A lung is an organ that you didn’t know much about and yet, it takes up a large portion of your chest. The major purpose of the lungs is to bring oxygen into the body, so food with anti-oxidants will surely help in this process. Food For A Healthy Lungs blog features different recipes and helpful tips on how to make sure that your lungs are in good condition or even better than before. We share information on what to eat and what not to eat so you can be healthier and happier!
Food For Healthy Lungs
Lung disease is a common ailment that impacts millions of Americans, with more diagnosed each day. Whether you have a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) like emphysema or bronchitis, have asthma or are navigating lung pain from a mesothelioma diagnosis, lung disease can be uncomfortable and impact your quality of life.
While exposure to asbestos or hereditary asthma might not be avoidable, you have the power over what foods you eat. Shying away from high-calorie, fried foods can help you maintain your overall health while easing symptoms of lung disease.
- Healthy Fats Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats don’t contain cholesterol and usually come from plant sources. These healthy fats can help manage blood pressure, reduce inflammation and improve your overall health, which can help you breathe easier.
- Proteins Proteins help keep your body strong and can help your body produce immune system cells. You’ll want to eat a good source of protein at least twice per day to help strengthen your respiratory cells and make you stronger.
- Complex Carbs Complex carbohydrates are high in fiber, which can help regulate the digestive system and blood sugar levels. You’ll want to limit simple carbohydrates such as table sugar and candy, which can cause obesity and hypertension. Instead, opt for complex carbs such as those found in some produce and whole-grain bread and pasta, which can help provide fiber and energy.
- Fresh Produce Fresh fruits and vegetables include minerals, vitamins and fiber that help keep your body healthy and in shape. However, some produce is better for your lung health than others. Opt for berries, pineapples and grapes over apples, apricots and peaches, which can cause bloating.
- Potassium Potassium can help reduce water retention, regulate blood pressure and improve digestion, so it’s important to have a healthy level of it to maintain good lung function. The most common source of potassium is bananas, but it’s also found in other produce items.
Foods to Promote Lung Health
These five foods have been shown to have a positive impact on lung health.
- Apples Due to the presence of the antioxidant quercetin, apples have been proven to reduce lung decline and even reduce lung damage caused by smoking. Those who eat five or more apples per week were also at a reduced risk of developing COPD.
- Beets Beetroot and beet greens have been shown to benefit lung function, relax blood pressure and optimize oxygen intake, all of which can help someone struggling to breathe. Beets are also packed with vitamins and nutrients that promote lung health, like magnesium and potassium.
- Pumpkin Pumpkins are rich in carotenoids, which are associated with higher lung function. Carotenoids also contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which promote overall health and comfort.
- Tomatoes Tomatoes are one of the richest vegetable sources of lycopene, a carotenoid that has been associated with improved lung function. Consuming tomatoes and tomato products has also been linked to reduced lung decline and airway inflammation.
- Leafy Greens Leafy greens such as bok choy, spinach and kale are a rich source of carotenoids, iron, potassium, calcium and vitamins. These nutrients have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, which can help reduce lung inflammation and promote overall health.