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Happy Holi! Follow This Simple Diet Plan To Protect Your Lungs

Happy Holi: Protect your lungs this Holi by plating the right foods!

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Happy Holi! Follow This Simple Diet Plan To Protect Your Lungs
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Holi is here! A happy time when friends and family meet, colour each other silly, eat and make merry together. Food is a big part of the equation here, without doubt.

After all what’s holi without some holi dinners, some thandai and lots of gujia!

But with the holi bonhomie come the seasonal (almost clockwork) problem of colours (and pollution) irritating the lungs and leading to breathlessness and wheezing. This year cut your chances of getting these by plating the right foods. It pays to save your lungs consciously.

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Follow This Day Plan to Protect Your Lungs

Follow these simple steps throughout the day to have a healthy Holi.

Early Morning

Ginger helps stamp out air pollutants out of the air passages.
(Photo: iStockphoto)

Sip ginger tea in the morning. Ginger helps stamp out air pollutants out of the air passages before they have time to irritate the lungs.

During Breakfast

Add mint to your fresh juice. Ideally load up on vitamin C as it helps arrest the damage to lung tissue caused by environmental toxins (and holi colours too). So target chomping an amla (Indian gooseberry) or an orange or a guava (thank god they are in season now) daily.

Also sprinkle oregano in your breakfast omelette (or besan cheela). When pollutants invade our body, the body releases a chemical called histamine to fight them, and the side effects of this fight are symptoms like nasal congestion, mucous formation, and sneezing. Antihistamines in oregano and mint are perfect antidotes for this.

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When You Step Out to Play Holi

Place a clove under your tongue (and keep sucking on it slowly) when you step out to play holi.
(Photo: iStockphoto)

Place a clove under your tongue (and keep sucking on it slowly) when you step out to play holi. An effective expectorant, clove will help prevent respiratory tract infections. And have a slice or two of pineapple. The enzyme bromelin in it helps clear out the toxins from the lungs and detoxes it naturally.

After Playing Holi

Sip a cup of clove tea (or ginger tea again), when you get back after playing.

In the Evening

Score some apple power for your lungs. Research shows that people who have the greatest lung capacity are those who eat more than five apples a week. Wheezing is also less common in those who ate a lot of apples.

That’s because apples have quercetin and khellin (both flavonoids), which help open up the stuffed airways. So an apple or two a day is the way to go. Or as it’s the season for grapes too, you coldest those. Resveratrol in this juicy fruit helps cut inflammation on the cell lining of the lungs and keep the lungs fighting fit.

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Drink Right During Holi

Thandai is an intrinsically cooling drink which re-hydrates instantly.
(Photo: iStockphoto)

Low potassium levels are linked to shortness of breath, so zero in on high potassium foods - coconut water is a very good option.

And of course drinking delicious, absolutely refreshing thandai during holi is a must. This nutty, milky concoction is an intrinsically cooling drink which re-hydrates instantly. It cools from inside, plus it’s a medley of ingredients (milk, water melon seeds, almonds, cardamom, rose petals and saffron) which are great on their own too, but together deliver a power-house health kick.

The spices and dry fruits in it make it a great immune booster, and give it special digestive properties which improves bowel movement and helps detox the body naturally.

Of course it goes without saying that you need to skip the bhang and go easy on sugar. And also that it is best to make thandai fresh (instead of the bottled ones) as this way you can control the ingredients and get the maximum benefit.

(Kavita is a nutritionist, weight management consultant and health writer based in Delhi. She is the author of Don't Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People (Jaico) and Ultimate Grandmother Hacks: 50 Kickass Traditional Habits for a Fitter You (Rupa))

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

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Topics:  Happy Holi 2019   Lung Health 

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