Foods that Help You Breathe Easier

  • Some nutrients found in food help clear the airways.
  • Drinking coffee can help relieve asthma symptoms.
  • Green tea is a good source of antioxidant that contains natural histamine.

Some foods contain nutrients that improve breathing, helping people with asthma, allergies, or those trying to quit smoking.

1. Olive oil

Olive oil contains phytonutrients and mono and polyunsaturated fats that benefit the skin, hair, heart, and lungs. Olive oil may also help prevent the health risk caused by air pollution, such as impaired blood vessels and increased blood pressure. These factors can lower your oxygen supply, increase your heart rate, and make breathing harder. A study by the Environmental Protection Agency found that olive oil improved how the blood vessels respond to pollutant stress and increased tPA levels that cause shortness of breath. According to scientists, this is due to the anti-inflammatory component found in olive oil called oleic acid.

2. Apples

Apples contain phenolic acids and flavonoids that can reduce inflammation in the air passageways.

3. Coffee

Caffeine alleviates asthma symptoms, says Dr Alan Mensch, the senior vice president of medical affairs and medical director at Plainview Hospital, and assistant professor at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell in Plainview, NY. However, the effects are short-term.

4. Salmon

Fish like salmon has omega-3 that reduces lung inflammation and prevents bacteria.

5. Green tea

The antioxidants in green tea can calm the body, reduce inflammation, and encourage healing. The antioxidant quercetin also acts as a natural antihistamine that prevents allergy symptoms. The hot water also soothes that throat and protects the lungs by flushing out mucous membranes.

6. Seeds

Flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds can provide magnesium, a mineral essential for people with asthma, says Dr Dana Greene, a nutritionist from Boston. Magnesium relaxes airway muscles and reduces inflammation, helping you breathe better.

7. Cruciferous vegetables

Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and kale, may help reduce your lung cancer risk. A Journal of the National Cancer Institute study suggests that women who consumed more than five servings of fruits and vegetables weekly lowered their risk of developing lung cancer. Cruciferous vegetables are packed with natural compounds called glucosinolates, that deactivate cancer cells and decrease inflammation.

8. Orange fruits and veggies

Orange fruits and vegetables such as pumpkins, oranges, and papayas contain antioxidants, like vitamin C, that fights infections and inflammation. According to a review of studies published in Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology, vitamin C helps reduce the frequency of symptoms from exercise-induced asthma by 52 percent.

9. Garlic

A study in the Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention journal found that eating raw garlic reduces the risk of developing lung cancer, even in smokers.

10. Whole grains

Whole grains like brown rice, whole wheat, and quinoa, and brown rice doesn’t increase your carbon dioxide production nor stress out your lungs as much as simple carbohydrates like white pasta, white bread, or muffins.

11. Nuts

Nuts provide a dose of vitamin E that helps reduce inflammation, strengthen your immune system, and improve the health of red blood cells that provide your body with oxygen. A stable oxygen supply of oxygen prevents constricting of your lungs’ blood vessels, helping you breathe better.

Source: The Healthy