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The Best Foods for Lung Health

food lungs Sep 22, 2022

Keeping your lungs healthy is essential to feeling your best. Research has shown that what you eat can help protect your lungs and even reduce lung damage and symptoms of disease. There are specific nutrients and foods have been identified to be particularly beneficial for lung function. Here are 9 of my favorite foods which help boost lung function!

#1. Cacao


Cacao and dark chocolate can open lung airways, improve lung function, reduce the symptoms of respiratory allergies and even protects against lung cancer. Convenient, right? I'll have a piece right now, thank you. Cacao is high in theobromine and flavonoid antioxidants. Theobromine relaxes lung airways and flavonoid antioxidants are indicated in better lung function. So, go ahead and have some chocolate.


#2. Coffee


Open your lungs: Time for a mocha now. Clearly. And, why not? Coffee is packed with caffeine and antioxidants, which is beneficial for lung health. Coffee opens your lungs and makes them work better, as well as treating asthma because caffeine dilates blood vessels.

#3. Blueberries


Keep lung function from declining: Blueberries are a rich source of powerful antioxidant pigments called anthocyanins, which protect lung tissue from oxidative damage. One large scientific study found that consuming 2 or more servings of blueberry per week slowed the decline of lung function by as much as 38%.

#4. Pumpkin


Boost lung function: Pumpkins are rich in carotenoids, which not only which give powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, they also boost lung function in younger as well as preventing lung function decline in older populations.

#5. Spinach


Want to breathe easier? Spinach is high in magnesium which relaxes the bronchioles - the tiny airways inside your lungs. In a number of studies, higher magnesium intake has been associated with better lung function and a reduced risk of lung cancer and COPD.

#6. Turmeric


Improve your lungs: A study of 2,478 people found that taking curcumin, a compound inside of turmeric, had substantially improved lung function. Plus, smokers who had the highest intake of curcumin had nearly 10% greater lung function than smokers who did not consume curcumin.

#7. Edamame


Improve your lungs: Edamame beans contain compounds called isoflavones. Diets rich in isoflavones are significantly associated with better lung function and reduced shortness of breath.

#8. Olive oil


Stop asthma: Consuming olive oil may help protect against asthma. A study of 871 people found that those who had high olive oil intake had a reduced risk of asthma. Olive oil is a concentrated source of anti-inflammatory antioxidants. 

#9. Brazil nuts


Brazil nuts are amongst the richest sources of selenium that you can eat and studies show that a high selenium intake may help protect against lung cancer, improve respiratory function for those with asthma, and enhance antioxidant defenses which may help improve lung health. Studies show that people with higher blood levels of selenium have greater lung function, compared with those with lower levels of these nutrients.

The bottom line To support and protect your lung health, you of course want to eliminate pollution to the extent possible as well as use breathing practices. Additionally, support your lungs through your diet with coffee, spinach, blueberries and others. Try adding a few of the foods and beverages listed above into your diet to help support your lung health!

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