Healthy lungs are one of the best feelings and also essential for good overall health. But common habits like smoking a cigarette and environmental toxins, or an inflammatory diet can harm the pair of important organs.
Common conditions like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and pulmonary fibrosis adversely affect the lungs and your quality of life. But there are various lifestyle changes and dietary modifications that can help improve lung health.
A nutrient-rich diet can help protect your lungs and even reduce lung damage and symptoms of disease. Therefore, here is a list of 5 superfoods that can help improve lung health or prevent diseases.
The brightly colored pumpkins are quite healthy for the lungs since they contain a variety of lung-health-promoting plant compounds. They are also rich in carotenoids like beta carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin which have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Research proves that higher blood levels of carotenoids are linked to better lung function in both older and younger populations. People who smoke may also benefit from consuming more carotenoid-rich foods like pumpkin.
Moreover, smokers may have 25% lower concentrations of carotenoid antioxidants than nonsmokers which is harmful for the lungs. That is why pumpkins can be helpful.
Turmeric is popular for its various health benefits and potential to heal and prevent various diseases. It is beneficial for the overall health due to its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Curcumin, the main active component in turmeric can be considered healthy and beneficial for the organs.
Research proved that regular intake of curcumin is associated with improved lung function. Moreover, the lung function of smokers with the highest intake of curcumin was significantly greater than smokers who had low curcumin intake.
High curcumin consumption by smokers was associated with 9.2% greater lung function as compared to smokers who did not consume curcumin.
Blueberries are rich in nutrients regular consumption of these tiny fruits has been associated with a number of health benefits, including protecting, preserving lung function and preventing lung diseases.
Blueberries are a rich source of anthocyanins, including malvidin, cyanidin, peonidin, delphinidin, and petunidin. Anthocyanins are pigments that protect lung tissue from oxidative damage.
A research found that blueberry intake was associated with the slowest rate of decline in lung function and slowed lung function decline by up to 38%.
Green tea is a healthy beverage that has impressive health benefits. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is a catechin that is found in green tea in high concentrations. It boasts antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and inhibits fibrosis or scarring of tissues.
Pulmonary fibrosis is a disease that affects lung function and results in scarring of lung tissue. Research shows that EGCG may help treat this disease.
Oysters are loaded with nutrients like zinc, selenium, B vitamins, and copper which are essential for lung health. Research shows that people with higher blood levels of selenium and copper have improved lung function.
Moreover, oysters are an excellent source of B vitamins and zinc, nutrients that can be beneficial for people who smoke. Smoking depletes certain B vitamins, including vitamin B12. Studies show that higher zinc intake may help protect smokers from developing COPD.