There are a number of choices that each of us can make to protect and care for our lungs, but many people are unaware of the fact that their dietary selections can have a very real impact. For example, antioxidants serve an important function in protecting cells from damage, and low levels of antioxidants in the blood have been linked to both Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) and chronic asthma. Inflammation is another serious issue when it comes to lung health, and foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids will help to combat this problem. Here are some of the best foods that you can eat to improve and protect your lungs.
Most fish are a healthy choice, but those that are high in fats and oils such as salmon, tuna, trout, and sardines are excellent sources of both omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin D, which has been linked to lung health, and in fact may even slightly slow down the deterioration of smokers’ lungs.
Vitamin C will always play an important role, and high levels of Vitamin B6 as well as beta-cryptoxanthin, which oranges carry in abundance, appear to be associated with a lower risk of lung cancer.
Onions have similar nutritional components to oranges, containing lots of Vitamins C and B6. They also offer quercetin, an antioxidant linked to the prevention of lung disease and cancer.
When consumed in moderation, red wine can be an excellent source of resveratrol, another powerful antioxidant, and pterostilbene, chemical that facilitates the function of that antioxidant.
Carrots are rich in both Vitamin A and C. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, which is also believed to promote healing and slow the deterioration of the lungs. High levels of Vitamin A have been shown to reduce the risk of lung disease, at least in rats.
There are many antioxidant-rich green vegetables to choose from, so you should be able to find some that you enjoy. Broccoli, kale, bok choy, cauliflower, and cabbage are all excellent choices.
Cherries, tomatoes, and red peppers have red skin filled with the antioxidants that will help keep your lungs healthy, so the next time you want a snack, grab a bowl of delicious cherries instead of that bag of chips and know that your lungs are thanking you.
It is important to know that research shows that supplements are not nearly as effective as food when it comes to delivering these vital nutrients. Fresh, nutritious foods are the best way to keep you lungs and the rest of your body healthy.
As we all know, giving up any tobacco products is just about the most important decision you can make to protect your lungs from damage and extend your life expectancy, so if you’re worried about lung health and you haven’t already made that choice, get help to quit smoking now.
Frank McCourt is a writer, blogger and health enthusiast who spends his time researching and writing about respiratory health, healthcare, and finance. He currently writes for Debt Consolidation Services Review.