There are several factors that can affect lung health, including physical activity levels, genetics and environmental conditions. Diet also plays a key role in respiratory health, and incorporating a few of the best foods for your lungs into your diet is a simple strategy that can decrease inflammation, improve pulmonary function and help heal your respiratory tract.
In addition to supplying a wealth of important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, these foods have also been researched for their ability to enhance lung health and protect against a number of respiratory conditions.
In this article, we’ll cover a few of the top ingredients to help support lung health, along with some other factors to consider as well.
Best Foods for Your Lungs
Filling your plate with a few of the best foods for your lungs can help decrease inflammation, improve airway function and protect against certain types of pulmonary disease. Here are a few of the best foods for your lungs and airways.
Not only can an apple a day keep the doctor away, but apples may also help promote better lung health as well. One study published in The European Respiratory Journal reported that apples could help slow declining lung function over a 10-year period, especially for former smokers.
The phytochemicals found in apples has also been shown to decrease oxidative stress and inflammation, which could potentially enhance pulmonary function.
2. Green Tea
Green tea is brimming with antioxidants and polyphenols that can be beneficial for lung function, including epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which has been shown to help suppress lung cancer cell growth in in vitro studies. Green tea also contains theophylline, a powerful compound that acts as a bronchodilator to improve airway function and ease breathing difficulties.
What’s more, other research shows that regular consumption of green tea could be linked to a lower risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a group of progressive lung diseases that can cause shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing.
3. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens like kale, spinach and arugula are jam-packed with essential nutrients that can support lung health, including antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals.
In fact, studies show that eating more leafy green vegetables may be linked to a lower risk of lung cancer, COPD and adult asthma.
Garlic possesses powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can help protect against oxidative stress within the lungs and throughout the body. What’s more, one study out of China even found that consuming raw garlic at least two times per week was associated with a lower risk of developing lung cancer over time.
Ginger is a potent spice that has been extensively studied for its medicinal properties, especially when it comes to lung health. In one animal model, administering ginger to rats was effective at decreasing lung damage and protecting against inflammation and excess oxygen levels.
Another animal model showed that ginger extract prevented DNA and tissue damage in the lungs caused by alcohol.
As one of the top lung cleansing foods, salmon is a great source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. Some research suggests that these heart-healthy fats could help promote pulmonary blood flow and may be beneficial for certain respiratory conditions.
One study conducted by the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology in Barcelona even found that consuming higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids was associated with lower markers of inflammation in those with COPD.
Turmeric is one of the best foods for your lungs thanks to its content of curcumin, the chemical that provides turmeric with its vibrant color and impressive health benefits.
Preliminary research suggests that the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric could aid in the treatment of several respiratory conditions, including asthma, COPD, acute respiratory distress syndrome, lung injury and pulmonary fibrosis.
Rich in potassium, fiber and vitamin C, bananas are a powerhouse of nutrition and can be especially beneficial when it comes to lung health.
So why exactly is banana good for lungs? Studies show that the potassium found in bananas helps the lungs contract and expand, which can prevent breathing problems.
Other research has found that bananas could preserve lung function and may even be associated with a lower risk of wheezing caused by childhood asthma.
Risks and Side Effects
In addition to incorporating a few servings of foods good for lungs and breathing into your daily diet, there are also some ingredients you may want to avoid in order to optimize lung function.
Processed ingredients, trans fats and fried foods are often classified as bad foods for lungs as they can promote inflammation and increase the formation of harmful free radicals. Other foods like processed meats, sugar-sweetened beverages, refined vegetable oils and added sugars should also be limited as part of a healthy, well-rounded diet.
Additionally, keep in mind that diet is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to lung health. Exercising, not smoking and avoiding indoor and outdoor pollution are other important strategies that can help keep your lungs healthy and strong.
If you have any respiratory conditions or experience any side effects like coughing, wheezing or difficulty breathing, be sure to talk to a trusted healthcare professional to find the best course of treatment for you.
* Incorporating a few of the top foods for helping to heal lungs in your diet can be incredibly beneficial for a number of respiratory conditions.
