- Foods high in antioxidants can help prevent inflammation.
- Adequate amounts of vitamin C can boost the immune system, especially in people suffering from lung problems.
- Lycopene and polyphenols found in plant-based sources are excellent antioxidants.
According to research, the human body runs on an equal balance of omega-3s and omega-6s. The western diet is packed with omega-6s, a polyunsaturated fatty found in refined vegetable oils of processed foods, which can cause inflammation. But adding omega-3s can prevent imbalance and inflammation. Flaxseeds are excellent sources of omega-3s, including alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
EPA and DHA, commonly found in fatty fish and supplements, are types of omega-3s that prevent inflammation. Try to eat fish twice a week.
If you have a sensitivity to seafood, you can get omega-3s from nuts. However, ALA, the omega-3 fatty acid in plants, needs to be converted before the body can use it, leaving only a little ALA making its way to DHA. If you opt to eat nuts for omega-3, choose walnuts. Spirulina, a protein-dense freshwater algae, is also a good non-fish source of ALA and DHA.
4. Citrus fruits
Vitamin C can strengthen the immune system, especially in people with lung problems. According to a meta-analysis in Scientific Reports, taking 100 milligrams of vitamin C daily reduced lung cancer risk by 7 percent.
5. Bell peppers
Yellow bell peppers pack in most antioxidants, but all bell pepper varieties still contain significant amounts. A single large pepper offers more than five times your daily C needs.
People with lung problems tend to be vitamin D-deficient. Experts recommend that people with lung disease keep their vitamin D levels in check. If it’s not possible to activate your body’s vitamin D by being outdoors in the sun, you can drink milk fortified with vitamin D, which provides about a fifth of your daily vitamin D needs.
7. Green tea
Your body produces “free radicals,” a byproduct of metabolism. It’s normal and healthy to have moderate levels of free radicals, but too much can cause oxidative stress and inflammation. According to studies, polyphenols in green tea could help block lung inflammation in smokers and protect against cancer.
8. Black coffee
Coffee also contains anti-inflammatory polyphenols usually found in tea. However, make sure to keep it black, as adding milk or sugar can neutralize the polyphenols.
According to a small study on asthmatic adults, the lycopene in tomato juice or tomato extract improved lung function and reduced symptoms in people with asthma. Opt for fresher tomatoes instead of canned to get more antioxidants.
Red and purple fruits also tend to have high levels of antioxidants. The reddish hues are due to the polyphenols. Pomegranate juice packs in the highest levels of antioxidants, while berries are also excellent sources.
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli contain a chemical called sulforaphane, which could prevent inflammation in people with COPD. A cup of broccoli has about 135 percent of your daily vitamin C needs, which is more than what an orange can provide.
12. Leafy greens
A study of 4,400 Dutch adults suggests that the antioxidant lutein found in leafy greens could prevent inflammation and improve smokers’ lung function. However, it didn’t have the same effects on people who don’t smoke.
Source: The Healthy