If you have asthma attacks or any other type of breathing problem, having a healthy size lung capacity is paramount in providing your body with more oxygen. An increase in oxygen is so important for many reasons, not just for relieving asthma attacks.
Recently I read that cancer cells can’t survive in the body if the cells are well-oxygenated and the writer went on to say, ‘Have you ever heard of cancer of the heart?’ I thought no I haven’t! However, we have all heard of lung cancer being common in smokers because their oxygenated cells are damaged.
Anyway, an increased amount of oxygen makes your lungs more capable of restoring cell health while removing the carbon dioxide that damages your cells. When there is enough oxygen circulating throughout your body your muscles will have more capacity to use these oxygen reserves as sources of energy during exposure to activities that require physical exertion.
However, as you age your lung capacity may decrease leaving you with not enough energy reserves. The decline in lung capacity may also lead to a higher risk of heart attack and stroke. Many older people have trouble breathing and therefore feel tired a lot of the time. The more tired they feel, the less they feel like exercising and so the circle of decline begins.
Improve Lung Health For Asthma Relief
Fortunately, there are many ways in which you can increase your lung capacity, and in the process hopefully overcome the severity and frequency of asthma attacks.
Exercises are important to improving your lung capacity and in reducing the possibility of losing lung volume.
If you have a health condition or impaired breathing please do not forget to talk to your doctor first before starting any exercise program. Even though exercise is excellent, it does have to be monitored especially for people with severe asthma or breathing problems such as emphysema.
- Water Exercises
Submerge yourself until the water reaches your neck and do some stretching and weight lifting exercises. You may feel that the weights feel lighter because of the water around you but when you do this your blood shifts to your chest cavity resulting in quicker and shorter breaths.
Studies reveal that doing this kind of exercise on a regular basis will help your respiratory system use oxygen more efficiently which translates to better lung capacity and efficiency.
- Breathing Exercises
Inhale through your nose and take deep breaths. Exhale through your mouth but do this while your lips are only slightly opened so you can feel some resistance while exhaling. Practice this deep breathing exercise regularly so that your lungs will become used to holding air longer thereby stretching your lungs.
Diet and Vitamins
- Proteins – Your exercise regimen can benefit from a diet that is rich in protein. Protein is needed for building organ tissues. You also need plenty of essential vitamins that promote lung health.
- Vitamins – Vitamins may include beta-carotene that is beneficial for protecting your lungs against air pollution. Sweet potatoes, kale and carrots are a few examples that contain high levels of beta carotene.
- Vitamin C is also a very important antioxidant. You also need to eat foods that are rich sources of vitamin E to enable your body to build new cells and fight against cellular aging.
- Selenium – Selenium is also needed to improve the elasticity of your lungs. Selenium can be obtained by eating Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, shellfish and shrimp.
Here are a few foods you may like to add to your diet.
Foods For Improving Lung Health
While carrots are famous for their beta-carotene, they also contain lycopene which is responsible for its color. An issue of the Carcinogenesis journal states that lycopene helps prevent the growth of lung cancer cells. The beta-carotene content of carrots is also helpful for staving off lung cancer.
Carrots serve as a nutritional goldmine for lung health because they are rich in falcarinol, lutein, zeaxanthin and other antioxidants that are beneficial in preventing the onset of lung deterioration.
Oranges are loaded with potassium and vitamin C. Studies show that people who are suffering from COPD and asthma are mostly deficient in many nutrients that are commonly found in oranges. Vitamin C helps prevent respiratory infections as well as other bronchial inflammation.
While citrus fruits are popular for their vitamin C content, oranges definitely are a winner. The orange rind contains natural antihistamine and anti-inflammatory compounds which are more reasons why oranges qualify as a lung-cleansing food. The lung-cleansing effects of oranges helps break down and expel congestion caused by cold, flu and bronchitis.
We all know taking Vitamin C supplements can help keep away the winter colds and flu!
The germ-fighting qualities of onions are useful for clearing up colds, sore throats and sinusitis. Its pungent flavor provides a stimulating effect that helps improve circulation, and promote perspiration to speed up the healing process of colds and flu.
Onions contain mild irritants that send messages to the lungs and signal it to start mucous-thinning secretions that lead to runny nose and watery eyes. These antibiotic and anti-asthmatic effects of onions are well documented in the journal of Phytotherapy Research.
A British study revealed that people who ate two or more apples a week were found to have 32% lowered risk of asthma compared to those people who ate fewer apples. Researchers said that this can be due to the flavonoids called khellin that are known to be helpful in opening up the airways.
- Flax Seeds
Flax seeds are rich sources of magnesium. Magnesium is known for relaxing muscles, including those muscles that surround the bronchi and the airways. Therefore, eating flax seeds may help with keeping your airways open making you less vulnerable to asthma attacks.
If you are someone interested in helping improve your asthma or any type of breathing problem, the above-mentioned foods may show signs of lung health improvement.
Whatever significant changes you plan to make in your diet and exercise regimen, never do it without first consulting an expert. This is a must especially if you have pre-existing medical conditions.
I know I personally have trouble taking deep breaths and often feel like I am only getting half my lungs full of air! That’s why I wanted to learn what I could do naturally to make my lungs bigger! I already eat carrots everyday because I love the crunch and taste and I have an orange tree in my backyard, however it doesn’t have oranges on it all year round of course.
Are you going to try these tips with me? Please let me know about your own breathing problems and if these tips sound like something you would like to try!