10 Best Foods to Keep Your Lungs Healthy and Functioning

My Doctor Finder
January 12, 2022

It's critical to keep your lungs in good shape if you want to feel your best. However, smoking, pollutants, and an inflammatory diet can hurt these two vital organs. Common ailments including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and pulmonary fibrosis can affect your quality of life. Here are 10 foods to keep lungs healthy.

10 Superfoods for Healthy Lungs

1. Blueberries 

Blueberries are high in nutrients and are linked to various health benefits, including protecting and preserving lung function. According to a research of 839 veterans, blueberry consumption was linked to the slowest rate of reduction in lung function, with two or more servings of blueberries per week slowing lung function decline by up to 38% compared to little or no blueberry consumption.

 Malvidin, cyanidin, peonidin, delphinidin, and petunidin are all anthocyanins found in blueberries.

Anthocyanins are pigments with strong antioxidant properties that have been found to protect lung tissue from oxidative damage. 

2. Peppers 

Most of us associate getting enough vitamin C from oranges, but peppers have more vitamin C per serving—and only a half cup is required to meet the daily intake. According to research, Vitamin C appears to have a preventive impact against some lung disorders, such as asthma and obstructive airway disease, likely due to the vitamin's antioxidant capabilities. Peppers are nutritious foods. They are high in vitamin C, a water-soluble substance that functions as a potent antioxidant in the body.

3. Turmeric

Turmeric's high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties make it popular for promoting overall health. Turmeric's major active ingredient, curcumin, may be particularly good for lung health.

Curcumin consumption was linked to enhanced lung function in a study of 2,478 participants. Furthermore, smokers who consumed the most curcumin had much better lung function than smokers who consumed the least curcumin.

Smokers who consumed high curcumin had 9.2% better lung function than smokers who did not ingest curcumin.

4. Apple 

Apples have been shown to prevent lung decline and even reduce lung damage induced by smoking due to the antioxidant quercetin. Those who ate at least five apples each week had a better lung health with a lower risk of acquiring COPD.

Apples are high in quercetin, a phytonutrient. Quercetin has been demonstrated to be advantageous to the lungs in clinical studies. It functions as an anti-inflammatory to minimize the harmful effects of COPD and oxidative stress from the environment and reduce asthma risks and COPD problems.

5. Tomato 

Lycopene, a potent antioxidant present in tomatoes, benefits lung function. According to research, adults who ate two tomatoes per day had less lung deterioration than those who ate less than one tomato per day. They're also high in vitamin C, which has been shown to help with autoimmune illnesses by reducing inflammation. Another study found that a diet high in tomatoes was linked to a lower prevalence of poorly managed asthma in adults with asthma.

6. Coffee 

Your morning cup of joe may help preserve your lungs in addition to increasing your energy levels. Caffeine and antioxidants are abundant in coffee, which may be advantageous to lung health.

Coffee use has been shown to increase lung function and protect against respiratory illnesses in studies. Caffeine, for example, is a vasodilator, which means it helps widen blood vessels, and it may benefit those with asthma symptoms, at least temporarily.

7. Anchovies 

Anchovies are a little fish high in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats and other lung-healthy minerals like selenium, calcium, and iron.

People with inflammatory lung illnesses like COPD may benefit from eating omega-3-rich fish like anchovies. A 2020 study discovered that consuming more omega-3 fats was linked to fewer COPD symptoms and better lung function.

Furthermore, an omega-3-rich diet may aid in the reduction of asthma symptoms in people.

8. Cocoa 

Cocoa and cacao products, such as dark chocolate, are high in flavonoid antioxidants and contain theobromine, a compound that helps relax the lungs' airways, giving you healthy lungs.

Cocoa consumption has been linked to a reduced risk of allergic respiratory symptoms and may even help prevent lung cancer.

Furthermore, a study of 55,000 people found that those who consumed more flavonoids from foods, including chocolate, had better lung function than those who ate low-flavonoid diets.

9. Garlic 

You may dislike the flavor of raw garlic, but its numerous health advantages will have you devouring it without hesitation. Garlic includes a component known as allicin, which acts as an antibiotic and aids in the treatment of respiratory infections that clog our lungs and cause dyspnea and congestion. It also aids in reducing inflammation, the improvement of asthma, and preventing lung cancer. The benefits of garlic to your lungs outweigh the hesitations with garlic's taste. Garlic is the epitome of healthy lungs’ food.

10. Pumpkin

Carotenoids, abundant in pumpkins, have been linked to improved lung function. Carotenoids also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities, which are beneficial to one's overall health and well-being.

Pumpkin is a natural food for healthy lungs. Pumpkins have a range of lung-health-promoting plant chemicals in their vividly colored flesh. They're particularly high in carotenoids, including beta carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities. According to studies, higher blood levels of carotenoids are linked to greater lung function in both older and younger people.

Lung disease is a widespread illness that affects millions of individuals, with new cases being diagnosed every day. Whether you have emphysema or bronchitis, asthma, or are dealing with lung pain due to a mesothelioma diagnosis, lung disease can be uncomfortable and have a negative influence on your quality of life. 

To avoid lung disease that might shorten your life, make sure to eat these ten healthy foods for optimum lung function.



image sources: Torres Ivan from PxHere, formulatehealth from Wikimedia Commons, Softeis from Wikimedia Commons, Paul Asman and Jill Lenoble from Wikimedia Commons, Fredde 99 from Wikimedia Commons