Your lungs are essential for life, and work tirelessly over and over, day and night. Breathing brings in oxygen and expels carbon dioxide, which is a waste product of metabolism.
The lungs are made of hundreds of thousands of branching tubes that end in tiny air sacs, or alveoli. There are over three hundred million of these tiny sacs in our lungs, offering roughly the surface area of a tennis court to keep up with the respiratory demands of the body.
Our lungs make up a large part of our immune system, to help filter pollutants and infection-causing microbes, and capture them with mucus in the lungs and shuttled upward by tiny cilia for us to cough out or swallow. The lungs are remarkable, and should be cared for. You should know that if you smoke, smoking destroys the cilia that help remove infection and pollutants, which results in clogged airways.
Exercise is important, because doing something (anything) active for 30 minutes each day will lighten the load on the lungs, and increase the efficiency of oxygen transportation and metabolism. These 30 minutes can even be broken up throughout the day. To do this, park further from the grocery store, take the stairs, get up from your desk and walk around the building, do some jumping jacks, walk your neighborhood, or even run in place for a bit. Anything is better than sitting on the couch.
Food & Lung Health
Our food indirectly touches the lungs through the cardiovascular system and by providing antioxidant protection. A high fat diet has also been linked to a higher risk of developing lung cancer. On the other hand, eating fruits has been shown to lower these risks. Eating well goes hand in hand with exercise in keeping your lungs clear, healthy, and not overburdened.
Fresh, raw foods are the best way to get the enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that will help you breathe easy.
Water plays a huge role in health and it is the base of any cleansing action. Pure, clean water is essential to keeping blood flowing to and from the lungs. It also keeps our lungs hydrated and the mucus flowing. It may sound disgusting, but that mucus is important and needs to be the right consistency help trap & keep toxins, microbes, and pollutants out.
Garlic & Onions
These pungent foods are great for the heart as well the lungs, and they reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol, and fight infection.
This spice has anti-inflammatory properties and promotes the elimination of pollutants from the lungs.
Peppers are filled with capsaicin, the spicy compound that gives them their heat. Capsaicin improves blood flow, stimulates mucus membranes, and fights infection.
Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and kale have been shown to halt the progression of lung cancer and cut the risk of developing lung cancer in half. They are rich in chlorophyll that cleans and builds blood, and full of some very effective antioxidants.
Pomegranate juice slows the growth of lung tumors, and they contain many antioxidants like ellagic acid, which is gaining strides in cancer research.
This spice is related to ginger, and offers many of the same benefits. It contains curcumin, a compound that encourages the self-destruction of cancer cells.
Flavonoids, vitamin E, and vitamin C, and all help the lungs function at their best. Apples are rich in all of these and those who eat several a week have healthier lungs.
Naringin is a flavonoid found in grapefruit that inhibits the activation of a cancer causing enzyme. White grapefruit contains a large amount of this flavonoid, and pink grapefruit has some too, along with the antioxidant lycopene. Grapefruit is especially good at cleansing the lungs after quitting smoking.
Beans, Seeds, and Nuts
All these food items contain rich amounts of magnesium, a mineral that contributes to healthy lung function. They also provide essential fatty acids that are good for the cardiovascular system. Pistachios contain gamma-tocopherol, a type of vitamin E that is believed to reduce risk of lung cancer.
These roots are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, and lycopene, which are all antioxidants that affect lung health and lower the chances of developing lung disease.
Citrus is rich in vitamin C and vitamin B6, to help the lungs transfer oxygen.
This is another food rich in beta carotene and vitamin C, like carrots.
Red Bell Pepper
These mild peppers are rich in vitamin C and the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. These carotenoids have been shown to cut the risks of developing lung cancer.
Lung Cleansing Herbs
Items like oregano, orange peel, elecampane, eucalyptus, peppermint, lungwort, osha root, chaparral, and lobelia have been used for hundreds of years, if not longer, as natural remedies for respiratory conditions. Individual herbal tinctures and extracts are available, or, rather than purchasing and taking each separately, AllerTrex® is a natural lung cleansing supplement that contains organic and wildcrafted herbs known to support respiratory ailments, help with normal lung functions, and cleanse your lungs of harmful agents.
Reduce Your Indoor Air Pollution Exposure
Indoor environments can be contaminated with over 1,000 species of mold and mildew. Pet dander is a common indoor pollutant that is notorious for antagonizing allergies. Synthetic, chemical-based cleaning products are toxic substances with toxic fumes, just check their warning label! (Make your own natural cleaners! RECIPES HERE).
Upholstery, carpet, paint, and building materials are also all common sources of indoor pollution. The indoor air pollution problem is compounded by the fact that home construction has become more airtight in the last 30 years which traps pollutants inside. A drafty house may not seem the most efficient when the electricity bill arrives but there is something to be said about the constant airflow. Aside from ridding your home of the sources of pollution, air exchange systems and indoor air purification systems are good proactive approaches to purifying the air in your home.
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