Just think about how great a juicy, ripe tomato tastes. This delicacy is especially tasty during their normal summertime harvest period.
You may not know that tomatoes are a food that can help your lung health.
One study reported that each extra daily serving of fruit and vegetables could reduce the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by 4 to 8% in people who used to smoke or currently smoke.
Why Tomatoes May Help Your Lung Health
Tomatoes are a member of a plant group called the nightshade family, and this group also includes foods like potatoes, peppers and eggplant. One reason that tomatoes may help with lung health is they have high amounts of an antioxidant called lycopene.
Antioxidants are compounds designed to protect cells, which means they can help protect undamaged cells in your lungs.
Tomatoes also have potassium, B vitamins, vitamin E and other nutrients that may help reduce inflammation and boost the immune system.
How to Get More Tomatoes in Your Diet
Aside from the many lung-healthy nutrients they contain, tomatoes can also be used in various lung-healthy recipes. This means that it may be easy for you to boost your lung health with tomatoes.
For instance, you can use tomatoes in a lung-healthy caprese salad for a tasty lunch or dinner appetizer. They also go great as a side for your morning eggs or can be combined with other lung-healthy ingredients to make a tasty guacamole.
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.