20+ Food For Healthy Lungs You Have To Know About
Whether you're a smoker, going through a severe lung condition, or just curious about general well-being, this article will provide you insight about foods that are good as well as bad for lung health.
The lungs are one of the most important organs as they are they function for breathing. They work tirelessly to bring oxygen to our bloodstream and release carbon dioxide waste. But if you inhale air that may contain pollutants and germs then you may suffer from asthma, COPD, and bronchitis. Therefore, consuming a well-balanced diet can help your lungs function properly.
Beetroots is a root vegetable packed with essential nutrients. They are a great source of fiber, folate, manganese, potassium, iron and vitamin C. This superfood has been associated with numerous health benefits that include improved blood flow and lower blood pressure.
Nitrates found in beets also help relax blood vessels and optimize oxygen intake in the lungs. Additionally, green leaves in the beetroot are filled with micronutrients that support the immune systems as well as healthy lungs. Beets have also been shown to work on those suffering from long-term lung conditions, which makes them one of the best lung-healing foods on the list.
Consuming apples regularly has proven to bolster lung strength and improve their overall function. There are several studies that support adding apples to our diet radically improves lung health and also decreases the chances of developing Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
Eating apples has also been linked to a lower risk of developing asthma and lung cancer because apples contain high concentrations of antioxidants and flavonoids. Antioxidants help the with healthy flow of blood, which can prevent diseases. Most importantly, apples are cheap and convenient and you can add apples in different ways to your diet.
Pumpkin has enough health benefits to consider adding to your daily diet. They are especially rich in carotenoids, including beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. They all have powerful anti-inflammatories and antioxidant properties.
Because pumpkin is loaded with lung-health-promoting plant compounds, it helps to improve lung health in smokers and can make a visible difference. In fact, several studies suggest that smokers may have a 25% lower concentration of carotenoid antioxidants than nonsmokers, which significantly harms lung health.
Turmeric is one of the most well-known spices and is widely consumed as a way to boost energy, improve the immune system, and improve skin health. Turmeric is also equally beneficial for improving lung health due to its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Also, the main active component in turmeric Curcumin was associated with improved lung function. The lung function of smokers who have the highest intake of curcumin was significantly greater than smokers who take low curcumin. Therefore, the smokers who tend to consume high levels of turmeric enjoyed 9.2% better lung function.
These delicious berries are filled with essential nutrients and their daily consumption has been linked with several health benefits, including preserving and protecting lung function. They are a rich source of anthocyanins, which include malvidin, cyanidin, peonidin, delphinidin, and petunidin.
Anthocyanins present in blueberries have been shown to protect lung tissue from oxidative damage. A research study of 839 veterans found that blueberry consumption was associated with 38% less decline of the lungs than those who didn't consume it. Blueberries also slow the natural lung decline which is associated with aging, and help for better lung functioning.
6. Green Tea
Green tea contains a great source of clean energy, and antioxidant properties and is also known for better skin health. It contains an array of various active compounds that benefit nearly every part of the body, so it's not surprising that green tea can be beneficial and better lung functioning.
Antioxidants contained in tea work to remove harmful free radicals and fight inflammation, which means it is a great choice for damaged or inflamed lungs and makes breathing easier. It also contains high concentrations of flavanol and epigallocatechin-3-gallate, which help to soothe irritation and play the role of lung cancer-fighting foods.
7. Red Cabbage
Red Cabbage also referred to as purple cabbage is rich in beneficial plant compounds that have been linked to health benefits, such as strong bones and a healthy heart. They are also a rich source of anthocyanins and are extremely affordable.
Anthocyanin consumption has been associated with a reduced decline in lung function. So, anthocyanin helps to improve lung health which significantly improves overall health. Cabbage is also packed with fiber and various research proved that people who consume more fiber have better lung health compared to those who eat little amount of fiber.
Another healthier food option for better functioning of the lungs is the popular soy food edamame. These beans contain an important compound called isoflavones and a diet containing isoflavones has been linked with a reduced risk of several diseases, including COPD.
A study found that including foods with high levels of isoflavones in your diet directly leads to better lung function and reduced shortness of breath. These healthy beans are extremely versatile and can be found easily in any grocery store or supermarket.
