Nutrients like vitamins, antioxidants, and fibers are vital for a balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. These nutrients support respiratory health as well as general health.
The term “air pollution” describes the presence of dangerous materials, like pollutants or toxins, in the atmosphere that are released from a variety of sources, including burning fossil fuels, vehicles, and industrial emissions. The environment and public health may suffer as a result of these pollutants.
Our lung health can be impacted by air pollution. Particles and chemicals in polluted air can irritate and harm our respiratory systems when we breathe them in. Lung cancer is one of the respiratory issues it can cause, along with bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, and other conditions. Sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, fine particulate matter, and other common air pollutants are known to be detrimental to lung health.
Eating a healthy diet can help improve lung health and possibly lower the risks related to air pollution, even though it cannot totally shield our lungs from it. Continue reading for a list of foods that can help protect your lungs from air pollution and improve lung health.
Ten foods that can improve lung health:
- Veggies with leaves
These vegetables, which are high in antioxidants and vitamins like C and E, can shield the lungs from oxidative damage brought on by pollution.
Berries, especially blueberries and strawberries, are rich in antioxidants that can help lower oxidative stress and inflammation in the lungs.
Garlic, which has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory qualities, can help protect lung health by lowering the risk of inflammation and infections.
Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties that can help shield the lungs from pollutants thanks to its active component curcumin.
Ginger contains a substance called gingerol, which has anti-inflammatory properties and may help lessen pollution-induced inflammation of the airways.
- Tea leaves
Because of its high polyphenol content and abundance of antioxidants, green tea has been shown to lower inflammation and enhance lung function.
Oranges and other citrus fruits are great providers of vitamin C, which strengthens the immune system and guards against respiratory infections.
Nuts high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory qualities and may lower the risk of respiratory disorders, include walnuts and almonds.
- Oily seafood
Omega-3 fatty acids, which are abundant in fish like mackerel and salmon, can protect against air pollution-induced lung inflammation.
Antioxidants and flavonoids found in apples help protect the lungs and lower the risk of respiratory illnesses.
Certain nutrients that are present in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds—such as vitamin C, vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants—help to lower inflammation, strengthen the immune system, and guard against oxidative stress brought on by air pollution. A nutritious diet can help maintain lung health, but it is important to remember that it cannot completely offset the negative effects of air pollution.
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It is critical to promote pollution reductions and clean air initiatives in order to lessen the negative effects of air pollution on lung health. In highly polluted areas, you should also think about using air purifiers, avoiding outdoor physical activities on days with high pollution, and wearing the proper protective masks.