Breathing is life itself, yet we seldom think about the health of our lungs. Let’s change that starting today.
The number one thing you can do to keep your lungs healthy is to not smoke. If you’re already not a smoker, that’s fantastic. And if you do smoke it’s time to make a plan to quit once and for all.
But not smoking is far from the only thing you can do to keep your lungs healthy. Following are 10 tips you can use starting today to keep yourself breathing easy for years to come.
Herbs and oils:
Sprinkled in recipes, brewed into teas, or just breathed in from a diffuser, herbs and their natural oils can work wonders for your lungs.
Eucalyptus – Don’t wait until you’re stuffed up and sick to use eucalyptus! Eucalyptus oil can help keep your airways open, clear congestion, and soothe sinuses. Plus, eucalyptus is a natural anti-inflammatory. Apply a drop on a cotton ball and take a sniff throughout the day, use it in a diffuser or add a few drops to your bathwater.
Oregano – You love it in Italian food, now love it because it helps keep your lungs clear! Oregano is a natural decongestant and antihistamine, so it keeps your whole respiratory system healthy. Try a couple of drops of 100 percent pure oregano oil in your favorite tea or a diffuser. A few drops mixed into coconut oil makes a great chest rub to help you start breathing easier. And be sure to use plenty of oregano in your favorite dishes.
Peppermint – You can thank the menthol in peppermint for its ability to keep you breathing easy. Since peppermint naturally helps relax muscles and acts as a decongestant, it’s doubly effective at keeping your lungs clear. Try several drops of peppermint essential oil in a pot of hot water to make a soothing steam you can breathe in.
Thyme – If you’ve got a cough, reach for the thyme. Thyme is a natural expectorant which will help clear the congestion from your lungs. Plus thyme keeps you breathing freely by soothing your airways. Use the fresh herb in your cooking. And try a few drops of thyme essential oil in a diffuser or steam bath to ease congestion.
Chances are you’ve never thought about how your diet may affect your lungs. But it turns out certain foods can help keep your lungs healthy and you breathing easy.
Apples – A study out of Britain found eating 2-5 apples a week could lower your risk of asthma by 32 percent! It turns out you may not even need an apple every day to keep the lung doctor away!
Coffee or tea – Coffee or tea fan? If so keep up the habit. Seven studies so far have linked caffeine to better breathing for up to 4 hours after you drink it. Caffeine naturally opens up the bronchial tubes in your lungs improving airflow.
Yellow bell peppers – Foods loaded in vitamin C, such as yellow bell peppers, can help kick your lung capacity into high gear. In one Japanese study children who ate the most vitamin C-rich foods were significantly less likely to have breathing problems than their peers who ate less of the vital vitamin. So, load up on your favorite vitamin C filled foods including peppers, cantaloupes, kale and kiwis to keep breathing easy!
More “breathe easy” tips:
But don’t stop at tweaking your diet and focusing on lung-friendly herbs. Because there’s more you can do to keep your lungs healthy.
Breathe properly – You take a breath an incredible 17,000 to 30,000 times a day. But if you’re like a lot of folks few of those breaths are the right kind. For healthy lungs, and a properly oxygenated body, you should be deep belly breathing. Several times a day focus in on your breathing, taking long, deep breaths and exhaling slowly for a couple of minutes. Bonus tip: Find something to make you laugh every single day. It turns out laughter helps clear your lungs and increases lung capacity, all while boosting your mood.
Take care of the air you breathe – If you’re breathing dirty air, your lungs will be dirty too. Invest in an air purifier and use all-natural cleaners and air-fresheners such as boiling cinnamon and cloves on the stovetop.
Exercise – The very best way keep your lungs healthy, besides avoiding smoking, is to simply use them. It doesn’t matter if it’s swimming, biking, walking or an aerobics class just make sure to fit in some lung-enhancing exercise every day!