Everybody knows that cigarettes are terrible for your lungs. Tobacco is one of the deadliest killers around the globe, killing 480,000 people in the United States alone. Tobacco use is also the highest cause of preventable deaths in the United States and around the world.
This article will act as a guide to help you cleanse your lungs from all the tar and nicotine you have inhaled either from smoking or passive smoking. So without further ado, here are 15 natural ways to clean nicotine and tar from your lungs.
- Get Your Vitamins
Smoking causes your vitamin A, C, and E levels to drop, but do not fear, they can be restored. Fruits such as Kiwi, are rich in these vitamins and will play an important role in restoring these levels.
Vitamin A helps maintain your lungs and keep them functioning normally.
Scientific Reports found that higher intakes of vitamin C may help limit your risk of lung cancer.
Studies have shown that vitamin D can lower the risk of respiratory infections, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and interstitial lung disease. Salmon and Tuna are great sources of vitamin D.
Vitamin E has been found to have both beneficial and negative effects on your lung health. A study from Respiratory Research in 2014, may have found an explanation for this. Make sure to get your vitamin E in the form of alpha-tocopherol, which is found in olive oils and sunflowers. This form of vitamin E can help improve your lung function.
2. Eat Spinach
Spinach is packed with vitamin A and folic acid, which are known to help protect the body from lung cancer. Spinach is also rich in Iron, which is essential in transporting oxygen from your lungs throughout the body.
A study conducted by Free Radical Biology & Medicine showed that eating an amount of sodium nitrate equivalent to that found in 100-300g of spinach for just 2 days significantly improves lung function.
3. Drink Water
Smoking makes your body dehydrated. Drinking lots of water helps to flush the nicotine out of your body. Not only your body, but your lungs need to stay moisturized. Drinking plenty of water will help your lungs receive the proper amount of moisture they need to operate.
4. Eat Onions
Onions can help prevent many diseases, including lung infections. Cancer patients eat onions to prevent the growth of new cells. Anthocyanins are the antioxidants which are found in the pigment that gives red onions their color. The sulfur-containing amino acid cysteine makes onions useful in the prevention and treatment of respiratory infections.
5. Eat Oranges
Oranges are not only high in vitamin C but also contain cyrptoxanthin, which helps in the prevention of lung cancer. Orange peels also provide support against respiratory distress. The peel also has a lung cleansing effect that helps breakdown and expels congestion. Oranges also contain Carotenoids which is an antioxidant that cuts the risk of developing lung cancer.
6. Eat Broccoli
Broccoli helps restore your Vitamin C and B5 in your body. A chemical pathway in the lungs called NRF2, involved in macrophage activation, is wiped out by smoking. When Broccoli is damaged, such as when chewed, it produces a plant chemical called sulphoraphane. This chemical can restore this pathway.
Researchers at Roswell Park Cancer Institute reported that smokers and former smokers who eat lots of broccoli may be less likely than other smokers to develop lung cancer.
For best results, broccoli should be consumed in its raw form.
7. Eat Brazil Nuts
Here’s a great excuse to take a vacation to Brazil! Brazil Nuts contain the highest source of a powerful antioxidant, Selenium. Selenium enhances the effects of other antioxidants, which can contribute to even higher preventive activity in the development of cancer. Studies have shown this as a preventive effect in mammary, prostate, and lung cancer.
A five year study conducted at the University of Arizona and Cornell University shows that patients that intake 200mcg of selenium daily had a 63% decrease in cancer of the prostate, 58% decrease in colon or rectal cancer, and a 46% decrease in lung cancer compared to the group of patients taking the placebo.
8. Drink Pine Needle Tea
Pine needle tea is rich in antioxidants including vitamins A and C and helps fight against lung cancer. Pine oil may also aid in breaking up and removing mucus from your lungs. It also helps reduce the incidence of sinus infections.
9. Eat Corn
Corn contains the powerful antioxidant, beta-cryptoxanthin, which helps protect you from lung cancer. It also contains beta-caroten which forms vitamin A in the body. Beta-caroten is also a strong antioxidant that can help combat heart disease and cancer. Studies have shown that consumption fo sweet corn reduces the risk of lung cancer by up to 37%.
10. Eat Ginger
Ginger is an ancient herb that has been used as a herbal remedy by the Chinese for more than 2500 years. Ginger which can be consumed as part of a meal or as a tea facilitates breathing and is a very strong tool to cleanse toxins from your lungs. Ginger also improves circulation to your lungs by loosening up phlegm.
11. Drink Nettle Tea
Nettle may not be the most common herb you see prescribed to people, however, it is a plant full of iron. Nettle tea can help disinfect your lungs and also helps with respiratory problems by fighting coughs, tuberculosis, and asthma.
A side benefit is that Nettle also helps relieve pain in your joints.
12. Drink Carrot Juice
Carrot juice contains large amounts of vitamins A, K, C, and B. All these vitamins have been proven to effectively remove nicotine from your body. Carrot juice is also great when it comes to prolonging lung health and protecting the respiratory system from infections. Studies have suggested that eating a few carrots per day could actually cut the rate of lung cancer in half.
13. Eat Uva, Ursi, and Coltsfoot
When quitting smoking, it is important to cleanse your lungs from toxins. Uva, Ursi, and Coltsfoot will help cleanse these toxins. These plants also toughen your whole respiratory system.
Coltsfoot is one of the most popular European remedies to treat chest ailments.
14. Keep Exercising
Exercising is a great way to keep your lungs healthy. Deep breathing exercises help strengthen your lungs, so make sure to do breathing exercises regularly. If you don’t know any types of breathing exercises you can follow this one:
- Stand up, keep your arms at your sides, keep your feet a little apart, and relax.
- Take several deep breaths, breathe in through your nose and exhale through your mouth until you can’t exhale anymore.
- Make you Diaphragm let out all of the air from your lungs by heavily gasping. Make sure to exhale through your mouth a few times until there isn’t any air left in your lungs.
- Inhale through your nose and let the fresh air into your empty lungs.
- Take a deep breath in and make sure to fully fill up your lungs with air. Hold your breath for 5 seconds, counting slowly. Every cell in your body should be filled with oxygen at this point.
- Exhale one last time through your mouth until there’s no more air left.
You can repeat steps 4-6 as many times as you want. This is a great way to help keep your lungs strong!
15. Red Hot Chili Peppers
I’m not talking about the world famous band, but rather Chili peppers. These may be an unusual addition to the list, but chilis have been proven to work wonders for your body. According to a study in the United Kingdom, Capsaicin, which is the burning sensation chilies provide, can kill lung and pancreatic cancer cells. Researchers believe this is the reason why people living in Mexico and India, who eat spicy foods, tend to have lower rates of some cancers.
It is never too late to quit smoking cigarettes. You can start living a healthy life today just make sure to eat right and exercise. It may be hard but it will be well worth it in the end. There is nothing more important than your own health!