The Best Foods that Good to Your Smoking Lungs
We all know the potential harm that smoking can cause. A significant number of smokers develop serious conditions each year, and many of these are related to the lungs. Of course stopping smoking altogether is still the single best way of avoiding these illnesses. But there are also other things you can do to help clean up your lungs and the rest of your body.
Here are eight great foods and drinks that every (ex) smoker should know about to help have healthier lungs.
Onions have been used for many centuries for their various medicinal properties. Recent research has shown that these powerful vegetables can help with a whole host of conditions that includes coughs, angina, bacterial infections, and even the common cold.
When it comes to helping with respiratory problems and clearing out the lungs onions contain sulfur rich compounds which help with lung related conditions such as asthma and severe coughing. The strong compounds also help break down phlegm in the lungs ensuring they are clear and able to function more effectively.
And the great thing about onion is that they are already a key ingredient in many delicious recipes. Scroll down and hit Next to read the rest of the article.
Brazil nuts are one of the best known sources of a mineral called selenium. This trace element has been linked, in a number of studies, to a reduced risk of death from lung cancer. Those people with higher levels of the mineral had much better survival rates. There is a note of caution here though. Too much selenium in your diet can actually be toxic so be careful not to over indulge.
Brazil nuts are also contain vitamin E which is great for your overall immune system too. They can also be a great source of the “good” fats that your body needs to function effectively.
Some studies have suggested that drinking cranberry juice regularly can actually slow down the spread of various forms of cancer. In terms of keeping your lungs healthy cranberry also contains a chemical called nondialyzable material (NDM) which actually fights the flu and various other viruses which can affect the lungs.
Cranberry juice also has great anti-oxidant and cleansing properties for the whole of the body. The chemicals in the berry fight free radicals in the body which can cause damage to various cells if left alone.
As well as cranberries, the juice of pineapples and lemons can also be very effective at cleansing the lungs and combating infection.
Water is absolutely essential to all forms of life. But you shouldn’t just see it as a boring necessity. Drinking plenty of water can have a massive benefit to your whole system including your lungs.
Each day you need to be glugging your way through four large glasses of water – or ideally more. As well as helping with digestion and a myriad of other bodily functions, it also helps to thin down the mucus that lines your lungs. Becoming dehydrated can cause this mucus to thicken leading to lung problems, difficulty breathing and a higher likelihood of developing infections.
Vitamin C has long been linked to good respiratory health and grapefruit are a great source. On top of the vitamin C bonanza grapefruit also contains various minerals which help towards better immunity and protect against infections in the lungs.
The fruit has also been linked to helping with more serious lung problems such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Scientists have discovered sufferers of the condition who had eaten grapefruit on a regular basis actually showed an improved lung function and higher overall fitness scores than those who didn’t eat the fruit at all.
Carrots and Carrot Juice
Carrots and carrot juice have been linked to lowering the rates of various forms of cancer, including lung cancer. This is thought to be due in part to the high levels of nutrients like carotene and lutein that carrots contain.
Various studies have found that carrot juice specifically has a direct benefit to the lungs. It has been suggested that it could reduce the impact of emphysema as well as easing more minor conditions such as serious coughs by reducing inflammation in the lungs.
Few vegetables are cheaper or easier to get hold of than carrots so there is no excuse for not getting more into your diet.
Ginger is not just an incredibly useful addition for turning bland dishes into something a bit more special. This spicy root also offers a whole range of benefits to the entire body. It contains a range of vitamins and minerals including potassium, magnesium, beta-carotene and zinc. All of which contribute towards a healthy body.
It is perhaps best known for helping with digestion by cleansing the colon and helping clear gas from your system. When it comes to the lungs ginger helps with various respiratory problems including the symptoms of asthma. Under some conditions certain extracts of ginger are also known to kill lung cancer cells.
The choice of herbal teas on the market is absolutely huge, and it can be confusing knowing what to buy for the best. The good news is that there are a number of them which are able to help cleanse the lungs.
