The lungs are among the largest organs of the body, filling almost the entire chest. They are responsible for the delivery of oxygen and carbon dioxide removal.
Our lungs are continuously subjected to all types of toxins, from polluted air to allergens. These substances can increase the risk of developing many different types of lung disease. Thankfully, we can all follow some simple tips to improve lung health.
Clinical studies have proven the benefits of daily vigorous exercise to strengthen not only the lungs, but the heart as well. One hour every day spent in a physical exercise will improve lung health. Always ask your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. Examples of exercises to try are:
The regular daily use of ascorbic acid, or Vitamin C, will help improve lung health by strengthening the lungs and providing a defense against damaging pollutants. It is a powerful antioxidant and important in tissue building. One 500 mg tablet daily is the recommended dose. In addition, eat Vitamin C rich foods on a daily basis. These measures will ensure you are receiving an adequate amount.
- Cashew nuts
Soy beans and soy products are rich in isoflavones. Isoflavones work to strengthen the cells of the lungs and have been shown to help prevent lung cancer. They are also natural anti-inflammatories. Include these foods in your diet to be sure you are getting a good amount of soy.
- Edamame, or soybeans
- Soy milk
- Vegetable Protein
If you smoke, quit. Stay away from secondhand smoke. The smoke from cigarettes, pipes and cigars has been proven to raise blood pressure and increases the level of carbon monoxide in the bloodstream. It also weakens the small air sacs of the lungs and decreases the lungs’ ability to take in and deliver oxygen to the body. These small air sacs also become unable to get rid of the carbon dioxide, causing it become trapped in the body. It puts you at a higher risk of developing lung cancer and emphysema. Stopping smoking will improve lung health dramatically.
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The stretching, strengthening and deep breathing that is part of yoga will help improve lung health, as well as your overall well-being. By breathing deeply and fully, the flow of oxygen to the bodily organs is improved. Perform yoga a minimum of 30 minutes per day to see the benefits.
While we may not be able to control how clean the air we breathe outside is, we can limit our exposure to pollutants. Pay attention to ozone forecasts for the area you live in. Some areas of the US have more pollution than others, especially during the hot summer months.
Air pollutants can affect the quality of our indoor air as well. Sources such as fireplaces, mold, candles and pet dander can all have a negative impact on lung health. Eliminate any sources and consider an air purifier.