Our lungs. Without them, we would cease to be. They take in air, filter out toxins and carry clean oxygen to our blood to be spread throughout our entire body. The respiratory system is one system that we must keep in tip top shape if we want to remain alive and well.
In order to do that, we must make sure that we are putting the right things inside our bodies, and that includes healthy foods. Here are six of those foods that promote healthy lungs and improved breathing.
First on the list is good old H2O. Just like any part of your body, your lungs need water to keep hydrated. Dry lungs are susceptible to irritation and just don’t work to their optimum level without it. Plus, with one part oxygen, what better to deliver more of that life saving atom to your body than a cool glass of water?
In order to have healthy lungs, you need to offer it protection to ward off harmful toxins, and berries are perfect for that. In fact, studies have found that edible berries like blueberries, Acai, cranberries, grapes and strawberries have a variety of phytochemicals like antioxidants that are linked to protection against cancer, including lung cancer.
Beans, beans, they’re good for your heart … and lungs, apparently. As you may know, beans are a great source of fiber. In fact, the average cup of beans provide over 50 percent of the daily recommended fiber intake. And according to research published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, a diet rich in fiber-containing foods may play a role in improving lung health.
Beans like black beans, chickpeas, mung beans and red lentils are all great options to keep you breathing easy.
“An apple a day ….” You know the rest. Apples have long been known to be healthy for many functions of the body, even including your teeth. Apples contain two several essential vitamins and minerals and carbohydrates that the lungs need to function correctly.
Vitamin C, for one, has been linked to limiting one’s risk of lung cancer. And of course there’s fiber and water that have been mentioned above as key ingredients for healthy lungs.
The pomegranate has long been known to be a superfruit, and for good reason. Located in those delicious, juice-filled seeds are antioxidants including ellagic acid, that have been found to slow the growth of tumors throughout the body, including the lungs.
A 2007 study conducted at the at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, in fact, showed that consuming pomegranates, particularly the juice, can help to reduce the growth and spread of lung cancer cells.
6. Chili Peppers
If you like things spicy, your lungs may thank you. Yes, that feeling like your sinuses are being cleared and perhaps all the juices in your body start flowing? Well, it might not be such a bad thing after all.
Peppers have what’s called capsaicin, which is the the actual spicy substance that makes them taste like they do. Capsaicin has been found to improve blood flow by stimulating mucus membranes. This in turn helps fight infections that may take up residency in your lungs.
Furthermore, a study found that Capsaicin was also found to slows the lung cancer tumor growth.
If you want to breathe better, now you know that you can eat your way to a healthier set of lungs.