Air pollution is one of the biggest threats to human health, triggering numerous ailments including breathing disorders. It causes the respiratory system to weaken and fall prey to allergies and ailments like asthma. According to WHO, pollution is responsible for exacerbation of asthma and increase in respiratory infections. Increased morbidity and mortality, due to cardiovascular diseases including stroke, chronic respiratory diseases and cancers have been attributed to air pollution. The polluted air we inhale introduces nitrogen, ozone, nitrogen oxide, diesel exhaust particles, et al.
While it is imperative to do your bit to avoid causing as much air pollution to keep safe, it is also important to eat healthy to escape from the serious hazards caused by pollution. As per expert Nutritionist, Dr. Rupali Dutta, "The protective antioxidants present in the lining of our lungs fight it out till they are outnumbered, thereafter the pollutants start attacking the immune and body cells producing free radicals and causing inflammation. The antioxidants from the food you eat can provide protection to your body from harmful effects caused by air pollutants." Here are foods that will help you build a stronger immunity against pollution and further strengthen your respiratory system.
1. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is touted as one of the most important antioxidants that has the ability to repair and aid tissue growth. This water soluble vitamin is present throughout our body and eradicates the effects of free radicals. Consuming sufficient amount of vitamin C per day is actually crucial for maintaining its level in the lungs and helps strengthen it. Foods like dark leafy greens, citrus fruits, berries, papayas, bell peppers and tomatoes among others.
Vitamin C is one of the most important antioxidants that has the ability to repair and aid tissue growth Photo Credit: iStock
2. Vitamin E
Vitamin E creates a defense mechanism against injury to human tissues. Making it a part of your daily diet will help fight against the damage of tissues and eventually build a stronger immunity. Vitamin E diet may include dry fruits like almonds, fish like salmon, eel and roe fish and various spices and herbs like chili powder, oregano, basil, parsley and cloves. Adding them to your diet will help build a better defense mechanism.
Vitamin E creates a defense mechanism against injury to human tissues
Beta Carotene is full of antioxidants and plays a key role in controlling inflammation. Vitamin A is known to convert from beta-carotene which is generally found in leafy vegetables, pumpkins, carrots, spinach, radish, broccoli and coriander seeds. If you aren't already adding these veggies in your diet, it is time to do so.
Beta Carotene is full of antioxidants and plays a key role in controlling inflammation
4. Omega-3 Fats
Omega-3 Fatty acids generally help the body against the harmful effects of air pollution on one's heart health and lipid profile. Some important foods include nuts and seeds like walnuts, chia seeds and flax seeds which can be easily included your daily diet. Other foods may include mustard seeds, methi seeds, green leafy vegetables, kala chana and rajma.
Omega-3 Fatty acids generally help the body against the harmful effects of air pollution
5. Magnesium Rich Foods
Magnesium is a mineral that helps boost your natural defenses and relaxes your lungs from the excessive pressure. The magnesium rich foods include nuts, seeds especially pumpkin seeds and legumes, spinach, yogurt, avocado, figs and magnesium among others.
Magnesium is a mineral that helps boost your natural defenses