As I look out my window on Sunday morning, my yard is a smokey, barely visible haze. I cannot believe how bad our air quality is from all the raging fires. My heart is hurting for the people who have lost their homes or businesses in this terrible time. Even us who are safe from the actual flames are feeling the effects of the smoke. This smoke layered on top of the corona virus pandemic and the upcoming cold and flu season got me thinking about foods to improve my lung health. Here are a few foods to add to your diet to maximize lung health.
- Water: Staying well hydrated is imperative for lung health. Being hydrated keeps blood flowing freely to and from the lungs. Water also keeps the mucus in our lungs the right consistency to move toxins out.
- Leafy green vegetables: Leafy greens like spinach, kale and arugula are high in antioxidants to help protect your lungs.
- Beets: Both beet root and beet greens can be important for lung health. Both are rich in nitrates that can help relax blood vessels, reduce blood pressure, and maximize oxygen uptake.
- Garlic and onions: These two foods are known for their powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. They are both good for fighting infection, lowering cholesterol, and reducing inflammation.
- Cruciferous vegetables: Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage have been shown to reduce the risk of lung cancer. They are rich in the plant compound, chlorophyll, that cleans and builds blood.
- High fiber foods: High fiber foods like raspberries, oats, peas, and chia seeds can be important for lung health. Research suggests that people who consume more fiber have healthier lungs.
- Tomatoes: The lycopene in tomatoes helps the body cleanse the lungs and has been shown to have an antioxidant effect on the lining of the lungs.
Adding these foods to your diet can be an important weapon in your arsenal for protecting your lungs during this challenging time.