It is proven that the Mediterranean Diet improves respiratory health, but there are foods that especially help avoid disorders that affect the lungs or overcome them easily. Here are six of them.
1. Citrus to prevents respiratory infections
Oranges, tangerines, lemons… are a great source of vitamin C.
This vitamin enhances the body's defenses, which helps in the prevention of respiratory infections.
It also accelerates the regeneration of tissues and promotes the elimination of toxins.
Including in your diet every day a large glass of orange juice helps you get the 90 mg of vitamin C you need.
In addition to citrus fruits, kiwis, tomatoes and peppers are also rich in this vitamin.
2. Avocado for its great antioxidant potential
Avocado contains large doses of vitamin E.
A low daily consumption of this vitamin, with a powerful antioxidant effect, is associated with a worsening of the symptoms of lung diseases. This is a warning from the Spanish Society of Pneumology and Thoracic Surgery (SEPAR).
Vitamin E works in synergy with vitamin C and, in addition to finding it in avocado, it is also found in nuts (especially almonds), olives, virgin olive oil, raw seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame…), spinach, wheat germ or kale.
3. The tomato to protect you against lung cancer
Of the carotenoids contained in mature tomatoes, lycopene accounts for more than 90%.
This super antioxidant protects the cells from the free radicals responsible for the degeneration of the tissues, improves the resistance of the skin against solar radiation and decreases the incidence of lung tumors.
The tomato is also beneficial raw, but the lycopene is assimilated better when cooked. And if you cook it with extra virgin olive oil, it's even better because its antioxidant action is multiplied by three.
4. Egg yolk to take care for mucous membranes
The yolk contains vitamin A, nutrient very beneficial for respiratory health:
It is essential for the care and regeneration of damaged and inflamed mucous membranes in numerous respiratory disorders (asthma, bronchitis, COPD…).
This vitamin is abundant in the egg yolk, and also in whole milk products. And provitamin A (which in our body is transformed into vitamin A) you get the vegetables yellow, red or orange (carrot, pumpkin…) and green (spinach, watercress…).
5. White meat to recover from a cold
It has been shown that, in case of catching cold viruses, they help make the disease more bearable.
They are rich in zinc, a mineral that accelerates recovery and has an antioxidant effect.
They also provide selenium, a mineral whose deficit is associated with a lower immune response.
In addition to white meat (chicken, turkey, rabbit), other foods rich in zinc and selenium are fish, shellfish, nuts, whole grains, legumes and brewer's yeast.
6. Blue fish for anti-inflammatory properties
This food, along with nuts, is very rich in omega 3 fatty acids.
These "good fats" have a great anti-inflammatory action, very necessary to take care of your lungs.
Keep in mind that the effect of free radicals (produced by pollution, smoking, poor nutrition…) in the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract produces inflammation of the lung tissue and promotes disorders that affect these organs. The omega 3 "avoid" that inflammation.
Take care of your lungs and improve breathing
In the same way that it happens with the rest of organs, the lungs need to be cleaned to function at full capacity and also to control possible respiratory disorders. This purification can be done in many ways, but it is also important to have a correct diet.
The secret of the Mediterranean Diet
A clinical trial conducted by the University of Larissa (Greece) has confirmed that the antioxidants provided by fruits and vegetables that are part of the Mediterranean Diet (olives, nuts, apples, tomatoes, cabbages, mushrooms, potatoes…) significantly improve (up to 148%) the lung function of people suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, better known as COPD.
This condition, increasingly common in our society, is characterized by chronic respiratory distress and its most common symptoms are shortness of breath, fatigue and increased cough. Its main cause is smoking, although environmental pollution can also cause it.
And not only is it suitable for people suffering from COPD, but it also improves respiratory health in general. In general, these are the basic guidelines of the Mediterranean Diet. Take note:
– The abundance of fruits, vegetables, cereals (bread, pasta, rice… especially integrals), legumes, potatoes and nuts characterizes the traditional Mediterranean Diet.
– This also has the daily use of virgin olive oil, both for cooking and to dress, raw.
– Also, it contributes some ration of yogurt or cheese and, weekly, it includes fish (especially blue), birds and eggs, always in moderate quantities, every day.
– Usually, the foods that make up this diet are fresh, seasonal and are very little handled.
– The consumption of red meat is very low.
– A very Mediterranean custom is to season the dishes with aromatic herbs, which is very beneficial because it helps reduce the use of salt.
This type of food is not only balanced, varied and with a low intake of saturated fats and high in vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and fiber, but thanks to its richness and variety of foods of plant origin, it is a diet with a high contribution of antioxidant substances such as vitamins C, E and beta carotene and other phytonutrients (phenolic compounds, flavonoids…).
These components protect the lungs from damage (oxidation) caused by the attack of free radicals, caused in large part by environmental pollution and tobacco.