In an era of rising pollution levels and novel respiratory disorders, keeping the lungs healthy can be a challenge for many. While exercising and frequent physical screenings can help, what a person eats is equally critical for their respiratory health. Certain foods, such as apples, tomatoes, and blueberries, are great for the lungs. On the flip side, some foods can seriously degrade lung health in the long term. So let’s look at such foods.
Dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt can worsen asthma and its symptoms in patients. Milk is a rich source of calcium and vitamins. However, milk products also have casomorphin, a chemical that has been known to increase the mucus quantity in the intestines. Ice cream is arguably the worst of them all, as overeating can inflame the respiratory tract tissues and produce excessive mucus in the lungs. Ice creams contain refined sugar, which makes them one of the worst foods for the lungs.
Speaking of sugar, chocolate also contains high amounts of artificial sweeteners, sugar, and a surprisingly low number of nutrient elements. Additionally, it has caffeine, which rapidly increases the heart rate of a person. Like milk and other dairy products, sugar is also an inflammatory agent. Individuals having inflammation problems may suffer from inflation of the abdomen. This makes it tougher for them to breathe, as their diaphragm has lesser room to move.
Potato chips also come under the processed foods category. Such foods are loaded with chemical preservatives, saturated fats, and large amounts of salt. All these three elements are bad for the lungs. Saturated fats adversely affect a person’s cardiovascular health and, by extension, the functioning of their lungs. In addition, salt increases a person’s blood pressure and causes water retention, which, in turn, leaks fluids into the respiratory tract and makes breathing harder. Preservatives increase the chances of diseases such as cancer and inflammation.
As a result, potato chips are incredibly harmful to an individual’s lung health in the long run.
Broccoli is a surprising entry on this list as it is generally considered a healthy food. In fact, certain elements of broccoli are beneficial for the lungs, such as its anticarcinogenic nutrients and large amounts of antioxidants. However, the biggest problem with this food is its tendency to cause bloating in individuals.
As specified earlier, bloating causes a blockage of a person’s airways and makes it difficult for them to breathe properly. Therefore, while broccoli helps to gain certain invaluable nutrients, excessive intake must be avoided to preserve one’s lung health. Broccoli comes under a specialized food category known as cruciferous vegetables. Vegetables similar to broccoli are cabbage, cauliflower, and radish. These vegetables cause gas and bloating in individuals, negatively affecting lung health.
Bread is rich in refined flour and sugars, both of which adversely affect lung health. These elements are inflammatory as well as difficult to metabolize, which increases the strain on a person’s lungs during the digestive process. Therefore, a person’s daily meals should contain a limited amount of carbohydrates. This would result in lesser carbon dioxide production and keep the lungs healthy. What’s more, refined pieces of bread do not offer many benefits at all for the body.