How Can Juicing Improve Lung Health?
The following nutrients in freshly made juices are typically linked to promoting lung health.
- Carotenoids: Beta-carotene, lycopene, and other carotenoids facilitate protection and healing of lung cells, and promote healthy mucus membranes in the lung tissue.
- Vitamin C: A deficiency of vitamin C has been associated with suppressed immunity and poor lung health.
- Bioflavonoids: Studies have shown that bioflavonoids in citrus act synergistically with vitamin C in neutralizing free radicals. They are ideal for juices targeting support for the immune system, respiratory health, and systemic antioxidant support.
- Quercetin: Quercetin is a plant flavonoid that occurs naturally in apples, berries, grapes, lemons, grapes, fennel and kale. It has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce oxidative stress and lung inflammation linked to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Quercetin can also reduce allergies and histamine release seen in asthma.
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D plays a major role in the immune system and in maintaining good respiratory health by boosting better lung function. Deficiency of vitamin D has been linked to an increased risk of asthma and an increased susceptibility to respiratory infections.
- B Vitamins: B vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin are essential for a strong immune system.
- Vitamin E: Vitamin E may help lower lung tissue inflammation, and it is said to be effective in reducing asthma risks in children.
Fruits and Vegetables That Can Support Lung Health
The fruits and vegetables listed here will provide a mix of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals that are known to protect lung cells. They will reduce the risks of inflammation, and support overall lung health.
Respiratory diseases are the prime cause of death and disability worldwide. COPD affects millions of Americans and is the third leading cause of disease-related death in the United States.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, is a long-term lung disease that makes it hard to breathe. The good news is COPD is often preventable and treatable. Here you'll find a list of suggestions for ingredients to consider when you juice for lung health:
- Apples: Freshly made apple juice contains a variety of phytochemicals, all of which are strong antioxidants. The quercetin, catechin, phloridzin and chlorogenic acid in apple juice boost the immune system and relieve asthma symptoms.
- Grapes: Grape juice contains high levels of antioxidants, which can help protect your body from free radicals. To maximize lung health and aid the immune system, The American Lung Association recommends fresh fruit and veggies, like grape juice as a source of simple sugar instead of the complex carbs in starchy bread.
- Papaya: Fresh papaya juice is packed with beta-carotene and vitamin A, which help to reduce the risk of asthma, and also prevent and reduce lung inflammation.
- Guavas: Juice from raw, fresh guavas is rich in important nutrients like antioxidants, vitamin C, and manganese. It is beneficial in curing coughs and colds, and gets rid of the mucus as it disinfects the throat, respiratory tract, and the lungs.
- Pomegranate: The Journal of Food Biochemistry shows a review of a study about how pomegranates in fruit and juice form reduce the effects of various respiratory conditions such as asthma, lung fibrosis, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and alveolar inflammation.
- Pineapple: Pineapple juice contains a strong anti-inflammatory bromelain, which is a mixture of enzymes. Tentative findings indicate that it may minimize congestion, increase ease of breathing, and suppress coughing when administered orally.
- Berries: Like most red and blue colored fruit, strawberries and blueberries get their color from a flavonoid called anthocyanin, which is also a strong antioxidant. Research suggests this pigment can slow down the natural age-related decline of the lungs.
- Elderberries: Elderberry juice or syrup is naturally effective for respiratory distress, lung congestion, inflammation, and other cold and flu symptoms. However, it is important to note that despite its potential health benefits, raw elderberries are toxic, and should always be cooked before processing it into a juice.
- Citrus: Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, and lemons are excellent sources of vitamin C and antioxidants, which boost the immune system and help fight respiratory infections. They have been proven to reduce asthma symptoms in children and help improve the breathing of people with COPD. The immunity aspect helps the body resist and cope with typical asthma triggers.
- Bananas: Bananas may be beneficial for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). They are potassium-rich and contain antioxidants and fiber. However, bananas are not ideal for juicing because they lack the liquid content necessary to make it into a juice. Fortunately, you can make a banana purée, which can then be blended in other fresh fruit juices.
- Cruciferous vegetables: A recent study indicates that certain molecules naturally found in cruciferous vegetables may help maintain a healthy barrier to protect the lungs against infection. Adding cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, and bok choy to your green juice may boost immunity and preserve lung health.
- Spinach: Spinach is a healthy juice ingredient because it is rich in vitamin C and also contains high levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. These nutrients are known to boost immunity and improve lung function. Furthermore, it can reduce the risks of respiratory conditions like COPD.
- Beets: Beets, including their greens, have been indicated as a healthy ingredient when you are juicing for lung health. Beets are known to optimize oxygen intake, which can help those who struggle to breathe. Beets are also loaded with vitamins and nutrients like potassium and magnesium that promote lung health.
- Carrots: Carrot juice is rich in antioxidants, like vitamin A, vitamin C, and lycopene that boost lung health and lower the risks of developing lung disease. Researchers found smokers who drink carrot juice could prevent a type of damage that leads to lung cancer. Furthermore, the vitamin A in carrot juice is essential in the formation of the tiny air sacs, or alveoli, in the lungs where gas exchange occurs.
- Tomatoes: Tomato juice is not only a calorie-friendly drink, it is also loaded with antioxidants like lycopene that have been proven to promote bronchodilation and reduce the effect of asthma, making it easier to breathe.
Spices and Herbs to Aid Lung Health
One of the many benefits of making your own juices for lung health is that you are in charge of what goes into your juice. And guess what? You can even add lung-friendly herbs and spices for a twist.
Here are some suggestions:
Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant properties: Turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon can help reduce inflammation in the lungs and improve respiratory function.
Antimicrobial properties: Thyme, oregano, and garlic can help with congestion and reduce the risk of respiratory infections.
Soothing properties: Peppermint and licorice root can help soothe the airways and provide relief from respiratory discomfort, often used to ease coughs and bronchial issues.
In conclusion, incorporating juicing into your daily diet routine can be an excellent way to support lung health. The antioxidant and nutrient content of fresh fruits and vegetables have been shown to boost healthy lung function and reduce the risk of respiratory diseases.
Juicing provides a concentrated source of nutrients, making it easier for you to get enough and for your body to absorb and utilize them. By including juicing as part of a balanced diet, you can nourish your lungs for an enhanced ability to function optimally. However, keep in mind that juicing can lead to overconsumption of nutrients, so control your intake.
Why not take charge of your lung health today? Be creative and explore the benefits of juicing.