* In particular, apples, green tea, leafy greens, garlic, ginger, salmon, turmeric and bananas have been shown to help support lung health.
* Other nutrient-dense whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and healthy fats may also be beneficial.
* In addition to modifying your diet, limiting your intake of processed foods, getting regular physical activity, limiting exposure to pollution and not smoking can also help promote better lung health.
~ Rachael Link, MS, RD
All of us are born with a blank page that over our childhood years gets filled with scrips that we have no control over. As children we have no control over our upbringing, our surroundings and environments, essentially we have someone else write our first chapters in our of our stories.
We go through life one chapter at a time thinking that there is no other way to change what was. We willingly give permission to others to write our story for us. We continue on this path that was paved for us by our parents, people who influence us early on in life and we see no other paths that we could take. We see it as the only way to go through life.
As a child I have always loved fairytales because they somehow represented what I and I’m sure all of us wish for and that is; to be in charge of the ideas and stories, to be in charge of our own fairytale.
Unfortunately, some of us if not most of us were told to stop dreaming, we were told that these are just fairytales, that they are not real and to grow up and do what we were told or taught to do and, maybe we will have a somewhat of a happy life…if we’re lucky enough.
We go through life not always aware the we have the power to stop and consciously look at the road ahead and choose our own path to where ever that may lead us.
We do have a choice to change our story and we can achieve anything we want, even against all odds. When we consciously take back the control we gain the ability to decide how our story will be written. We Reclaim Our Life!
We are the authors of our own "Story Books" and we cannot let anyone take that away from us again.
So… stop! Look at the road ahead and ask yourself, which path do you choose? Take back the “pen” and start writing your next chapter the way YOU want to write it!!!
What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy HistoryLittle is known about the history of aromatherapy, or where it originated specifically, but the Egyptians are credited with developing one of the first distillation machines to extract oils from certain plants -- cedarwood, clove, cinnamon, to name a few -- which were used to embalm the dead. The practice of using infused aromatic oils as a mood enhancer, however, is thought to have roots in China.The Greeks also played a role in the history of aromatherapy. Megallus, a Greek perfumer, developed a fragrance he called megaleion, which consisted of myrrh. The "father of medicine" Hippocrates is said to have practiced aromatherapy (before it was dubbed so) for healing purposes. Greek mythology claims the gods were gifted with the knowledge of perfume and fragrance.The actual term "aromatherapy" first originated in 1937 when French chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse invented the word after a burn incident spurred his curiosity about the healing power of essential oils. On the heels of Gattefosse's "discovery" that lavender oil helped to cure his burn, French surgeon Jean Valnet used essential oils to help heal soldiers' wounds in World War II, proving the medical benefits of aromatherapy.
What are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are the fragrant essence of a plant. These highly concentrated liquid oils are the foundation of aromatherapy, which is based on the idea that the aromatic oil from a plant has healing properties. Essential oils should not be confused with perfumes or other fragrance oils. Essential oils are natural to the plant, whereas fragrance oils are chemically produced to mimic certain aromatic scents for perfumes, colognes, candles, etc.
There are different grades of oils.
Some oils are too concentrated to apply directly to the skin. In this case, the oil is combined with a 'carrier' oil or lotion to dilute its strength. Applying stringent oils to the skin can cause reactions, such as rashes or burns. Certain oils are photosensitive, so don't use if going outside (e.g., Lemon, Grapefruit, and most citrus oils). There are over 300 oils available, each with its own healing properties but.. you only need ten to twenty oils to build a good kit.
So why do you need Essential Oils?
Where to start?
Here's my link to provide you with the best Starter Kit you will ever buy!
The kit comes with:
- 11 essential Oils
- Bottles to share with your family and friends
- An AromaGlide roll-on bottle to apply the oils on the go
- Samples of NingXia Red for full system support
- Thieves hand sanitizer
- A diffuser!!!!!!!!!
- That means 24% off your oils for life
- Every single order that you place after the kit is 24% off
- To maintain a wholesale membership you only have to spend 50PVs in a calendar year in oils that you select. There is never a membership fee.
How To Order
- It’s simple!
