An apple a day…
For those living with a chronic respiratory disease like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary fibrosis (PF) , and interstitial lung disease (ILD), the symptoms can be hard to ignore.
As these diseases cause a steady drop in quality of life for those affected by them—whether you’re on medication or not—any form of treatment, natural substance or breathing technique to relieve these symptoms can be a godsend in improving your day-to-day.
Although we’ve talked about the importance of diet here, here, and here, changing your diet overnight can be difficult for anyone.
With that said, to ensure your body gets a healthy load of the vitamins and nutrients it needs to improve its blood flow (which delivers oxygen throughout the body) and your overall energy levels, a simple shortcut is juicing.
Juicing is just as it sounds, it’s the process of taking raw foods (fruits and vegetables) and grinding them to a pulp and separating the juices.
Although the skin of these fruits and vegetables are a great source of fiber, the juice alone is still packed fresh with crucial daily vitamins and nutrients.
With your health in mind, this article is here to provide a guide for Juicing for Healthy Lungs: 4 Recipes to Improve Your Respiratory Health.
Cherry Mango Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie
When it comes to chronic lung disease, the importance of reducing inflammation cannot be stated high enough.
As inflammation within the airways is a core condition of lung disease symptoms—particularly as it leads to the blocking of the lungs airways—reducing this inflammation (internal swelling) and lessening the restriction of the airways is key to better breathing.
With that said, carotenoids are chemical compounds found in mangos, carrots and plums, and are important for the healthy maintenance of mucus membranes in the lung tissue, helping to promote the healing and protection of lung cells.
- 1 cup frozen sweet cherries
- ½-3/4 cup water
- 1 cup frozen mango
- ¾ cup water
- Place the cherries and mangoes in two separate bowls and let them sit to thaw for about ten minutes.
- Blend the cherries first: place the cherries and a 1/2 cup water in the blender and blend on high until smooth. Add the other 1/4 cup water if it seems too thick. Pour into a glass.
- Rinse the blender pitcher and add the mango and the water. Blend on high until smooth. Add more water if needed. Pour into the glass on top of the cherry layer.
Ginger, Carrot, Turmeric and Grapefruit Juice
Although we’ve mentioned this before, the high anti-inflammatory properties of ginger cannot be ignored.
On top of that, vitamin C (found in grapefruit and oranges) is a significant vitamin in the reduction of mucus and continues to serve as a powerful antioxidant (helps protect the body from harmful free radicals in the air).
Further still, vitamin C has been commonly linked with improving overall immunity and improving lung health.
- 3 medium carrots
- ½-inch piece of fresh ginger
- ½-inch piece of fresh turmeric
- ½ grapefruit, peeled
Juice and enjoy!
There’s a theme here with anti-inflammation because it’s important to relieving your symptoms.
What’s also important is a little powerful antioxidant called quercetin found in apples, leafy greens, tomatoes, berries and broccoli. These compounds fight free radicals from damaging the body, reduce the effects of aging, and again, reduce inflammation.
- 4 celery stalks
- ½ cucumber
- 1 cup pineapple
- ½ green apple
- 1 cup spinach
- 1 lemon
- 1 knob ginger
Juice, stir, and consume immediately.
Martha’s Pineapple-Papaya Juice
On the topic of vitamins, there’s an important one we left out: B-Vitamins. This collective including folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 are important in their ability to improve cardiac function, which ultimately improves the heart’s ability to circulate blood throughout the body.
These vitamins found in fruits like oranges, papayas and cantaloupe are known for their ability to reduce incidences of asthma, and improve lung function and symptoms of allergies.
- 5 sprigs fresh mint
- 1 pineapple, peeled and cut into pieces
- 1 medium papaya, peeled and seeded
Ingredients through a juice extractor into a measuring cup. Stir to combine before drinking.
Christine Kingsley, APRN is the Health and Wellness Director at the Lung Institute where she focuses on providing helpful online resources for people looking for information on various lung diseases, breathing exercises, and healthy lifestyle choices. She advocates for holistic care that involves working with your doctor to explore all options including traditional and alternative care while focusing on diet and exercise as proactive measures.