Foods That Are Beneficial for Your Lung Health
It’s no secret that healthy lungs are key to our survival; after all, they play an integral role in keeping our bodies functioning properly. However, in living our day-to-day lives, we unintentionally come across many toxins that put a strain on our lung health. In order for our lungs to combat this, remedy themselves, and function optimally, they require proper fuel. You may be wondering, “What is it that fuels our bodies?” The answer is simple: food.
If someone were to tell you that keeping your lungs healthy was as simple as eating a nutrient-rich diet, you might call them crazy, but it’s the truth! By providing us with antioxidants, vitamins, nutrients, and more, the foods we consume share a direct correlation to our overall health. So let’s dive in to see which foods are most beneficial for your lung health.
What is Considered “Healthy?”
Today, we may associate “health” with the millions of supplements and superfoods that are not only difficult to find, but incredibly expensive to purchase. This leads individuals to believe that living a healthy lifestyle is unattainable; however, this is far from the truth. Being healthy does not equate to how many fancy powders or “magic” pill-bottles you have lined up in your cabinets. Rather, it’s about eating whole, nutrient-dense foods that will provide you with all of the health-benefits you could ever need–when it comes to achieving optimal lung health, this is what is key!
You will not find any solutions at the bottom of a protein-powder container, or a bag of chia seeds. While these foods may be great and have many beneficial aspects, they are not essential to achieving healthy lungs. Rather than spending your weekly earnings on expensive superfoods, take a trip over to your local grocer and invest in whole foods that are guaranteed to provide you with the proper fuel you need.
Which Foods Are Most Beneficial for Your Lung Health: Here’s What You Need To Know
While there’s an endless list of foods that provide benefits to our lungs, here are the most easily-accessible foods you can consume to greatly improve your overall lung health:
Apples You know what they say: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away!” Although this may sound silly, the high antioxidant and vitamin C content of apples has been linked to lower risk of asthma and lung cancer. Studies have even shown that regular apple intake has led to a slower decline in lung function of ex-smokers.
Blueberries: One of the biggest benefits of blueberries is their high concentration of anthocyanins, which are powerful pigments proven to protect lung tissue from oxidative damage. Regular blueberry consumption has even been proven to slow lung decline by 38% in individuals, further demonstrating the incredible properties of this delicious fruit.
Green tea: Not only is this a tasty and soothing beverage, but green tea contains many properties proven to promote antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, such as the catechin and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). These benefits have been shown to inhibit fibrosis, or scarring of lung tissues.
Olive oil: The consumption of olive oil has been known to protect against respiratory conditions, such as asthma. Being that it is composed highly of anti-inflammatory antioxidants, such as polyphenols and vitamin E, olive oil has been linked to many lung health benefits.
Yogurt: Yogurt is incredibly high in calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and selenium. Studies have shown that these elements boost lung function and protect against Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), an inflammatory lung disease. The nutrients found in yogurt are also associated with increased lung function markers.
Brazil nuts: Similar to yogurt, brazil nuts are one of the richest sources of selenium, with a single nut providing 150% of the recommended selenium intake. High intake of this valuable nutrient is linked to protection against lung cancer and improved respiratory function.
Coffee: Lucky for us all, coffee is not only a delicious daily staple, but one with many important health benefits. Saturated with caffeine and antioxidants, the properties of coffee have been shown to improve lung function and protect against respiratory disease. Further, the caffeine doubles as a vasodilator, opening blood vessels and helping to reduce symptoms of asthma.
Lentils: Not only are they high in protein, but lentils contain many nutrients that help support healthy lung function, such as magnesium, iron, copper, and potassium. Diets that are high in legumes, such as The Mediterranean Diet, have been associated with promoting lung health.
Edamame: These flavorful beans are high in isoflavones compounds, known to reduce the risk of numerous diseases and greatly strengthening lung health. One major illness edamame has been proven to combat is COPD.
Peppers: Peppers are incredibly rich in vitamin C, an extremely powerful antioxidant in the human body. High vitamin C intake has been linked to good lung health and is recommended for individuals, such as smokers, who may be compromised.
You Are What You Eat
A saying as old as time, but one that holds significant truth. Food is not only our fuel, but also our richest source of the nutrients we need to survive. By consuming real and whole foods, you can improve your overall health in immeasurable ways. With these foods proven to be beneficial for your lung health in mind, consider exploring the other ways that the foods we consume improve our lives. You never know what valuable information you may find!