You probably don’t often think about your lungs as something that you need to take care of, like your heart or liver. Most of the time we don’t consider the important role our lungs play in keeping us healthy. It’s not until we experience problems breathing that we take notice. Our cells need oxygen to do their jobs properly, and breathing pumps oxygen throughout our bodies. So breathing, is crucial to overall health. Unfortunately in the modern world is beset with pollutants. So you need to make sure you are doing all you can to keep your lungs in top shape.
Laughing -You’ve heard that laughter is the best medicine, well it’s not actually true. But in the case of lung health, it actually is beneficial! “Laughing work the abdominal muscles and increase lung capacity. And according to Jennifer M. Ryan, PT, MS, DPT, CCS, a certified specialist in cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapy, “Laughter also clears out your lungs by forcing enough stale air out that it allows fresh air to enter into more areas of the lung.”
Don’t Smoke – The most damaging thing you can do to your lungs is to fill them with cigarette smoke. Cigarette smoking is the major cause of both lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Cigarette smoke narrows the air passages as well as cause chronic inflammation, or swelling in the lung, which can lead to chronic bronchitis. Eventually the cigarette smoke destroys lung tissue, and may trigger changes that grow into cancer.
Exercise -You already know exercise is good for heart and muscle. But lung health is yet another way that exercise can help you. Aerobic exercise helps improve your lung capacity. It doesn’t necessarily strengthen the lungs, as they rely on the diaphragm muscle, but any improvement of the cardiovascular system makes the job of the lungs easier.
Water – Water is crucial in health and is the base of any cleansing action. Water keeps blood flowing to and from the lungs. It also keeps our lungs hydrated and the mucus flowing. The cilia in our lung then take that mucus and carry it out of the lungs, taking along with it toxins, microbes, and pollutants.
Deep breathing -Deep breathing can help you get closer to reaching your lungs’ full capacity. There are plenty of guides and videos online that will teach you how to do simple deep breathing exercising.
Watch your posture –Since the lungs are soft structures, they only take up the room that you make for them. So sit up straight and give your lungs plenty of room to breath.
Diet may not directly affect the lungs as much as it does other areas of health, but our food does play a role in their health. A high fat diet has been linked to a higher risk of developing lung cancer. Whereas, eating fruits has been shown to lower these risks. Lets look a some foods that can be beneficial to lung health.
Ginger – This spice has anti-inflammatory properties and may help the elimination of pollutants from the lungs.
Pomegranates – Pomegranate juice is popular now. For good reason, it has many health benefits, one of which is that it slows the growth of lung tumors. Pomegranates contain many antioxidants including ellagic acid, which is gaining strides in cancer research.
Apples – You know the old saying about an apple a day? It might be as simple as a few a week. Thanks to the flavonoids, vitamin E, and vitamin C, which all help the lungs function at their best.
Grapefruit – Naringin, a flavonoid in grapefruit, inhibits the activation of a cancer causing enzyme. White grapefruit contains a high amount of this flavonoid, though pink grapefruit has some too along with the antioxidant lycopene. Grapefruit is especially good at cleansing the lungs after quitting smoking.
These are just some of the foods that can help your lungs. Fruits especially are good, but as long as you are eat clean healthy meals, you’ll be doing your lungs a huge favor.
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