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Food That's Good for the Lungs

Expertly reviewed by Chris Icamen · Dietetics and Nutrition

Written by Bianchi Mendoza, R.N. · Updated Mar 07, 2022

    Food That's Good for the Lungs

    According to the World Health Organization, respiratory diseases claim around 3 million lives per year. Widespread pollution and unhealthy lifestyle choices can truly affect our lungs. And this leads to difficulty in breathing as well as a lot of respiratory diseases. Our lungs need love and care just like any other part of our body. Did you know that even the food we eat plays a role? Read on to learn more about food good for the lungs.

    Food Good for the Lungs: How Your Diet Can Help You Breathe Easier

    Lungs are vital as they make our body work effectively.

    Maintaining your lungs to keep them healthy is important to feel your best. A great way to keep your lungs functioning at good capacity is by eating a balanced diet. A good and healthy diet is an investment in proper lung health and a more healthy lifestyle.

    Our bodies use food as fuel for all our activities throughout the day, including breathing.

    Certain types of food keep our lungs functioning in optimal condition.

    And a varied, combination of nutrients in your diet can actually help you breathe easier. There is no one single food that will supply all the nutrients you need, in fact, a healthy diet must have quite a variety.

    Aside from adopting healthier lifestyle choices, it’s good to consult to a registered dietitian and nutritionist to help you get on the right path. 

    Food Good for the Lungs

    However, certain aspects such as contact with cigar smoke and environmental toxins and eating an inflammatory diet can take a toll on your lungs.

    Certain conditions such as pulmonary fibrosis, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can very much affect your quality of life.

    Certain research has clearly shown that select lifestyle modifications, including following a nutrient-rich diet, can assist in defending your lungs from any medical problems and even help reduce lung damage.

    Good Food for the Lungs

    What is food good for the lungs? Foods that help lung function include beets, apples, peppers, turmeric, pumpkin, blueberries, tomatoes, red cabbage, green tea, olive oil, edamame, yogurt, oysters, coffee, brazil nuts, barley, swiss chard, lentils, anchovies, and cocoa.

    There are some nutrients that improve the conditions in the lungs’ air passageways, which can be very helpful if you have allergies, asthma, or if you are trying to quit smoking.

    Another type of food good for the lungs is seeds. Seeds are small but are quite an effective tool in getting great lung health. Sunflower seeds, Flaxseed, and Pumpkin seeds provide your body with a rich source of magnesium, a very integral mineral for people with asthma. Magnesium helps the muscles in the body’s airways relax and ease any inflammation so you can breathe easier.

    Engaging in a healthy diet of leafy greens as well as other nutritious foods is a smart way to support and protect your lungs.

    Omega-3 rich foods have various health benefits that make them food good for the lungs. Great sources are fish, walnuts, and flax seeds. 

    Other ways to care for your lungs

    Aside from adding these foods to your diet, other ways to keep your lungs healthy include purifying the air in your home and regulating the air around you. Always have a clean space as that helps have healthy lungs. 

    You can also do some diaphragmatic breathing or belly breathing as it enhances breathing capacity and is quite healthy for your lungs.

    We are all exposed to pollution that can cause a lot of damage to our lungs, so it’s important to take care and keep them healthy and fit as much as we can.

    Our body is a feat of nature. Its various body systems are always working for us, night and day, to keep our body functioning at peak efficiency. Giving adequate care to our vital organs, like our lungs, is one of the best things we can do to ensure our quality of life and future health. Make sure to incorporate more of these food good for the lungs for better, stronger lung health. 

    Learn more about keeping your lungs healthy, here.


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Expertly reviewed by

    Chris Icamen

    Dietetics and Nutrition

    Written by Bianchi Mendoza, R.N. · Updated Mar 07, 2022

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