Lungs Detox: What Food Cleanse Your Lungs?



Published on: 07-Nov-2022


10 min read




Kajal Tharwani


Lungs Detox: What Food Cleanse Your Lungs?

Lungs Detox: What Food Cleanse Your Lungs?

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Maintaining the health of your lungs is essential to feeling your best. However, common factors such as cigarette smoke, environmental toxins, and eating an inflammatory diet can impact these two vital organs.

Bad eating habits and lifestyle can lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD),  asthma,  and pulmonary fibrosis. 

However, studies have shown that lifestyle changes, such as eating a nutrient-rich diet, can help protect the lungs and even reduce lung damage and disease symptoms.

Furthermore, specific nutrients and foods have been identified as especially beneficial for lung function. Here we have compiled the foods to eat and avoid for the excellent health of the lungs. 

Table Of Contents 

1. What Affects Lungs Health? 

2. What Are The Foods To Clean Lungs? 

3. Foods To Avoid For Good Lung Health 

4. The Final Say 

5. FAQs 

What Affects Lungs Health? 

As the cold and flu season approaches, you or a loved one may experience phlegm or mucus buildup in the lungs. Though chest congestion can be uncomfortable and make breathing difficult, your body's natural response is to cough and mobilise mucus buildup in the lungs, causing the phlegm to loosen and thin.

If you have a persistent cough, you most likely have a mucus buildup in your chest. Although this is not a life-threatening condition, it can harm your quality of life. If untreated, it can lead to further complications.

Common Symptoms Of Lung Mucus 

According to Medical News Today, common symptoms of pulmonary mucus buildup include:

  • Wheezing
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Sore throat
  • Chest congestion
  • Cough that produces phlegm
  • Respiratory infection

You Can Also Read: Lungs Detox: How To Detox Lungs At Home?

What Are The Foods To Clean Lungs? 

It is a well-known fact that regular Pranayam and yoga practice helps to maintain healthy lungs. However, certain foods and nutrients have immensely improved lung health. Let us investigate these nutritious foods and their health benefits.

1. Garlic  

Garlic has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help with asthma, bronchitis, and lung cancer. Recent research has concluded that garlic has protective effects in lung cancer patients and can be used as a chemopreventive agent.

2. Turmeric 

Turmeric is widely used in Indian food preparations. Turmeric contains curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory properties. According to clinical research, curcumin is effective in pulmonary conditions with abnormal inflammatory responses, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, acute respiratory distress syndrome, pulmonary fibrosis, and acute lung injury.

3. Ginger 

We use ginger in a variety of foods and beverages. It has numerous health benefits for our lungs and bronchodilation, making breathing easier for asthmatic patients due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Ginger's bronchodilatory effects have been demonstrated in human clinical studies. Ginger also aids in the expulsion of mucus by breaking it down.

4. Fish 

Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, which benefit patients suffering from chronic lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties that help COPD patients reduce lung inflammation. In addition, fish oil protects against lung infections caused by the bacterium Haemophilus influenzae.

5. Citrus Fruits

Fruits like oranges and lemons are high in vitamin C and antioxidants. Vitamin C boosts our immunity and helps us fight respiratory infections. According to research, vitamin C-rich fruits reduce wheezing in children and improve lung function and breathing in COPD patients.

6. Onion 

One of the most popular vegetables among Indians is the onion. It has been used as a herbal remedy for colds, influenza, bronchitis, and whooping cough for years. It is high in micronutrients and vitamins. Onions are also anti-inflammatory and anti-asthmatic.

7. Blueberries 

Blueberries contain many nutrients necessary for optimal lung function. It contains anthocyanins such as cyanidin, petunidin, malvidin, and others that protect lung tissues from oxidative damage.

8. Green Tea 

Green tea has anti-inflammatory properties and has been shown to reduce the risk of lung fibrosis. Green tea contains catechin (Epigallocatechin gallate), which provides antioxidant properties.

Some researchers concluded that Epigallocatechin gallate might be beneficial in treating pulmonary fibrosis, a condition that causes scarring of lung tissue.

