Protecting Your Lungs
Luke Coutinho

Luke Coutinho
11 June 2021

This article is authored by Luke Coutinho. Luke is a globally renowned and award winning Holistic Lifestyle Coach in the field of Integrative Medicine.

Because they are such an important part of the respiratory system, the lungs play a crucial role. The respiratory system is viewed as a collection of tissues and organs that help you breathe. The major function of the lungs is to transfer oxygen and waste gases into and out of the body.


How important are your lungs?


Did you know that the lungs play a key role in our bodies' gas exchange process? We all require oxygen to survive, and the air we breathe contains this gas, as well as a multitude of other gases that are harmful to our bodies. When humans breathe oxygen, however, it is exchanged for a waste gas known as carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is transported from our circulation to our lungs, where it is evacuated and exhaled. The lungs carry out the entire process of gas exchange in this manner, and as a result, they are a critical organ of the respiratory system. Apart from the gas exchange process, the lungs, as part of the respiratory system, assist in obtaining air at the proper body temperature and moistening it according to the necessary humidity plane.


Lungs are critically relevant since they must take in not just oxygen but also a variety of other dangerous gases and elements such as carbon dioxide, pollution, and smoke. These pollutants are undoubtedly harmful to one's health and may increase the likelihood of developing conditions such as cystic fibrosis, asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, irritation, and cough.


Impact of cold weather and pollution on lungs


Henceforth, the condition of one's lungs is now significantly vital for everyone! Weather and pollution have a huge impact on our lungs, especially in the winter. Increasing pollution has been an alarming cause of deteriorating lung health in everyone. In reality, the current Covid-19 circumstance makes it more difficult and urgent for all of us to effectively and realistically care for our lungs. It goes without saying how damaging Covid-19 is to the lungs and how fatal it can be. Covid viruses can also be found in the air we breathe, and it is exacerbated by cold weather, so let us consider what influence cold weather and pollution can have on our lungs and how we may protect ourselves.


Cold air is commonly dry in nature, which can irritate the airways of the lungs, and can be problematic for persons with chronic lung disorders, especially during the winter months, when it can wreak trouble with their lungs' health. They may have coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath as a result of this. If not handled correctly, cold weather can cause complications such as a runny nose, cough, and even bronchial inflammation. People with asthma should take special precautions during cold weather since it might cause bronchial clamping, which can cause shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing.


Now, let's talk about the air we breathe. For your information, it contains many types of air pollution such as small particles, sulfur, ozone, and nitrogen dioxide, that exist in diverse concentrations but all of them are harmful to our lungs, causing and exacerbating asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease breathing troubles (COPD). These pollutants can clog the lungs' airways, especially in persons who have asthma. Cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), frequent asthma attacks, and shortness of breath are all serious effects of air pollution on the lungs.


Taking care of your lungs during times of severe pollution, and the winter is critical to your general health. I'm going to give you a few quick tips that you may use in the winter and during periods of heightened pollution.


  • Keep yourself warm and wear warm: In cold weather, it's vital to maintain your body temperature a little warmer, especially if you're moving around in the cold. Because the cool air outside can upset the airways of the lungs, causing coughing, sneezing, and shortness of breath, wrap a warm scarf around your neck and nose to cover your mouth.


  • Avoid sitting near a fire, a warm air blower, or a heater: these may appear to be a terrific way to stay warm, but they generate hazardous smoke and fumes that can irritate your lungs and aggravate asthma and other respiratory allergies.


  • Hand washing is one of the simplest ways to keep germs out of your mouth. Germs that enter your mouth through your hands or when you touch your eyes, mouth, or nose can get you ill and harm your lungs. Wash your hands routinely with a germ-free soap; you may also use a good sanitizer, but don't overdo it because the strong odor can irritate asthmatics.


  • People with asthma or COPD should always keep their inhalers with them - you can't control the weather or pollution outside, but you can certainly follow the safety precautions. If you've had breathing problems for a long time, keep an inhaler on hand and use it whenever you're having trouble breathing.



  • Wear an N95 mask when traveling around in high-pollution areas. This will protect you and your lungs from air pollutants and other viruses entering your body, which is especially important during these high-risk seasons of Covid-19.