Some herbs are expectorant and will loosen mucus from the lining of your lungs. This includes flavors such as aniseed, peppermint and elecampane. Other herbs are antimicrobial and deal with infections that may be causing lung problem. Teas such as licorice root, ginger and cinnamon can all be particularly effective.
Herbal tonics are also good for your system and can help remove fluid from your lungs.
As well as being a great addition to salads, and an ingredient in delicious smoothies; pomegranates contain some important nutrients which help with pulmonary health. One of these is ellagic acid – this chemical has powerful antioxidant properties which neutralize damaging free radicals in the body and reverse cell damage. This reduces the risks of various forms of cancer, including in the lungs.
Scientific studies have also shown that pomegranates can actually slow down the spread of cancer and even promote cancer cell death. Extracts from pomegranates can also limit the blood supply to cancerous tumors in the breasts, prostate or lungs.
All citrus fruit, but particularly oranges, can have a positive impact on the health of your lungs. They contain plenty of vitamin B6 and iron; both of which have been shown to help the lungs operate more efficiently. These nutrients assist the lungs in transferring oxygen into the bloodstream meaning that they don’t have to work so hard in supporting the rest of your bodily functions.
In addition oranges contain plenty of vitamin C which has long been linked to fighting many forms of cancer. Oranges, as part of a Mediterranean diet, are associated with lower rates of lung, breast and pancreatic cancer.
Most members of the pepper family contain a chemical called capsaicin. This is what gives them their familiar spicy or sharp taste. The spicier the pepper the more it contains. Capsaicin is an extremely helpful nutrient which improves the blood flow around the body, fights infection and stimulates mucus membranes which helps the overall health of your lungs.
Even the less spicy bell peppers help with lung health. They contain a high level of vitamin C and various carotenoids which have been linked to a reduced risk of developing lung cancer.
Garlic is closely related to the onion and so has many of the same properties; particularly when it comes to benefiting pulmonary health. One particular study showed that people who ate raw garlic twice or more each week lowered their risk of lung cancer by more than 40%
The benefit comes from the sulfuric compounds the garlic contains. When you chew on raw garlic these compounds are breathed directly into the lungs. This means their cancer fighting properties are directed straight into the pulmonary system. Raw garlic works far better than supplements or capsules though; so you may need to get used to bad breath for a while.
Health experts are often telling us that we should get more beans in to our diets. A diet built around these and other plant based foods offers a range of health benefits. This includes contributing towards strong, healthy lungs.
Kidney beans, black beans and indeed most pulses, contain plenty of antioxidants which combat the free radicals that can damage cells in the lungs. In addition most beans also contain high doses of magnesium and plenty of healthy fatty acids. These all help with lung function and also develop an efficient cardiovascular system.
Just like carrots, pumpkins are extremely rich in beta carotene which helps fight cancer. In addition though the vegetable also contains alpha carotene; studies into this chemical have suggested that it is an even more effective anti-carcinogen. Like many orange fruits and vegetables, they also contain lycopene and lutein which help with your overall bodily health
In addition pumpkins have been found to be extremely useful when eaten by patients going through cancer treatment. The combination of various nutrients has been found to help combat the side effects of chemotherapy and strong pharmaceutical drugs.
The so called cruciferous vegetables come from the brassica family. They include cauliflower, cabbage, kale, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. While these might not be the most exciting of foods to incorporate into your diet; for good overall health they certainly should be included.
These vegetables are great for the health of your lungs. They all contain high doses of chlorophyll which acts as a cleanser and detoxifier; filtering the blood and fighting toxins. Cruciferous vegetables also contain something called isothiocyanates. Some studies have made a link between an increased level of these in the system and reduced occurrences of lung cancer.
To function effectively your lungs need a number of different vitamins and minerals. This includes nutrients such as quercetin, vitamin C and vitamin E – all of which are found in abundance in apples. In one study scientists demonstrated that eating five apples a week was linked to an increased level of lung function. Apples were found most effective at slowing the deterioration in your lungs caused by pollution and cigarette smoke; this is due to the strong antioxidant properties of the fruit.
It seems that, for your lungs at least, an apple a day really does keep the doctor away!