- Go to here
- Click on “become a member”
- Add my sponsor/enroller number (11112961)
- Screen 2 lets you pick out your options
- Screen 3 adds your mailing info
- Screen 4 collects your payment info
- And you are off and running!
WELCOME TO OUR OILY TRIBE!
Parents typically want to do all they can to help their child succeed in school. Whether your child is just going down the street to the local elementary school, or across the country to college, there are some great ways that essential oils can help your student achieve his or her greatest potential in school.
Passing the Test
Nothing is worse during a test than seeing a question and knowing that you studied the answer, but it just won't come to you. According to the Reference Guide for Essential Oils by Connie and Alan Higley, essential oils may be able to help with that problem. They write, "A university in Japan experimented with diffusing different essential oils in the office. When they diffused lemon there were 54% fewer errors, with jasmine there were 33% fewer errors, and with lavender there were 20% fewer errors. When essential oils are diffused while studying and smelled during a test via a hanky or cotton ball, test scores may increase by as much as 50%. Different essential oils should be used for different tests, but the same essential oil should be used during the test as was used while studying for that particular test. The smell of the essential oil may help bring back the memory of what was studied" (pg. 155). Another study indicated that subjects who learned a list of 24 words while exposed to a certain aroma had an easier time re-learning the list when exposed to the same aroma than those who were exposed to a different aroma while trying to re-learn the list. Further studies have indicated that rosemary and peppermint aromas were found to enhance memory during clinical tests.
Calming the Stress
For many students, school means stress. Whether the stress is brought about by tests, homework, trying to fit in extracurricular activities or jobs, or from trying to create and maintain good friendships with others, essential oils can be a great aid to de-stressing after a stressful day. According to author Marlene Erickson in Healing with Aromatherapy, "EEG tests of the brain's rhythm patterns found that neroli, jasmine, and rose induced delta rhythms, with some inducing a combination of delta and theta rhythms. Delta and theta rhythms are associated with reducing mental chatter and allowing for more intuitive thought processes" (pg. 65). Marcel Lavabre also recommends chamomile, neroli, marjoram, lavender, and ylang ylang oils to help deal with stress in his Aromatherapy Workbook (pg. 49). Research studies have found evidence that lavender, lemon, and ylang ylang oils may help reduce stress.
Fighting the Bugs
When lots of students congregate in classrooms, lunchrooms, locker-rooms, or dormitories, there are abundant opportunities for germs to spread. Essential oils appear to be a great natural way to help keep those germs at bay. According to Connie and Alan Higley, "Research at Weber State University has shown that out of 67 oils tested, 66 of them were powerful antibacterial agents. Oregano, cinnamon bark, mountain savory, ravensara, and peppermint were all more powerful as antibacterial agents than Penicillin or Ampicillin" (Reference Guide for Essential Oils, pg. 346). Aromatherapist Valerie Ann Worwood recommends using essential oils to make an anti-infectious room spray by mixing 20 drops thyme linalol, 5 drops cinnamon, 5 drops clove, 10 drops tea tree, and 10 drops lemon with 2 oz. alcohol (vodka or everclear) and then mixing it with 4 oz. of water and letting it stand for 24 hours before transferring it to a misting spray bottle to use (Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child, pg. 37). One study found that a blend of lemongrass and geranium oils diffused into the air was able to reduce airborne bacteria in an office by 89%.
Getting the Energy
Between late-night study sessions, after-school activities, sports, jobs, and the many other activities students are involved in, sometimes it can be hard to find the energy needed to be awake and alert during the school day. According to several authors, some essential oils can be naturally stimulating. Marlene Erickson writes, "Stimulant essential oils are used for conditions of mental fatigue, poor memory, and difficulty concentrating. Stimulants are useful when you're feeling tired or sluggish and need to boost your mental activity. EEG tests used to evaluate stimulant essential oils such as black pepper, cardamom, and rosemary indicated that they induced beta brain rhythms. Beta rhythms correlate with aroused attention and alertness" (Healing with Aromatherapy, pg. 66). In addition to these oils, the Reference Guide for Essential Oils also lists basil, eucalyptus, fir, ginger, grapefruit, orange, patchouli, peppermint, rose, and sage as other stimulating essential oils (Higley, pg. 490).
