Eat Right: Foods that boost the health of your lungsWednesday, October 20, 2021
Keeping your lungs healthy is essential. Yet, eating an inflammatory diet, smoking and environmental toxins will take a toll on this important organ.
Then there are maladies such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and pulmonary fibrosis that can significantly affect our quality of life
However, all is not lost and we can reduce the degeneration of our lung health by eating the right foods.
Here are some foods which will do just that.
The roots and leaves of the beet root plant contain compounds that optimise lung function. Beet root and beet greens are rich in nitrates, which have been shown to benefit lung function. Nitrates help relax blood vessels, reduce blood pressure, and maximise oxygen intake. Eating beet root has been known to improve physical performance and lung function in people with lung conditions and pulmonary hypertension, a disease that causes high blood pressure in the lungs. Additionally, beet leaves are packed with magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, and carotenoid antioxidants — all of which are essential to lung health.
If you smoke then do not refrain from eating the spicy fruit known as pepper. Peppers are amongst the richest sources of vitamin C, a water-soluble nutrient that acts as a powerful antioxidant in your body. Getting enough vitamin C is especially important for those who smoke. Bell peppers (sweet peppers) are just as good but the good old Jamaican scotch bonnet pepper and cayenne (bird pepper) are great for your lungs.
Pumpkins contain a variety of lung-health-promoting plant compounds. They're especially rich in carotenoids, including beta carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin — all of which have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. People who smoke may significantly benefit from consuming more carotenoid-rich foods like pumpkin.
Turmeric has been touted as a cure for many health ailments due to its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. However this food is also a great booster to lung health. So include it in your diet and breathe better.
Tomato and tomato products
Tomatoes and tomato products (such as ketchup) contain the compound lycopene, an antioxidant that has been associated with improved lung health. Consuming tomato products has been shown to reduce airway inflammation in people with asthma and improve lung function. Lycopene has been touted as a great food for males to ward off the effects of prostate cancer but it is also good for keeping carcinogens out of the lungs.
Purple cabbage is a vegetable that has been linked to a reduced decline in lung function. What's more, cabbage is packed with fibre. Studies show that people who consume more fibre have better lung function.
Lentils are high in many nutrients that help support lung function, including magnesium, iron, copper, and potassium.
Cocoa by products like dark chocolate are high in flavonoid antioxidants and contain a compound which helps relax the airways in the lungs. Cocoa intake has been associated with a lower risk of allergic respiratory symptoms and may help protect against lung cancer