5 Top Tips for a Super Healthy Respiratory System
By Dr. Melissa Carr, Dr. TCM
February 23rd, 2017
The simple act of breathing is something that many of us have the luxury to take for granted. It’s only when we need to stop in mid-activity and gasp for air before we take notice. But the truth is, taking care of our lungs is fundamental to good health.
Did you know that the average person breathes in and out about 20,000 times a day? It goes without saying that the lungs are one of the most vital and hardest working organs in the body. They never rest, tirelessly toiling away, sucking in oxygen, and releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. But factors like smoking, pollutants, irritants, and changes in lifestyle can impact the health of your respiratory system, preventing the lungs from performing at their peak.
Obviously, you can’t escape the environment, but you can take measures to improve your respiratory system health. Here are five great ways to keep your lungs strong and healthy.
Kicking this dangerous habit is one of the best things you can do to improve the health of your respiratory system. Cigarettes contain thousands of harmful chemicals that put your lungs and your health at serious risk. Over time, smoking can lead to emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and lung cancer.
So, if you are a smoker, get serious about quitting. You’ll improve your breathing capacity, increase your lung health, and live longer—all great reasons to butt out.
Eat a Lung-Friendly Diet
When it comes to promoting lung health, make sure to consume a well-balanced diet. Eat foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and limit your intake of processed foods, sugar, and poor quality fats. Adding fresh organic whole foods with an emphasis on more vegetables (most of us could stand to add in more veggies) to your meals will not only improve your respiratory health, but also boost your immune system and help manage your weight.
Minimize Your Exposure to Pollutants
There are countless pollutants in the air that can compromise your respiratory health system . And while it is impossible to avoid all toxins, there are things you can do to decrease your exposure to them. For example, stay away from highly polluted areas whenever possible. If that is not an option, wear a face mask to help protect your lungs.
Improving the quality of your indoor air will also help increase lung health. To do this, use an air purifier. They remove allergens and chemicals, helping you breathe better. Replacing artificial plants with some real ones like ferns, spider plants, peace lilies, bamboo palm, and aloe vera will also help eliminate toxins from your home. Another easy way to get rid of indoor air pollutants is to vacuum regularly.
Do Regular Deep Breathing Exercises
Looking for a great way to increase your respiratory health system ? With deep breathing exercises, you can easily strengthen and rejuvenate your lungs. Incorporating deep breathing exercises like yoga into your daily routine will help enhance lung capacity and clear out toxins.
Cordyceps has gained legendary status for its immune boosting and energy enhancing capabilities. Used for thousands of years in China, this adaptogenic herb is treasured for its diverse health benefits, including its ability to promote optimal respiratory functioning and protect against lung disease.
Its antioxidants have anti-aging health benefits and slows down cellular damage. Its immune supportive activity increases the number of T-helper cells that fight off infection, by helping to support lung health.This helps reduce the susceptibility of our respiratory system to viral and bacterial attacks.
What’s more, the anti-inflammatory properties of cordyceps has been shown to relax the bronchial walls and increase oxygen intake. This is true whether you have a respiratory system illness like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, bronchitis, or if you are an athlete wanting to up your game. If you want to give your respiratory system the nutritional edge, add this superfood to your daily regimen.
Dr. Melissa Carr is a registered Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine with a B.Sc. in Kinesiology. In practice since 2001, Dr. Carr has a passion for sharing health information. She has been a nutrition instructor and a health consultant, lecturer, and writer for 24 Hours Vancouver newspaper, Fraser Health Authority, UBC, and the David Suzuki Foundation, amongst others.