Furthermore, there are certain natural methods, such as eating healthy foods and ingredients that are recognized to be good foods for the lungs. Let's learn more about them:


Healthy Food for Healthy Lungs


Walnuts (Akhrot): Walnuts are high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which can aid with asthma and other respiratory disorders. Walnuts possess anti-inflammatory components that help to protect your body from inflammation.


Broccoli: This veggie is high in Vitamin C, folate, phytochemicals, and carotenoids, all of which can help you beat pollutants that can harm your lungs. It also contains the active ingredient chemical called L-sulphurophane, which can deceive the body's cells into turning on anti-inflammatory genes, averting respiratory problems.


Ginger (Adrak):  When it comes to reducing congestion, boosting lung circulation, and unclogging air passageways, ginger offers a long list of benefits. It not only contains anti-inflammatory properties, but it also aids in the clearance of contaminants from the lungs, improving lung health.


Garlic (Lehsun): Garlic is thought to promote the production of glutathione in the body, which aids in the elimination of carcinogens and toxins, as well as improving lung function.


Cayenne Pepper (Laal Mirch): This pepper, as the best source of beta-carotene, drives secretions and defends mucus membranes, and it also aids in the reduction of many asthma symptoms.


Turmeric (Haldi): It greatly aids in the relief of inflammation in the lungs' airways and also relieves the tenseness of the chest in asthmatics.


Apples are a good source of antioxidants: Apples are high in vitamin E, C, and beta-carotene, which help to keep your lungs healthy.


Finally, I'd like to mention a food element that may be the last thing on your mind:

Water: Nothing works better than this when it comes to removing toxins from your body, believe me. Dry lungs are more prone to inflammation and infections, therefore keeping your body hydrated by drinking eight to nine glasses of water every day will assist your lungs to prevent inflammation and irritation.


Already though, you've all realized how important it is to take care of your lungs while keeping the current Covid situation in mind, and I hope you've been doing your best to keep yourselves safe and protected. It is critical to recognize that the health of the lungs cannot be taken for granted and must be emphasized! The following are a few pointers to keep in mind when taking care of your lungs.


How to keep lungs in top shape


Quit Smoking - Cigarette smoke constricts the lungs' passages and creates breathing problems; it's one of the leading causes of COPD and lung cancer, and it can also cause chronic bronchitis and soreness in the lungs in some situations. If you've been a chain smoker for a long time, you can probably forecast where your lung health is headed, so it's best to quit now before it's too late.


Minimize exposure to pollutants, irritants, and external sources: The air you breathe should be clean and pollutant-free. As a result, it is critical to limit one's exposure to both outdoor and interior pollution. When pollution levels are high, avoid going outside; this is the time of year when one should stay at home safely. Hairsprays, pollens, smoking, and aerosol sprays should all be avoided inside. These pollutants not only contaminate the air but also irritate the lungs and may aggravate lung disorders like asthma and chronic bronchitis.


Avoid cold air: Try to avoid being in close contact with the air conditioner, as this might induce sneezing, a runny nose, and lung discomfort.


Keep a good oral health: Plaque and various infections can build up in your teeth, gums, tongue, and mouth and be transported to your lungs through your mouth, making dental health vital to lung health. Brushing and flossing should be done on a regular basis, preferably twice a day.


Breathing Exercises: Breathing exercises are extremely good for increasing the passage of oxygen to the muscles, heart, and lungs by promoting the airflow in your bloodstreams. Other basic breathing exercises that can be done on a daily basis to improve lung function and health are Bhramari, Pranayama, Humming, and Om Chanting.


Keep Social Distancing: Keeping the current circumstances in mind, as well as the typical cold and flu, one should stay indoors and avoid crowds and physical contact. Avoid touching your face, nose, hair, and mouth, and wash your hands regularly to combat the risk of viruses and pathogens that can affect your lungs.


Regular check-ups might help: A periodic health check-up is always recommended to keep the health of your lungs in check. Consult your doctor if you're having trouble breathing or have any other respiratory difficulties; this will help you maintain better lung health.


Healthy lungs, healthy you!





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