Health

8 foods to eat to improve lung health amid air pollution

Health, according to the World Health Organization, is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”.[1] A variety of definitions have been used for different purposes over time. Health can be promoted by encouraging healthful activities, such as regular physical exercise and adequate sleep,[2] and by reducing or avoiding unhealthful activities or situations, such as smoking or excessive stress. Some factors affecting health are due to individual choices, such as whether to engage in a high-risk behavior, while others are due to structural causes, such as whether the society is arranged in a way that makes it easier or harder for people to get necessary healthcare services. Still other factors are beyond both individual and group choices, such as genetic disorders.

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The air pollution crisis puts our lungs at danger every year, but we can safeguard them by eating or avoiding the right food.Take these expert tips.

Ladies, do you feel constant fatigue and headache with the smog in the city? While the Covid-19 buzz is back with the Omicron variant, our lungs are also at the risk of pollution levels. Extra care for lungs has become the need of the hour.

Our lungs work tirelessly to keep our system going, and we need to give importance to the intensive care that is necessary for their proper functioning.

A lot of people tend to suffer from allergies, whooping, irritation in the throat, especially the elderly people. Inflammation in the lungs can make breathing difficult and cause congestion.

Our diet can play an important role, and studies have been done to ascertain the role of diet in mitigating the effects of pollution and impact of pollution on lungs. There are ample foods that you can consume and avoid for healthy lungs.

Nutritionist and dietitian Shivani Kandwal suggests a few foods that you can consume for the sake of healthy lungs.

“Vitamin A and carotenoids, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin D, Curcumin, Choline and Omega 3 fatty acids help in maintaining the good health of lungs from pollution,” Khandelwal, also a diabetes educator and Founder of Nutrivibes, tells HealthShots.

Also Read: Smog can clog your lungs! Use these tips to beat the winter blues

lungs
Breathing clean air is a luxury. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Foods to include in your diet for healthy lungs:

  1. Make sure you add red/yellow/orange coloured foods as they are a great source of carotenoids. These are the pigments in plants of red, yellow, orange colour which acts as antioxidants for humans.
  2. Turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, so consume turmeric along with black pepper for absorption of curcumin .
  3. Add beetroots in your salads as they contain nitrate, vitamin C, carotenoids, magnesium etc. Also nitrate helps in relaxing blood vessels and optimising oxygen uptake.
  4. Add garlic in your food. It is a great taste enhancer and rich in acillin which has anti-inflammatory properties.
  5. Consume fish which is a rich source of choline and omega 3 fatty acids which are excellent for lung health .
  6. Adding jaggery as a sweetener instead of sugar can be beneficial for health. It has natural cleansing properties and is beneficial to people living in heavily polluted areas.
  7. Eating mulethi helps in providing ease in symptoms of asthma and also relieves cough. It is a bronchodilator – a type of medicine that eases breathing.
  8. Add ginger in every possible food and consume it raw or in drink. It is known for being adaptogen rich, anti-inflammatory , and anti-viral properties.

Including the right foods in your diet not only maintains a healthy balance but even gives a longer life to your organs. Modern-day eating habits are all about junk and ordering fast food with one click. But remember that while you consume healthy food for your lungs, there are some foods you must avoid too!

lungs
Add ginger to your food for better lung health. Image courtesy: Pixabay

Khandelwal suggests foods that you should avoid, especially during high pollution alert:

  1. Fried food contains unhealthy fats that can cause bloating and discomfort by pushing diaphragm.
  2. Soda is carbonated and sweet. It can increase inflammation in the body and lead to bloating .
  3. Beer is again highly carbonated and sugary leading to inflammation and tightness in the abdomen leading to discomfort.

    We cannot wipe out the air impurities but we can eat healthy, take preventive measures like wearing a mask and exercising daily to keep our lungs healthy!

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