When we talk about “cleansing” the lungs, our first impression is a picture of a smoker with large black lungs. We often hear people say that eating this fruit is good for the lungs and eat which vegetables can “clean” the lungs, so these remarks are true or false, whether these foods can achieve a “clean” lung effect, we will discuss today.

Why are the lungs “unclean”?

(1) Smoking

The tar produced by smoking will accumulate in the lungs, and although the body has the enzyme to break down the tar, it can hurt the lungs and cause emphysema. In addition, tar contains many carcinogens and carcinogenic substances, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, benzos, dimethylnitrosamines, phenols, etc. In the combined effect of such substances become an important cause of lung cancer, but also the formation of the “black lung” we see the reason.

(2) Air environment

PM2.5 is a fine particulate matter with a diameter of less than 2.5μm in the air, which can stay in the air for a long time and travel a long distance, and is also known as lung-accessible particulate matter because of its small size and lightweight. PM 2.5 in the air can enter the bronchi and bronchioles through breathing and finally settle in the alveoli, causing irritation to the respiratory system and affecting lung function, inducing bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, exacerbating chronic and acute respiratory diseases such as bronchiectasis and emphysema.

If you work in an environment with a lot of dust for a long time, you must be alert to the occurrence of silicosis, an occupational disease.

Is it possible for food to “clean” the lungs?

The answer is no.

We often say that eating food good for the lungs are radishes, lilies, white fungus, bamboo shoots, pears, papaya, orange peel, almonds, and so on, these foods can promote the drainage of phlegm, or can nourish the lungs.

These foods are more or less useful to the lungs, but to expect them to cleanse the lungs is like a drop in the bucket. Because the damage to the lungs caused by these particles of smoke and airborne dust is continuous, and the irritation, inflammatory response, oxidative stress, and immunotoxicity caused by these particles in the lungs, some of them are irreversible, meaning that some of the damage caused to the lungs is irreversible, such as the inflammatory response causing the tissue to proliferate into the formation of scars.

However, it does not mean that these foods are not useful at all, but the role of dietary therapy is still relatively obvious when lung damage is mild. For example dark fruits rich in antioxidants such as strawberries and mulberries, fish rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, flaxseed oil, as well as carrots and chlorophyll-rich in carrots, spinach, mangoes, etc.

Therefore, in our daily life, we must pay attention to the surrounding environment, try not to smoke, and do passive smoking, when encountering hazy weather or poor air quality must wear a mask when going out, to protect our lungs. Don’t wait until your lungs have been damaged to rely on food therapy to “mend the fold”.

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