9. Yoghurt 

Yoghurt is high in potassium, calcium, and phosphorus, all known to improve lung function. These nutrients may also aid in the prevention of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

10. Cocoa 

Not only is your favourite chocolate delicious, but it also has several health benefits. The cocoa in dark chocolate has antioxidant properties and contains theobromine, a compound known to relax the respiratory system's airways.

Foods To Avoid For Good Lung Health 

Consuming certain foods benefits lung health; avoiding certain foods helps improve lung health. Here is the list of foods to avoid for lung health. 

1. Salty Foods 

Too much salt is dangerous for the lungs! In patients with lung disease, sodium causes fluid retention, leading to shortness of breath. Therefore, it is recommended to reduce your sodium intake by cutting back on salty seasonings and checking food labels to ensure they do not contain more than 300 mg of salt per serving.

To reduce salt intake, use herbs and spices to season food instead of salt, and read food labels before purchasing.

2. Dairy Products

Casomorphin, a breakdown of milk digestion, increases the amount of phlegm and mucus produced by the body. This can worsen coughing, causing wheezing and pain in COPD patients.

To reduce dairy consumption, substitute milk alternatives such as almonds, oat, or soy milk for lactose.

3. Processed Meats 

Cured meats and cold cuts contain nitrates, frequently added to these products for colour and to help them last longer. However, these nitrates have been linked to increased COPD-related hospital readmissions.

To limit your intake of processed meat, avoid deli meat or look for a no nitrates added label on the product.

4. Soda 

Soda consumption can be harmful to people with lung disease in a variety of ways. To begin, soda contains carbon dioxide to be carbonated, which can cause gas and bloat, making it difficult to breathe. Furthermore, the high sugar content can cause inflammation and weight gain, aggravating COPD symptoms.

To reduce soda consumption, try replacing soda with other noncarbonated, flavoured beverages such as tea, flavoured water, or natural juice.

5. Fried Foods 

Fried foods, such as french fries and onion rings, are high in unhealthy fats, which can cause bloating and discomfort by pressing on the diaphragm. These can cause lung discomfort due to bloating and leads to higher cholesterol and weight gain over time. These things can aggravate symptoms in people who have lung disease.

Avoid fast food restaurants and choose healthy foods to reduce your intake of fried foods.

6. White Bread 

Simple carbs, such as white bread, should be avoided because they require more work from the lungs to digest. You can improve your lung health by substituting whole-grain, complex carbohydrates for simple carbohydrates.

7. Potato Chips 

Potato chips are high in salt and saturated fat, which are bad for your lungs. Trans and saturated fats are bad for your heart and can raise blood pressure. The salt in chips can also cause water retention, making breathing more difficult.

8. Beer 

In general, alcohol can aggravate lung inflammation. Beer is a poor choice for those with poor lung health because it is carbonated and can cause bloating, putting extra pressure on the lungs and making breathing difficult.

The Final Say 

Lungs assist us in breathing, and we are alive as long as we breathe. Therefore, it is essential to understand how vital the lungs are for our lives. Regular Pranayam practice and eating healthy foods can help you maintain healthy lungs and overall body.


1. Is Egg good for the lungs?

Eggs are high in protein. They help to recover from respiratory infections and are rich in anti-inflammatory properties. The vitamin D in the eggs controls the inflammatory response in lung tissues.

2. Is lemon good for the lungs?

Fruits like oranges and lemons are good sources of vitamin C and antioxidants. Vitamin C helps to boost immunity and fight against respiratory infections. 

A few studies concluded that fruits rich in vitamin C reduce wheezing in children and improve lung function and breathing in COPD patients.

3. What vitamins help with the lungs?

A healthy and balanced diet gives you all the necessary vitamins for a good immune system. Some vitamins, particularly vitamins A, D, and E, are immune system superstars. They help protect the lungs from respiratory illnesses.

4. Does drinking warm water clean your lungs?

Warm water is very effective in detoxifying your body. The honey warm water drink is excellent for helping your lungs fight pollutants. The drink becomes more powerful when clubbed with a natural sweetener like honey to tackle attacks from free radicals.


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