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10 healthy foods that are good for your lungs

Pollution was one of the biggest contributors to serious health problems long before the Covid-19 came along to upend the routines and health. And it still continues to do so. Here are some of the best foods that can help you breathe better and improve lung health.

While investing in air purifiers and N95s is one way to protect ourselves, you’d agree there’s no better option than a healthier diet. The foods we consume make us who we are and determine our longevity. So, make sure to consume the foods that help us breathe better and improve lung health in the long term.

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Healthy foods to breathe better and improve lung health

food for lung health breathe better
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Beets and beet greens are rich sources of nitrates that have been proven to improve lung function. Nitrates also help relax blood vessels, reduce blood pressure, and optimise oxygen. They have also been proven to improve physical performance and lung function in people who have lung conditions. Beet greens are again rich in magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, and carotenoid antioxidants, all of which contribute to good lung health.


Peppers, even though they are famous for their spicy kick, are rich sources of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a water-soluble nutrient that acts as a powerful antioxidant in your body. Many studies show that smokers may benefit from higher doses of vitamin C and have better lung function. You can get 169% of the recommended intake for vitamin C from a medium-sized sweet red pepper.

food for lung health breathe better
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Turmeric is a potent antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory effects, which is why it is often used as an ingredient to promote general health and well-being. Turmeric contains curcumin as an active component and is beneficial for supporting lung function.

Olive oil

Olive oil is rich in mono and polyunsaturated fats and phytonutrients, which play a big role in promoting your lung health. In fact, it is said that olive oil may aid in fighting against the health risks associated with air pollution, like increased blood pressure and impaired blood vessels. These factors, if not countered, lead to a reduced oxygen supply, making your heart pump faster and making it more difficult for you to breathe.


But did you know that coffee promotes lung health and is one of the best foods to breathe better? Coffee could alleviate your asthma symptoms. The caffeine and antioxidants that coffee is packed with are beneficial for your lung health. Caffeine acts as a vasodilator, which means that it helps open blood vessels, and it may help reduce symptoms in people with asthma. But this is a short-term benefit.

food for lung health breathe better
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Green tea

Green tea is anything but the antagonist in your journey towards a healthy life. But apart from its abundant benefits, green tea also helps you breathe better. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is a catechin that’s found in green tea, which has anti-inflammatory properties. According to some research, ECGC helps treat pulmonary fibrosis, a lung disease.


Seeds as a family are tiny individual components, but they go a long way in boosting your long health and are one of the best foods to breathe better. Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and flaxseeds are rich in magnesium, which is a critical mineral for people battling asthma. For people suffering from asthma, magnesium helps the muscles in your airways relax and reduces inflammation so that you can breathe easier.


Garlic is rich in anti-inflammatory properties and helps combat the damage caused by free radicals. Studies and research show that smokers who consume pods of raw garlic on a daily basis have a lower risk of developing lung cancer. Who thought garlic could be one of the foods to breathe better?

food for lung health breathe better
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Just like the seeds family, nuts are rich in anti-inflammatory ingredients like Vitamin E, which also boosts your immune system and promotes the health of your red blood cells, resulting in more oxygen to your body. When your body has a stable supply of oxygen, it prevents the blood vessels in your lungs from constricting and helps you breathe better. There are many ways in which you can incorporate nuts into your diet.


This form of berries don’t just make great desserts, but they are also one of the best foods to breathe better. Blueberries are loaded with nutrients that lead to several health benefits, including protecting and preserving your lungs. Blueberries are a rich source of anthocyanins, including cyanidin, malvidin, delphinidin, peonidin, and petunidin. These are nothing but pigments that protect lung tissue from oxidative damage.

The article first appeared on Lifestyle Asia India.

Sreetama Basu
A self-proclaimed plant mom, Sreetama finds joy wherever she sees greenery. The list of other things that bring her joy is pretty long, but writing about them is her way of celebrating them. In love with little, inconsequential things, like neatly tucked-in bedsheets and big, significant things, like whole cheesecakes. She dreams of being a baker and writing about food someday.
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