Take a deep breath in for 5 seconds, hold that breath for 5 seconds, and now release that breath for 5 seconds. Didn’t that feel good? When we truly slow down to take a deep breath, we become present to the gift our lungs and respiratory system provide us with, the gift of breathing! We may think that it’s just our lungs that are responsible for breathing, but the truth is that our lungs actually work in unison with our respiratory system which is made up of the nose, mouth, throat, voice box, windpipe, and lungs. Keeping a strong respiratory system is very important for our health and quality of life.
In this blog we are going to discuss some of the best natural ways to properly take care of your lungs and everything in between to keep that breathing and beautiful filtration system working perfectly.
Quit smoking or don’t smoke at all
As cool and calming as smoking might feel in the moment, we promise you it’s never with the long-term effects. Cigarette smoking and smoking in general is the number one risk factor for lung cancer and other lung diseases. While smoking for one or two years may seem like it’s not doing any harm, the damage is really done over time, and it’s permanent. In cigarettes alone, there are more than 7,000 chemicals being inhaled. 70 of those actually contain very harmful substances that are known carcinogens. Our lungs contain something called alveoli, which are microscopic but do the hard work of the lungs. Smoking kills these air sacs by damaging the cells within them. Bottom line, for your lungs to stay strong and efficient throughout your life, it’s best to avoid smoking altogether.
Consistent and regular movement is so beneficial for the body, and benefits the lungs! Not only does exercise support the brain, manage weight, and reduce the risk of disease, but it also strengthens our muscles in the body including our lung muscles. As you exert energy in physical activity, the lungs and heart are working to supply additional oxygen to the muscles in the body. With time, the lungs and heart become more efficient with this process and is one of the reasons why you will be less likely to experience shortness of breath after working out for a while. If that isn’t reason enough to start moving your body, we don’t know what is!
Eat more anti-inflammatory foods
Diet is one of the number one ways to reduce inflammation in the body and limit the risk for COPD and other diseases that impact the lungs. Foods that are rich in antioxidants, healthy fats, and plenty of vitamins are the key to taking care of all your organs and keeping your body happy! Here are some foods that you SHOULD and SHOULD NOT avoid when it comes to keeping your lungs thriving.
You SHOULD avoid:
- Processed meats: Many kinds of processed meats such as bacon, ham, sausage, and hot dogs contain a preservative known as nitrates. This preservative is used to prevent bacteria and even add a salty flavor, but studies have found that the nitrates in processed meats don’t do much good for the body and are even linked to health issues such as cancer.
- Extremely salty foods: While reaching for a bag of chips might sound like a tasty idea in theory, it might not be the best decision for your lung health. The high amounts of salt and saturated fats increase water retention and the high saturated fats cause inflammation, this combination makes for impacted breathing even in the lung tissues.
- White breads: A lot of the time, the white breads we buy at our grocery stores are highly processed. Since this grain is refined, it loses much of its nutritional value and can even impact the body and lungs poorly. If you’re to consume bread, your best bet is opting for a sprouted whole grain loaf, sourdough, or even oat bread!
Foods you SHOULD NOT avoid, (aka eat more of this):
- Apples: They used to say, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” and for a good reason! Apples are very high in antioxidants and studies even show that eating a daily apple slows the decline in lung function for ex-smokers! Although all varieties of apples offer incredible benefits, one of the best is Red Delicious for overall nutrition.
- Beetroot: This vibrant and hardy root vegetable is one of the best when it comes to lung health! Beets and their greens have been shown to lower blood pressure and support your intake of oxygen, which can help someone struggling to breathe. The nitrates that are naturally occuring in beets are phenomenal for enhancing athletic performance and the efficiency of mitochondria, which are the cells responsible for producing energy.
- Turmeric: A root that has been used for thousands of years, used commonly as a spice in cooking and has extremely powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric has been used to support a number of conditions such as arthritis, respiratory infections, allergies, mental health, and more! There are many ways that you can enjoy turmeric and one of them is through supplementation! At NutraChamps, we have two different turmeric options to get your anti-inflammatory fill. We have both turmeric capsules and turmeric gummies available!
- Red cabbage: Did you know that this cabbage is rich in something called anthocyanins? Which is a chemical compound found in deep purple, red, and blue pigments from plants. These anthocyanins have a number of health benefits from being antidiabetic, anticancer, antimicrobal, and more! They have also been shown to reduce decline in lung function. This just means, eat more of your purple vegetables!
Take a lung detox supplement
If your lungs are not working at their optimal ability and they’re congested or inflamed, our new 15-in-1 lung detox formula may provide you with the relief you’re looking for. This supplement addresses all areas of lung health! So whether you’re prone to getting sick, or dealing with seasonal allergies, our formula can provide you with the defence you’re looking for. We’ve loaded each capsule with nature’s best ingredients for comfortable breathing and daily support.
Some of the star ingredients that work to repair and strengthen the lungs include:
- Mullein Leaf Extract: A flowering plant cultivated from mountainous regions across the world and has been used since ancient times to treat various respiratory ailments.
- Marshmallow Root Extract: This has been used for hundreds of years as a herbal remedy. It’s now used today for cough and sore throat relief benefits, among many other things.
- Elecampane Root Extract: A magnificent herb from the sunflower family used for a variety of ailments that impact the lungs. As an expectorant, Elecampane supports asthma, bronchitis, and whooping cough. It’s also a potent antioxidant that supports the body in more ways than one.
For the most part, our body knows what to do in order to keep us functioning and strong, the important thing is that we learn to work with it and give it what it needs. Staying away from smoking, eating the right foods, exercising consistently, and taking supplements to assist lung strength are all amazing ways to take care of the respiratory system.