Oysters are filled with several nutrients that are essential to lung health including selenium, zinc, B vitamins, and copper. This seafood is undoubtedly one of the most nutrient-dense foods, and adding them to your diet benefits overall health.
Copper and Selenium have been associated with improving lung function, the presence of these two nutrients makes oysters beneficial, especially for smokers. Moreover, several studies show that higher zinc intake may help protect smokers from developing COPD, which causes obstructed airflow, coughing, wheezing, and difficulty in breathing.
Yogurt is a popular fermented dairy product that preserves the nutrients found in milk. Health benefits include promoting bone health and aiding digestion, and some types of yogurt help keep the intestines healthy.
Nutrients contained in yogurt include calcium, vitamins B6 and B12, riboflavin, potassium, and selenium. According to several research, these nutrients help boost lung function and protect against the risk of COPD. Those with higher intakes of yogurt had a lower risk of getting lung disease than those who did not consume it.
11. Brazil Nuts
Brazil Nuts fall under the richest sources of selenium that you can consume in your daily diet. A single Brazil nut may provide over 150 percent of the recommended intake for this important nutrient, however, their nutrition may vary as per their growing conditions.
According to the studies, high selenium consumption may help protect against fatal diseases such as lung cancer, and respiratory function in people who suffer from asthma, and supports antioxidant defenses and immune function, which is linked to improvement in lung health. As brazil nuts are high in selenium, it is recommended to consume only one or two nuts per day.
12. Swiss Chard
Dark leafy vegetable, swiss chard is high in magnesium that helps protect against inflammation. It also helps the bronchioles which is a tiny airway inside your lungs, relax the lungs and prevent airway restriction. It also contains multiple kinds of antioxidants including vitamin C and Carotenoids.
Several studies have also suggested that higher consumption of magnesium has been linked with better lung function. Whereas, low magnesium levels in the body are associated with deteriorating symptoms in people suffering from COPD. Therefore, consuming leafy greens like Swiss chard helps to reduce the risk of lung cancer and COPD.
One of the most versatile foods for lung health is tomatoes. Tomatoes contain the richest dietary sources of lycopene, it is a carotenoid antioxidant that is an excellent choice for lung health. Lycopene helps soothe the irritated airways associated with asthma.
Lycopene also helps COPD patients and can improve their lung function. Moreover, the nutrients present in tomatoes also benefit smokers and boost their lung health. These benefits aren't limited to just raw tomatoes, any product including tomatoes will have the same beneficial effect.
These tiny yet nutritious fish are filled with anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats, as well as lung health-promoting nutrients like selenium, calcium, and iron. Anchovies make a great addition to a balanced diet and can be useful for people already suffering from lung disease.
Consuming Omega-3-rich fish can also contribute to people with inflammatory lung disease like COPD. One study organized in 2020 found that a regular intake of omega-3 fatty acids was linked with reduced COPD symptoms and improved overall lung function.
Lentils are a type of legume that is often overlooked but is actually a nutrient-dense food that supports lung function, including iron, copper, and potassium. Not only they are a good source of protein, but also contain high levels of fiber.
All these nutrients are essential for maintaining good lung function. Moreover, lentils also have anti-inflammatory properties which is important as inflammation can worsen lung conditions like asthma and bronchitis. Also, adding fiber-rich food like lentils may help protect against lung cancer and COPD.
16. Red Peppers
Red peppers are rich in vitamin C, foods that promote lung health are often rich in Vitamin C, and protect from certain chronic diseases and even lung cancer. They are also a strong antioxidant that is useful for people suffering from asthma and those who smoke.
Antioxidants are popular for their anti-inflammatory properties which can soothe irritated airways. In fact, due to the adverse side effects of cigarette smoke on your body's antioxidant stores, it is recommended for smokers to consume an extra 35 mg of vitamin C per day.
Mushrooms are widely available and are high in Vitamin D content. Vitamin D is extremely important for lung health and maintenance. It works to support the immune system, which can help you from respiratory illness.
