In these days of so much smoke outside, it seems best to talk about lung health and how we can support those important organs, especially right now, but also going forward for better lungs for life.
The most obvious tip is to avoid the smoke as best you can. If you are outside, try to limit activities that cause accelerated breathing.
For the time while you are inside, here are a list of foods to use in your meals and snacks, as well as other tips that can improve your lung health.
1.) Drink water - water is one of the best helpers in removing toxins and wastes out of our body. It helps with blood and thus oxygen circulation, movement of our lymphatic wastes, as well as excretion of bowel movements. Think of it like a whole body flush that supports health. Aim for 2+ litres of clean pure water each day.
2.) Foods rich in nitrates (not nitrites). Foods like beets and best greens with high nitrates help to relax blood vessels, reduce blood pressure, and optimize oxygen uptake. They also contain magnesium, potassium, and carotenoid antioxidants (same as carrots!), which all are also linked to lung health.
3.) Food rich in vitamin C - Food like peppers, oranges, strawberries, kiwi, kale, and broccoli, to name just a few, are huge lung helpers. In fact many studies show in people who smoke cigarettes, those with a high than normal vitamin C intake have better lung function than those who do not consume as much vitamin C. One medium sweet red pepper contains 169% of the recommended daily intake for vitamin C.
4.) Other specific foods for lung health include: Apples, pumpkin, turmeric, blueberries, green tea, red cabbage, olive oil, fish, swiss chard, barley, lentils, and cocoa!
The idea is to keep your foods clean, to help lessen the toxic load, and consume and enjoy as much colourful whole foods as you can to increase beneficial nutrient intake.
You can find an incredible amount of those healthy colourful whole food options at your local Quality Greens Market.