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Gasping for fresh air? Try these foods for healthy lungs!

Medically reviewed by Dr. Shunmukha Priya, Ph.D. in Food Science and Nutrition

A healthy body is an asset and breathing plays an important role in it. But unfortunately, fatigue and tiredness have time and again meddled with breathing. This is especially true for people who lack stamina.

Mere walking and stair climbing have left people catching their breath. When this is not improved, shortness of breath can cause major health problems in the future.

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This is where lifestyle comes into the picture. One has to ensure that they lead a healthy lifestyle to avoid major health problems in the future. The shortness of breath can vary from mild to severe, and it can also get worst in severe cases.[1]

Breathing is related to the lungs and healthy lungs are crucial for the proper functioning of every organ in the body. Indulging in smoking will spoil your lung health and worsen the breathing problem.

Breathing is Related to Lungs
Healthy Lungs are necessary for the proper functioning of every organ in the body.

Other than this, India is a country which has a lot of air pollution and citizens here are very vulnerable to pollution. This can also cause breathlessness.[2]

Healthy Lifestyle alterations, adopting healthier eating habits and indulging in physical exercises can improve the breathlessness condition. And any change starts with food.

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Here we bring you a handful of foods you should eat for healthy lungs.  

List of foods for healthy lungs:

1. Apple:

They are a good source of vitamin C, E, and beta-carotene. Apples have been linked with improved lung functioning and better breathing.

It keeps your lungs healthy because they come with antioxidant properties.
It is also worth mentioning that apples are loaded with fibre and other essential micronutrients.

2. Nuts:

It is loaded with omega 3 fatty acids; these acids are said to have anti-inflammatory properties. Nuts also help in fighting respiratory problems.

They help to boost the immune system and create red blood cells that deliver more oxygen to the body. Stable oxygen supply to the body helps the lungs breathe better without problems.[2]

3. Seeds:

It is good to consume seeds as they help to keep your lungs healthy. They are supposed to have optimal lung health benefits. These seeds provide the body with magnesium.

Seeds have optimal Lung health benefits
Seeds help to keep Lungs Healthy

Magnesium helps the airways to relax and reduces inflammation that helps you breathe better. Magnesium is an important mineral for people with breathlessness or breathing issues.[3]

4. Garlic:

Consumption of garlic helps your lungs to function better. It helps in the elimination of toxins waste and carcinogens from the body. Its anti-inflammatory properties help in reducing the damage caused by free radicals. And if you are a smoker, then consumption of garlic is good for you.[4]

5. Olive oil:

The unsaturated fat in olive, sunflower oil, canola oil is great for your lungs and also good for your skin, hair and heart.

Olive oil helps to fight problems from air pollution. It helps to provide oxygen throughout the body and can curb cardiac effects induced by air pollution.

It is important to keep your lungs healthy for a better quality of life. So make sure that you add these foods for healthy lungs.

Home remedies for healthy lungs

When we are facing health-related problems, we turn to home remedies first. Minor respiratory problems can be dealt at home too.

Here are some of the home remedies that you can follow when you or anyone else at home have minor respiratory problems.

1. Deep breathing:

This can help in case of breathing problems. All you need to do is;

  • Lie down while your hands are on your abdomen.
  • Breathe in deeply with your nose and expanding your abdomen helping your lungs filling in with air.
  • Hold your breath for a couple of seconds and slowly breathe out through your mouth relaxing your abdomen and lungs.
  • Repeat this for 5-10 times.

2. Use a fan:

Researchers have found out that using hand-held fans can solve respiratory problems. All you need to do is blow the fan air across your face, nose, and mouth.

To keep Lungs Healthy, blow the fan air across your face, nose & mouth
Hand-held fans can solve respiratory problems

This will help in reducing the sensation of breathlessness and help you breathe and feel better. This treatment is also effective and helps you feel mentally and physically stable.[5]

3. Steam inhaling:

This can help in case of a blocked nose or when you have an immense cold. All you need to do is;

  • Fill a bowl with very hot water.
  • Add a few drops of essential oil or any product that would help you clear the blockage.
  • Place your face over the bowl and cover your head with a towel.
  • The steam will help you clear the blockage in the nose and help you breathe easy.

Remember do not try this if you are an asthmatic patient and when there is no cold, this could also further block your breathing.[6]

4. Consumption of black coffee or fresh ginger:

You can either make yourself a hot cup of black coffee or add some fresh ginger in hot water and consume it to get rid of the breathing issues.[7]

Caffeine in coffee will help in reducing the tiredness in muscles and ginger helps in reducing the short breaths.[8]

Conclusion

Foods play a major role in keeping the body healthy and this is applicable to the lungs too. Eating nutrient-rich foods for healthy lungs is a great start.  

Apart from this, it is also important to lead a healthy and active lifestyle to get rid of respiratory problems.

If you are having respiratory issues due to excess weight, then exercising and healthy eating will help you greatly. They help you with weight loss and at the same time, improve your stamina too.  

It is also important to quit smoking and stay away from pollution as much as possible. If your breathing problems worsen, it is very important to visit your doctor and find the underlying cause.

Eat healthy, stay healthy and breathe easily!