How to Improve Lung Health

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Your lungs are some of the largest internal organs in your body. They function with your respiratory system to allow you to take in oxygen and get rid of carbon dioxide. Your lungs are constantly bombarded by environmental toxins, such as air pollution from vehicle smog, cigarette smoke and allergens. Constant exposure to these harmful substances can increase your chances of acquiring lung cancer, bronchitis and other respiratory ailments. There are, however, steps you can take to help strengthen and improve the health of your lungs.

Things You'll Need

  • Exercise program
  • Vitamin C supplements
  • Foods rich in vitamin C
  • Soy-rich foods
How to Improve Lung Health
How to Improve Lung Health (Image: Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images)

Step 1

Exercise vigorously every day to help strengthen your heart and lungs. Exercise at least one hour a day. Some examples of vigorous exercises include aerobics, running, dancing and swimming. Always consult your physician before beginning an exercise program.

Exercise vigorously every day to help strengthen your heart and lungs.
Exercise vigorously every day to help strengthen your heart and lungs. (Image: Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images)

Step 2

Take ascorbic acid supplements, also known as vitamin C. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that can help strengthen your lungs and protect them from damage from pollutants. Take one 500mg tablet once a day. You can also eat foods rich in vitamin C, including broccoli, cashews, strawberries and kiwi fruit. Try to consume food rich in vitamin C every day along with a supplement.

Take ascorbic acid supplements, also known as vitamin C.
Take ascorbic acid supplements, also known as vitamin C. (Image: Liquidlibrary/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Step 3

Eat plenty of soy-based foods. Soy beans contain a high amount of isoflavones, which can strengthen lung cells and help prevent diseases such as lung cancer. They also have anti-inflammatory properties. In addition to edamame, which are soybeans, other soy-rich foods include tofu, soy milk, tempeh and textured vegetable protein.

Soy beans contain a high amount of isoflavones, which can strengthen lung cells and help prevent diseases such as lung cancer.
Soy beans contain a high amount of isoflavones, which can strengthen lung cells and help prevent diseases such as lung cancer. (Image: blusezhou/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 4

Do not smoke and avoid secondhand smoke. Cigarette smoke can cause high blood pressure and increase carbon monoxide content in your blood. The benefits of quitting smoking include better oxygen intake, improvement of smell and taste, and improved lung performance.

Do not smoke and avoid secondhand smoke.
Do not smoke and avoid secondhand smoke. (Image: John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Step 5

Perform yoga deep-breathing exercises 30 minutes daily. Yoga breathing can help you breath fully, increasing the flow of oxygen to the organs in your body.

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Tips & Warnings

  • Consult your physician before embarking on any exercise program or diet.
  • A soy-rich diet may not be recommended for every individual.

References

  • Current Diagnosis and Treatment in Pulmonary Medicine; Michael Hanley, M.D.; 2003
  • The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies; Vasant Lad; 1999
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