Best and Worst Foods for Lung Health

The lungs play a crucial role in our survival because they are a part of the respiratory system that has to work constantly to provide the body with oxygen and expel carbon dioxide.

The lungs also complement the body’s immune system by gathering and eliminating allergens and pathogens that we inhale. Since the lungs have so many important tasks that support our overall health, it becomes imperative to keep them healthy by not smoking or consuming foods that may harm their functioning.

Here are the foods that can support the health of the lungs.

1. Apples

Vitamins A, E and C in apples may reduce the risk of wheezing. A study conducted in the U.K. found that children who drank apple juice regularly had a lower risk of developing wheezing when compared to children who didn’t. It was also found that children of women who consumed apples throughout their pregnancies also had a lower risk of respiratory issues.

2. Water

Our body needs water to stay hydrated and healthy, and the lungs need a certain amount of water to maintain the healthy flow of blood and mucus.

3. Ginger and Garlic

These pungent aromatics are often used together to flavor various dishes, but did you know that they could support respiratory health? Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that can help the lungs keep pollutants from accumulating and garlic may support immune health.

4. Cruciferous Vegetables

Vegetables like kale, cauliflower and broccoli may support the body by reducing the risk of certain cancers like lung cancer. They may also provide antioxidants for cellular health.

5. Pomegranates

The deep red jewel-like seeds of the pomegranate are rich in antioxidants and could curb the growth or spread of tumors in the lungs.

6. Green Tea

Rich in antioxidants like quercetin, green tea could help reduce inflammation, slow the release of chemicals that can cause allergies and also improve the flushing out of microbes from the lungs.

7. Orange Fruits and Vegetables

Citrus like grapefruits and oranges and vegetables like pumpkins and carrots can provide antioxidants and vitamins to support the functioning of the lungs. The vitamins C and B6 in citrus fruits could also improve the transportation of oxygen.

8. Beans and Nuts

The healthy fats in various nuts could support the cardiovascular system, which in turn can support lung health. The magnesium in most beans and nuts might also benefit the lungs.

9. Chili Peppers and Red Bell Peppers

Chili peppers have capsaicin, which may help improve circulation and immunity while activating the mucous membrane to catch and eliminate allergens. The red bell peppers provide antioxidants that may reduce the risk of cancer.

10. Foods to Avoid

Allergies can trigger bouts of sneezing, wheezing and coughs and it is recommended to avoid allergy or asthma-triggering foods like peanuts, salt and shellfish.

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LewisJun, A. (n.d.). Healthy Lung Foods to Help You Breathe Better. Retrieved from

Pulsipher, C. (2017, May 15). 14 Foods for Healthy Lungs and Improved Breathing. Retrieved from