Foods for keeping your lungs healthy

Good foods for lung health

Choosing foods for keeping your lungs healthy can help improve your lifestyle. To keep our bodies ticking over nicely, keeping your lungs healthy is critical. Lung health is a cog in the wheel that makes your body work effectively.

Keeping your lungs healthy

A good way to keep your lungs healthy is by eating a healthy diet. A healthy diet is a long term investment to good lung health and a better lifestyle. In Nutrition and Respiratory Health, a Feature Review, it is the Mediterranean diet that is found to have protective effects for allergic respiratory diseases. This type of diet consists of fruit, vegetables, cereals, breads, seeds and nuts and beans. It also includes a low to moderate intake of dairy foods, fish and poultry. However, in addition to a healthy diet, exercising your breathing muscles is beneficial too.

1. Water

Water is essential for healthy lungs. Dry lungs are prone to irritation.  Each day you should try to drink between six and eight glasses to keep the mucosal linings in the lungs hydrated. This respiratory mucosa moistens and protect your airways, helping your lungs function better.

2. Fatty fish

Fish high in fat is an excellent choice of food for healthy lungs as they contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids which are linked with lung health. According to The Lung Health Institute, these fatty acids are particularly beneficial if you have a chronic lung disease. Firstly, omega-3 fatty acids help to fight inflamation. Secondly, they may help reduce the risk of lung infections. Finally, they can help to reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.

3. Apples

A team from St George’s Hospital Medical School, London, studied the diets and lung function of more than 2,500 men aged 45-49. They found that good lung function was associated with high intakes of vitamins C, E, and beta-carotene, citrus fruits, apples, and fruit juices.

4. Apricots

This fruit is good for keeping your lungs healthy due to its vitamin A content. The Office of Dietary Supplements notes that vitamin A supports respiratory tract linings, and may lower the risk of lung infections.

5. Broccoli

Scientists at John Hopkins Medicine Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences, made it their mission to understand the disease-deterring benefits of a compound found in broccoli. The compound, Sulforaphane, is plentiful in broccoli. It produces protective enzymes that might protect against asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or other respiratory illnesses. There are also other cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage, kale and Brussels sprouts that contain Sulforaphane.

Foods for keeping your lungs healthy – a Mediterranean diet

6. Poultry

Chicken, turkey, and other small poultry birds can benefit your lungs. According to the Office of Dietary Supplements, these foods are high in lung health boosting vitamin A. The reason why vitamin A in this form is so beneficial, is because our body may absorb animal-based versions of vitamin A better than plant-based versions.

7. Nuts

The Lung Institute highlights 3 types of must that you should limit if you have chronic lung disease. These are pistachios, cashers and chestnuts. The reason being, these are lower in healthy fat than other nuts and higher in carbohydrates. A diet high in carbohydrates may increase levels of lung tissue inflammation. However, there are other nuts that may help to reduce this inflammation. These include brazil nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds.

8. Olive oil

A Northwestern Medicine study shines a light on the different health effects of vitamin E, depending on its form. It reports canola, soybean and corn oils containing gamma-tocopherolare are associated with decreased lung function. On the other hand, olive and sunflower oils containing vitamin E in the form of alpha-tocopherol, is associated with better lung function.

9. Berries

Berries are rich in antioxidants, which the American Cancer Society notes protects lungs. In fact, Acai and blueberry are two of the top sources, however cranberries, grapes, and strawberries are also good for the lungs.

Foods that are bad for lung health

Research in The Lancet (2019) reveals that eating processed meat may increase the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It elaborates on this by saying this increase in risk of developing COPD is found in middle-aged women. Furthermore, other high-risk lifestyle factors, such as smoking or an unhealthy diet increases this risk too.

What can you do outside of diet?

You can help to keep your lungs healthy by making them stronger and more resistant to fatigue. This, in turn, could potentially help them fight off infection. Furthermore, If you have a respiratory condition, then breathing training, such as with POWERbreathe IMT will also help to keep your lungs healthy. This will exercise your breathing muscles to improve their strength and stamina. Breathing training has seen improvements in asthma symptoms by up to 75%, improvement in laboured breathing by 36% & quality of life by 21%.

Everyone can benefit from stronger breathing muscles, not just people with breathing problems. Breathing training is being used in fitness workouts and sports to enable people to reach their peak levels. By improving breathing, you increase your endurance, which means you can exercise harder with the same effort.

POWERbreathe Inspiratory Muscle Training exercises your breathing muscles, mainly your diaphragm and intercostals. This ‘resistance training’ works like ‘dumbbells for your diaphragm’, improving the strength and stamina of your inspiratory muscles. And, as a thank you for reading this blog about lung health, we’d like to offer you 10% off a POWERbreathe Plus breathing training device.

In a nutshell

Eating the right foods keeps your lungs healthy and helps to prevent lung infections. This is important if you have a lung condition. A diet rich in nutrients such as fatty fish, apples, apricots, broccoli, poultry, nuts, olive oil and berries is essential for healthy lungs. Also, water hydrates the mucosal linings in your lungs to help prevent irritation.

