5 Easy Ways To Keep Your Lungs Healthy and Strong

A Healthier Michigan

With viruses like Covid-19 and other respiratory diseases going around, keeping your lungs healthy and strong has truly become the difference between life and death. Your lungs are an essential organ within the body that’s in charge of supplying oxygen to every single cell in your body, as well as being in charge of filtering out airborne toxins. When your lungs are strong, there are less chances for tenacious diseases to attach to your lungs and wreak havoc. 

Thankfully, keeping your lungs healthy isn’t that hard. Here are 5 easy science-backed tips taken from researchers and doctors that you can do.

1. Quit Smoking

It should come as no surprise that quitting smoking is one of the tips on this list. Considering that at least a third of Americans die from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, otherwise known as COPD, stopping this horrible habit will already increase the health of your lungs almost immediately. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also said that by quitting smoking, people also lessen their risk of getting pneumonia, COPD, and complication-causing viruses by at least 60 percent. If you are a heavy smoker and need help to kick the habit, there are a number of apps you can download like QuitGuide and Smoke Free that can actually make your cigarette-quitting journey a successful one. These apps are also known to go as far as tracking any mood changes or smoking triggers and even find ways to help you get through them. 

2. Eat an Apple

There’s a reason why there’s such a saying as “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” According to immunologist Joanna Makowska, M.D., that’s because apples, and moreover apple skins, actually contain compounds known as flavonoids that not only lessen harmful inflammation within the airways, but they help strengthen the tissues that line the body’s lungs. To add to this, Finnish researchers have found that having one big apple a day will increase a person’s resistance to bronchitis, pneumonia and even lowers the chances of a chronic cough by at least 32 percent. Plus the extra Vitamin C is an added bonus for overall better immunity!

3. Breathe In Through Your Nose

Breathing is usually involuntary unless of course it has become a problem for someone. But while most don’t think about where they are breathing from, it’s actually recommended to breathe through your nose instead of your mouth for healthier lungs. A British study has said that when people breathe through their noses, the sinuses release a compound known as nitric oxide which slows down the growth of bacteria and viruses within the lungs. It also helps open up airways, which can improve the intake of oxygen by at least 20 percent.  

4. Get Enough Sunshine

People tend to hide from the sun more these days but they don’t realize just how important it is. According to Michael Holick, M.D., this is because sunshine provides the body with Vitamin D-3, a vital vitamin that assists in destroying viruses within the airways. Individuals can either soak up some sun for around 20 minutes a day, or choose to take a 3,000 IU supplement of Vitamin D-3, which is the recommended daily amount for many people. Harvard researches actually share that this could cut a person’s risk of lung disease by 70 percent. Of course, like with any other vitamin, supplement or medicine, be sure to discuss it with your doctor first. 

5. Change Up Your Pain Relievers

Many people don’t think much about taking pain relievers when they need them, but there’s an underlying danger when it comes to acetaminophen. This type of pain killer can actually age the delicate lung tissues when taken, which can then heighten the risk of particular breathing diseases like COPD by a shocking 40 percent, especially when they are used at least six times or more in a single month, according to researchers at Cornell University. Luckily, according to a British study, patients can change from acetaminophens to aspirin without causing any issues with the lungs. So the next time you want to increase your overall lung health, be sure to follow these very simple and easy tips!