be able to use specific techniques to help clear the lungs of mucus and irritants to relieve chest congestion and other uncomfortable symptoms. Some of these methods may also open up the airways, improve lung capacity, and reduce inflammation, which can further help reduce the effects of lung pollutants.
What can you eat to help detox your lungs and boost the health of your respiratory system? Please read on to find out the best lung-cleansing foods to incorporate into your diet.
- Green Leafy Vegetables
Green leafy vegetables contain many compounds that are great for maintaining healthy lungs. Most green leafy vegetables, and cruciferous vegetables, contain antioxidants that help rid your body of harmful toxins. Cabbage, kale, broccoli, kohlrabi, and cauliflower are vegetables that help to cleanse your blood as well as your lungs. Cruciferous vegetables have also been shown to reduce the risk of lung cancer. The Journal of Nutrition reported that increasing the amount of cruciferous vegetables may help reduce the risk of lung cancer among non-smokers.
- Foods with carotenoids
Another food group that will help detox your lungs and improve their capacity are foods that contain carotenoids. Carotenoids are antioxidants that have a cancer preventative effect on cells and tissue. Tomatoes, carrots, kale, red pepper, sweet potatoes are all rich sources of these antioxidants that will boost your lung health. Various studies have been carried out on carotenoid-rich foods and their effect on lung health. For example, the journal Frontiers in Bioscience published a report about the connection between carotenoids and lung cancer. The researchers stated that the actions of carotenoids are essential in the prevention of lung cancer. Other studies have shown that lycopene in tomatoes helps to boost lung health and, although more research should be done, tomatoes have an antioxidant effect on the lining of the lungs. Regarding ways to prevent lung cancer, the journal The Proceedings of the Nutrition Society reported that high intake of vegetables and fruits may provide protection against lung cancer.
- Foods containing Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Eating foods containing omega-3 fatty acids can help cleanse your lungs and keep your pulmonary system working effectively. Foods rich in omega-3 are oily fish like mackerel and salmon, seeds and nuts, and eggs. It is known that omega 3 foods help reduce inflammation in the body and boost cognitive power. The Journal of the American College of Nutrition published a study showing the connection between omega-3 and respiratory health. Researchers found that a diet rich in omega-3 helps the blood to flow through the lungs effectively and can help prevent some inflammatory and infectious respiratory diseases. Taking omega-3 supplements or eating a diet rich omega-3 fatty acids benefits your general health as well as keeping your lungs healthy.
- Foods Containing Flavonoids
Many fruits, berries, and citrus fruits contain flavonoids which are great for lung cleansing. These naturally-occurring compounds have an antioxidant effect on many organs in the body, including your lungs. Some great foods to eat that contain flavonoids are apples, blueberries, oranges, lemons, tomatoes, and cabbage. How can food containing flavonoids help detoxify your lungs and prevent different types of lung disease? The journal 3 Biotech reported that flavonoids have a therapeutic effect and help prevent various cancers, including lung cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer.
One of the many health benefits of using garlic as a medicine is that it can help keep your lungs healthy. The benefits to your health by consuming garlic come from a compound called allicin. Allicin acts as a powerful natural antibiotic agent in the body and can help kill off respiratory infections that can clog your lungs. One study from 2013 found that consuming raw garlic can also help prevent lung cancer. Researchers also found that garlic can help to reverse lung damage caused by pollution, smoking, and poor air quality.
- Drinking Green Tea
One way to keep your lungs healthy and free from excess mucus is to regularly drink green tea. Extracts from green tea contain powerful antioxidants, which according to the University of Maryland, are more potent than vitamin C.12 The beneficial properties of green tea are also used to boost cardiovascular health, protect against various cancers, improve brain function, and protect against infections. Studies have also shown that drinking green tea has a preventative effect against lung cancer. Researchers from China found that, just like with garlic, green tea helps to repair lung damage caused by smoking and can have a protective effect against lung cancer.
- Vitamin C
Vitamin C is another antioxidant that is good for respiratory health and your lungs. Regular intake of vitamin C helps to rid the body of toxins and can keep your skin looking youthful and healthy. In its role in helping to detoxify your lungs, Dr. Emily Wax on MedlinePlus reports that vitamin C helps to destroy free radicals that develop when your lungs are exposed to tobacco smoke. Dr. Wax also says that vitamin C helps to prevent certain cancers, heart disease, and arthritis. There have been studies connecting vitamin C and reducing the risk of lung cancer. The journal Scientific Reports says that initial research shows that increasing your intake of vitamin C can help protect against lung cancer. Foods rich in vitamin C include kiwifruit, red capsicum (bell pepper), citrus fruits, papaya, strawberries, broccoli, pineapples, mango and cantaloupe melon.
Drinking enough water is necessary to keep your body healthy and your lungs working effectively. There are many side effects of dehydration including fatigue, irritability, joint pain, and abnormal cholesterol levels. Researchers have found that one of the signs of dehydration is an increase in bronchitis and asthma. Drinking enough water helps to regulate inflammation in your lungs and prevents certain broncho-pulmonary disorders. Having enough water in your body is essential for lung health because it regulates the proper distribution of minerals and salts.
As well as eating healthy foods to cleanse your lungs, you should also strengthen your lung capacity as much as possible. This will help to boost your cardiovascular system and prevent you becoming easily breathless. You can practicing deep breathing, exercising, and get enough of Vitamin D. Hope this article help you to cleanse your lungs, happy trying!