Essential Tip: Keep essential oils close at hand for your student by placing the oils in small 1/4 dram or 5/8 dram vials and labeling each vial with a circle or rectangle label so it can be easily identified. Place up to 8 different oils or blends in a handy Keychain Oil Case. Place this small case in a the pocket of a backpack or book bag along with a copy of the Quick Reference Guide for Using Essential Oils (you will get a small version of this book as a gift from me when you join my team), and your student will have quick access to the oils and information on how to use them any time there is a need!
It was twilight and I had turned into the little alley to take the shorter route home. Suddenly something moved in the shrubbery. Before I could think, literally, I felt blood rush to my extremities and found myself turning back in panic. Within seconds though, it dawned upon me that it was merely a leaf rustling in the evening breeze, and I regained my composure. I had believed it to be something far more sinister, and my fear had kicked in way before my rational mind could.
Fear is part of our evolutionary journey—the oldest emotion we have inherited from the earliest reptiles of 600 million years ago in order to ensure our survival. We've managed to preserve it in the deepest recesses of our brains and carry it forth into the relative safety of the 21st century.
However, in today’s world, we rarely face the physical dangers that our hunter-gatherer ancestors did.
Most of our fears are psychological, creations of an imagination that tries to protect an illusive ego. The classic fight, flight or freeze response shows up as the "attack, avoid or accommodate" tendency that harms our relationships and limits our full potential.
What are we to do? Here are 3 strategies to try.
Breathe from Your Belly
Our fear response is largely beyond our control. A pumping heart, blood rushing to our extremities, and the release of cortisol and adrenaline are all physiological reactions that run their course without our conscious input. But there is one we can control, and eastern meditation practices recognized its importance thousands of years ago. It's the breath.
When we're fearful, we breathe shallowly from our chest—which is why our voice can squeak. Any vocal artist would recognize the importance of breathing from the belly to overcome fear and regain a commanding voice. In his book, The Self Comes to Mind, renowned neuroscientist Antonio Damasio talks of the importance of maintaining a natural rhythm to our breath, since it's ground zero for the way we experience life.
And mindfulness practices study the benefits of focusing our attention on our breath in order to ground ourselves in the safety of the present moment and thus calm the fear response.
Reach Out to Others
It's often believed that humanity’s rise to the top of the food chain is the result of our social brain more than any other capability that distinguishes us from other primates.
In his book, Social, psychologist Matthew Lieberman reveals that our need to connect with other people is even more fundamental than our need for food or shelter. No wonder we can calm others by a smile and a soothing voice, by looking and listening to them and by the warmth of a gentle touch.
Neuroscientist Steven Porges explains that the new mammalian vagal nerve that enables us to do so developed as an alternate response to stress so that the traditional defence mode need not be called into action. By calling a family member or a close friend, or spending time in their company, we can initiate the parasympathetic nervous system and return our body to a state of calm.
Sit with It
Fear calls for urgency and action. For the purpose it serves, it's a brilliant mechanism devised by nature to ensure our survival. However, not all fears require the limited repertoire of the fear response.
Panicking before a big presentation or feeling queasy about a difficult conversation are all fears that urge us to avoid the situation altogether. Being angry about someone’s behaviour or fuming over an email are also reactions to fear that instigate us to react with vengeance in order to establish our power.
When we can sit with our fears without reacting to them, we develop an inner resilience that silences them over time. This is the basis of many of the cognitive behavioural treatments for anxiety disorders such as panic and obsessive compulsive disorder. Watching the wave of fear’s urgency rise, pound, implore, and then reduce to nothingness is one of the best ways to handle its false cries of wolf and allow our rational mind the time it needs to kick in.
Einstein famously said that the most important question facing humanity is whether we view the world as a friendly place.
Our fears have gotten us thus far in our evolution. But they have also given rise to the many challenges we face.
We don't need to look far to find solutions to these problems. The answers lie within us, in our ability to see the world not as foe to be feared, but as a common humanity.