These Foods Can Help Your Lungs When Exposed to Pollution

If you live in a polluted area, adding these foods to your diet can help. (Image: Darren Flinders via Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0)
If you live in a polluted area, adding these foods to your diet can help. (Image: Darren Flinders via Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0)

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.

Daikon Radish

Daikon helps to clear out your large intestine when you are constipated. The lungs can detox impurities better when the bowels are clear. Daikon is great eaten raw or pickled.

According to Organic Facts:

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 wood ear

(Image: NTD)


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:


Snow pear

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:

snow pear

(Image: NTD)

Lotus root

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:

Chinese yam

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:

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:

snow fungus

(Image: NTD)

Research translation by Monica Song and Hsin-Yin Lin

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