Improve your breathing for good lung health

Use this coupon code at the checkout and receive 10% off a POWERbreathe Plus: livelung

68 thoughts on “Foods for keeping your lungs healthy”

      • Sir from past 5days I am having burn in in chest due to ulcer
        Can you please suggest me best food for reduce burn in chest
        I am 32 years old

        • Hello Ramakrishna and thank you for reading our blog and for your comment. I’m afraid we’re not medical experts and therefore not able to help in this regard. I would however recommend that you visit your general practitioner to make them aware of how you feel and they should be able to provide you with some nutritional advice, while also checking you out.

  1. My boyfriend has copd and I found this information helpful as I want to do everything I can to help him ♡

      • Thank you for your comment Anola. In the UK, the POWERbreathe Medic was made available for prescription in 2006 (but with very tight budgets, GP practices may not always find it possible to offer it on prescription). I’m afraid for all other countries, it will need checking with that country’s own healthcare provider. I’m sorry we can’t be more specific.

  2. It’s good to know that blueberries can protect the lungs since they are rich in antioxidants. My aunt has been having a lot of lung problems over the past year and we’re worried that it will get worse without any testing being done. We’ll be sure to make sure her diet is right while also finding a center that can do testing for her lungs.

  3. Thank you for being available. I found this article helpful in choosing some foods for my diet, and also, I learned about the POWERbreathe plus, which I believe, will improve the strength of my lungs.. ❤

    • Thank you Catherine for your comment. We’re delighted you found the article interesting. POWERbreathe IMT is scientifically proven to improve not only your breathing muscle strength, but also breathing stamina and reduce breathing fatigue so will be of benefit to everyone.

  4. Harbans:
    I will adhere to all the tips on diet and exercise, Powerbreathe is a new thing .
    I will ask the supplier for advice about its usefulness for a normal person like me.
    I will be doing all things recommended in your article regularly.Thanks.

    • Hello Harbans and thank you for your comment. If you have any questions at all about POWERbreathe, or would like to know if we have a distributor more local to you, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Best wishes to you.

  5. Thank you so much. I found this article helpful, especially since my husband has been diagnosed with COPD. This will be helpful to me as well.

    • Oh gosh you’re most welcome. We’re sending our best wishes to your husband at this challenging time of the pandemic, especially so for people with respiratory issues. I’m sending you a link to a leaflet we produced after POWERbreathe IMT was approved in the UK by the NHS for prescription, as it has a section in it about the use of IMT in people with COPD, so might be another interesting read for you: All the best to you both. Stay safe and well.

  6. I learned a few things from this article about some of the different foods that are good for lung health. Thank you for this information.

  7. Thank you very much for guiding us. My Dad got infected by corona not June and he was hospitalised for 37days and now he recovered from corona but due this his lungs got damaged to some 45%. I just wanted to ask you weather I can give him dairy products like milk curd buttermilk and paneer to increase protein intake as we are vegetarian so we have limited options to provide him with rich protein foods. Pls guide me to help my dad.Thank you

    • Gosh Ankit we wish your father well and for a full recovery. As we’re not nutritionists and your request is very specific, I thought it best to find you some information from reliable sources. The Association of UK Dieticians updated their information in June for COVID-19 / Coronavirus – Advice for the General Public, which includes links to advice about nutrition. Also, the UK NHS website has some great advice for The Vegetarian Diet and is a very trusted source of information and still relevant to recovered COVID patients. I hope you find these useful. Best wishes to you and your father Ankit, Vanessa

    • Thank you for your comment Edward. Regarding Omega 3 Fish Oil, you’ll find more information about that here, which includes a link to the Lung Health Institute article on Omega 3 fish oil.

    • Hello Charles and thank you for your comment. We would definitely recommend you speak to your doctor about this. We do know that people with asthma find breathing in cold weather to be particularly unpleasant, with AsthmaUK saying, “when cold weather gets into your airways it can trigger them to go into spasm, causing asthma symptoms like coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and tightness in the chest.” It suggests two things: 1. Wear a scarf loosely over your nose and mouth before you go out. This stops your airways getting a shock of cold air when you go from a warm house out into the cold. 2. Breathing in through your nose instead of your mouth also warms the air as you breathe it in. You can read more in the article here but we would highly recommend you speak to your GP. Best wishes to you Charles.

  8. My dad believes he has a chronic cough because his cough has not gone away for three weeks. He plans to undergo pulmonary testing as soon as he finds a reputable pulmonologist under his carrier insurance. It’s great that you mentioned that he should eat lots of apples because studies have shown that lung function increases through high intakes of vitamins C and E. Thanks for this.

    • Thank you Levi for your kind comment, and we’re delighted you found our article to be of interest. We wish your father well and hope he soon finds help from his pulmonologist and starts to feel better soon. Best wishes to you both.

    • Thank you for your comment Shamim and for sharing this link to your important post which I’m sure will be of interest to our visitors.


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