If you want to breathe your best, you need to keep your lungs healthy. Factors like smoking ( or exposure to cigarettes), environmental toxins, and inflammatory diets can impair the proper functioning of this delicate organ. In addition, severe conditions like Asthma, pulmonary fibroid, and COPD can significantly disrupt the function of your lung.
Fortunately, research has found that specific lifestyle changes such as adding certain diets can lower the risk of lung damage, protect the lung, and improve any symptoms of lung disease.
What’s more, research has linked some foods to improve overall lung function. Here are 15 superfoods for the lungs.
1. Beets/beets green
The beautifully colored roots and the vibrant green of the beetroot plant contain compounds that benefit the lung.
Beetroot contains nitrates in rich quantity, which have been scientifically proven to optimize lung function. Nitrates control blood pressure, relax the blood vessel, and improve oxygen functionality.
Beetroot supplements have been testified to boost the performance of lung function and improve COPD and other lung-induced conditions.
In addition, nitrates contain magnesium, vitamin C, potassium, and antioxidants which support lung functionality.
Did you know that pepper contains a significant vitamin C amount? Vitamin A functions as a body antioxidant. People who smoke need a considerably rich amount of vitamin C.
Because of the damaging effect of smoking on the antioxidant store in the body, we’ll recommend taking an extra 35 mg of Vitamin every day.
Studies found that smokers may benefit immensely from higher vitamin C doses and that smokers who consume more vitamin C tend to develop a more functional lung than those who don’t.
A medium-size red pepper delivers 170% of the daily recommended vitamin C dosage.
Several research has found that eating an apple regularly can improve your lung function. Plus, consuming at least five apples per week can improve your lung function and reduce the risk of COPD. In addition, apple intake has also been linked with the reduced risk of lung cancer and asthma. This could possibly be due to the higher concentration of vitamin C, flavonoids, and antioxidants in apples.
Pumpkin flesh contains compounds that promote lung health. Carotenoids, lutein, beta carotene, and zeaxanthin are all powerful antioxidants that support lung health.
According to studies, high carotenoid levels have been linked to improved lung function among the young and old.
Smokers would benefit significantly from taking a pumpkin and other carotenoid-rich foods.
Evidence found that smokers have 25% less carotenoid antioxidants than nonsmokers.
Turmeric contains a rich amount of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin, the primary compound in Turmeric optimizes lung function.
A study of over 2000 people found that curcumin proved a significant benefit in overall lung function. In addition, smokers who consume curcumin showed an improvement in lung function than smokers with no curcumin intake.
6. Tomatoes / Tomato Products
Tomato contains lycopene (an antioxidant) which has been linked with improved lung function. Tomato and tomato products can reduce symptoms like airway inflammation in asthmatic patients and improve lung function in COPD patients.
Walnuts contain omega 3 fatty acids in rich quantities. Consuming them in high quantities can reduce symptoms of asthma and other respiratory conditions. Omega 3 fatty acids contain an anti-inflammatory property that protects against inflammatory ailments.
Blueberries contain beneficial nutrients in a significantly high amount and consumption. It has been linked with lots of health benefits, including optimizing lung health.
Blueberries contain a rich amount of anthocyanins like cyanidin, petunidin, peonidin, and more.
The Anthocyanin pigment helps prevent oxidative damage to lung tissue.
9. Green tea
Green tea has a proven record of beneficial effects on health including the lung. Green tea contains a high concentration of ECCG (Epigallocatechin gallate). EGCG improves anti-inflammatory properties which help inhibit tissue scarring or fibrosis.
10. Red cabbage
Red cabbage is also a rich anthocyanin source. Anthocyanins are responsible for their vivid color. Anthocyanins have been linked to improved lung function.
Furthermore, cabbage contains fiber. And studies confirmed that those who take fiber experience an improved lung function than those who do not (or consume in low amounts).
Edamame beans are rich in a compound known as isoflavones. Foods containing isoflavones have been linked to an improvement in symptoms of COPD.
12. Olive oil
Olive oil contains a compound that helps protect against respiratory conditions like Asthma. It contains anti-inflammatory antioxidants like vitamins and polyphenols. A study confirmed that those who regularly take olive oil are less likely to have asthma.
Oysters contain nutrients that benefit lung health such as selenium, zinc, copper, and B vitamins.
According to studies, those with higher copper and selenium levels in their blood usually experience better lung function, unlike those with the nutrient’s lower levels.
In addition, oysters are rich in zinc and B vitamins which are significantly important for smokers.
Smoking reduces the function of some B vitamins in humans, which, fortunately, is found in oysters. Also, studies found that consuming zinc-rich diets may prevent COPD in smokers.
Yogurt contains potassium, calcium, selenium, and phosphorus in rich amounts. These nutrients are known to help improve lung function and protect from COPD.
15. Brazil nuts
Brazil nuts contain one of the richest selenium sources that you can consume. You can find over 150% of selenium in just a single Brazil nut (concentration may vary though). Studies found that a high intake of selenium may help prevent lung cancer, boost respiratory function in asthmatic patients and improve immune function for better lung health.
Because of the high selenium concentration in Brazil nuts, we recommend keeping your daily intake to one or two.
Consuming a diet rich in necessary nutrients is a smart way to protect and promote lung health.
Pepper, coffee, tomatoes, fatty fish, blueberries, pumpkin, oysters, and olive oil are a few examples of drinks and foods that have shown immense benefit to lung health.
Try incorporating some of these foods and drinks into your daily diet and see improvement in your lung health.