Long-term exposure to pollution can increase your chance of developing lung cancer, which is now the leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) pointed out that 223,000 deaths from lung cancer in 2010 were caused by air pollution.
Since we all need to breathe, the following foods may be able to help your lungs fight the toxic particles in the air.
According to Organic Facts:
“The combination of antibacterial and antiviral activity with the expectorant properties of daikon and daikon juice make it ideal for clearing up respiratory issues. If you have excess phlegm or mucus in your respiratory tracts, it can capture bacteria, and allow it to grow. Daikon juice not only clears out phlegm, but also eliminate bacteria and other pathogens, keeping your respiratory system healthy.
“Daikon juice has also been shown to possess similar enzymes to those found in the human digestive tract, including amylase and esterase. These can facilitate more efficient digestion of complex carbohydrates, proteins, and fats into more easily manipulable compounds for the body. This can reduce constipation and increase nutrient uptake efficiency in the gut.”
Black wood ear (black Chinese fungus)
The toxic particles in the air we breathe often get trapped and mixed with mucus that enters the stomach and intestines. Black wood ear (tree ear) contains abundant mucilage, a gel-like substance that can absorb dust and particles in your intestines, and remove them along with the stool. It is a great food to clean out your intestines, and clear your lungs and trachea.
According to Viva Woman:
“Black fungus has high dietary fibers and it can “absorb” toxins in our digestive system, and rid them via excretion. So, all in all, black fungus is said to have many health benefits, including prevention of cancer, but those patients with blood thinning issues should avoid consuming this. But in any case, I think this ingredient should be eaten with moderation, even by healthy folks.”
The lungs tend to accumulate toxic agents when the air is dry. Mushrooms help the lungs to stay moist, and prevent the accumulation of toxins.
According to herb wisdom:
“Mushrooms are very strong antioxidants, antioxidants protect the body from the negative effects of free radicals that are formed inside the body by daily exposure to the sun, chemicals, and pollutants.
“They are also beneficial for people suffering from asthma and other respiratory conditions because it seems to have a healing effect on the lungs. They are good for building respiratory strength, and curbing a cough.”
In Chinese medicine, white-colored foods are good for keeping your lungs healthy. Snow pears contain a lot of water, and can help generate mucus and saliva, which helps to remove phlegm.
According to the Beijinger:
“If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, you may also consider to add a pear in autumn. In TCM, autumn is a season to nourish the lungs as it is the time when the body utilizes energy from the lungs the most. Pear is considered to have a cold and nourishing nature that helps to balance the yang in our bodies, and prevents dryness. Eat it raw if you like, but it treats coughing better when cooked in soup.”
Lotus root broth is diuretic, and can help cool down the body and nourish the lungs. According to traditional Chinese medicine, eating cooked lotus roots can strengthen the heart, enhance blood function, and improve digestion and appetite.
According to health benefits times:
“The high vitamin C content within lotus root juice helps you to dissolve mucus build up within the respiratory system, and also removes it through the body. It emits the mucus or even phlegm accumulation within the lungs and dissolves them, therefore is effective as treatment for asthma, bronchitis, cold, cough, and tuberculosis. For a much better result, juice lotus root along with equal quantity of carrots. It will make a extremely nourishing beverage, and it is scrumptious as well!”
Chinese yam contains mucoprotein, a glycoprotein that is especially helpful for the lungs. It also contains vitamins, fatty acids, choline, and essential salts and trace elements such as iodine, calcium, iron, and phosphate.
According to Traditional Chinese Herbs:
“People with chronic cough due to aeipathia and asthenic disease can eat Chinese yam. Chinese yam is a natural product of tonifying lung, and moisturizing dryness. In the clinical, it is a treatment of lung deficiency with chronic cough and dyspnea due to deficiency.”
White wood ear (snow fungus)
The white wood ear is a white-colored food similar to the snow pear, only milder and more suitable to those who are cold-natured or with weak stomachs. It energizes the body and clears the intestines. The white tree ear is an excellent supplement to strengthen and nourish one’s body, and is known to be the “champion of all fungus.”
According to Ping Ming Health:
“Over two thousand years ago, traditional Chinese medicine already recognised the lungs are located in the chest and have a relationship with the nose, throat, large intestine, and skin. The lung is a very tender and moist organ. It likes to be clear and does not like dryness.
“In one of the ancient traditional Chinese medicine texts, Ben Cao Zai Xin, it is recorded that white fungus tastes sweet, and goes to the lung channel. It can moisten and clear the lungs.”
Research translation by Monica Song and Hsin-Yin Lin