The Vitamin D present in the mushrooms not only supports lung health but also soothe and calm irritated airway, making it easier to breathe. Mushrooms can be easily incorporated into your balanced diet, it is a versatile superfood that goes along with other dishes like stews and casseroles as well as can consumed as fried or roasted.
Walnuts are widely considered an excellent food for energy and athletic performance. They are also superior lung repair foods due to their unique vitamin and mineral mix. Walnuts can be consumed if your lungs are damaged or even healthy individuals can take benefit of walnuts.
The combination of magnesium and antioxidants has been linked to improved lung function as antioxidants can make it easier to breathe. Their anti-inflammatory properties work to reduce inflammation in lung tissue, making respiration much easier. Not only that, since the antioxidants present in walnuts come from omega-3 acids, they help to prevent and fight lung infection.
Adding grapes to your diet is a tasty and healthy way to give your lung health a boost. The individual who consumes foods with a particular type of flavonoid, called anthocyanins, helps to maintain lung function and improve overall health.
Anthocyanins present in grapes protect the lungs against damage, preserve their functionality, and reduce the risk of developing respiratory diseases during old age. Grape also contains resveratrol, which reduces inflammation in the cells of the nasal passage and lungs. Resveratrol also decreases the risk of heart attack and leads to healthy lungs.
20. Flax Seeds
These small flax seeds are exceptionally nutritious and are widely recommended for several health diseases. Flax seeds are particularly effective for lung conditions due to the presence of omega-3 fatty oils and magnesium.
When omega-3 and magnesium are together, they have an effect on the lungs protect them against asthma, and soothe the airways. Magnesium is also important to help the bronchi muscle to relax and prevent constriction. Flaxseeds can be implemented in several ways such as sprinkled over salads or added to juice and smoothies.
Barley is a nutrition-dense whole grain that is an excellent source of fiber. Similarly, high-fiber diets in whole grains have been proven to protect the lungs and may reduce potential lung-related diseases.
The antioxidants found in whole grains such as vitamin E and flavonoids also help promote lung health and protect against cellular damage. Additionally, barley grass is less known but provides great aid for asthma patients. Study has shown that barley grass reduces the symptoms of asthma and allergies and normalize and control your breathing.
Similar to lentils, beans are also high in fiber which can drastically improve lung function. They are also a low-fat protein source and this source is recommended about two times a day to maintain powerful respiratory muscles.
Moreover, a review of plant-based diets suggests that consuming beans on a regular basis may help reduce the risk of lung cancer. Also, people with a high intake of fiber are linked to better lung health as compared to less fiber intake diets. Beans are a versatile food that can easily go with soup, stew, pasta dishes, and rice.
Salmon is filled with essential amino acids, which are used by the body to make proteins in order to absorb nutrients and repair body tissue. Salmon is also considered as one of the best lung detox foods filled with omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids will help protect the lungs and provide an anti-inflammatory effect. Along with omega-3, it is also packed with potassium and vitamin D which improve respiratory muscle strength. This seafood is also high in fats, and protein and low in carbs which helps some people with COPD to breathe better as carbs produce the most amount of carbon dioxide.
Oranges are filled with Vitamin C and have been considered the best choice as lung-cleansing food. They also contain a lot of calcium, which is important for patients suffering from long-term chronic lung diseases and helps to maintain lung health.
Meanwhile, the vitamin C present in oranges might have a protective effect against COPD and lung cancer. Orange juice is a brilliant way to add oranges to your everyday diet, you can also add oranges to healthy fruit smoothies or choose to eat them according to your own preference.
Broccoli contains a large amount of the organic compound, called sulforaphane, which protects the lungs by generating protective enzymes. It helps people with lung conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma.
Similarly, it is also packed with vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Magnesium, and Iron. All of them are important for good lung health and treat chronic lung diseases. The sulforaphane also offers immune system protection and cleanses the airways that are damaged by pollution or heavy smoking. So, it's worthwhile adding broccoli to your daily diet for an effective result.
Other Food For Healthy Lungs Include
27. Leafy Greens
29. Olive Oil
33. Whole Grain
38. Lean Meat
41. Garlic and Onions
44. Chilli Pepper
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