These 5 Super Foods in your Diet can fight Air Pollution Effects
Air Pollution Effects on health
Air pollution has now reached hazardous levels in most of tier 1 and tier 2 cities in the country. The most harmful pollutants include carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), volatile organic compounds (VOC), nitrogen oxide (NO2) and particulate matter (PM). According to the World Health Organization, outdoor air pollution is one of the leading causes of death and diseases globally. Air pollution (ambient and indoor) kills seven million people every year. Immediate effects of air pollution include irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. Some pollutants can also be the cause of asthma and may aggravate the condition of a person who is already suffering from asthma. These effects are mostly short-term and can be treated. Long-term effects include respiratory diseases, heart disease and cancer. These may show up after long or repeated periods of exposure and can be fatal. These hazardous effects of air pollution not only affect the people stepping outdoors but also to the ones who stay indoors. While wearing a mask and avoiding areas with poor air quality is helpful, you should also include foods to combat air pollution in your diet. Addition of such food items in diet can increase your immunity against pollutants.
5 Foods to Include in your Diet to build Resistance against Air pollution
It is crucial to have the correct diet to fight air pollution. Most important of all are antioxidants, which protect our body from harmful effects of air pollution. So, be sure to include the following nutrients in your daily meals.
Vitamin E, a fat-soluble vitamin, is the first line of defence against injury to human tissues. This vitamin usually comes in our diet from plant-based oils like sunflower, safflower and rice bran oil. Canola, peanut and olive oil are also rich sources of vitamin E. Almond, sunflower seeds and nuts also contain the vitamin but you keep a check on their consumption due to their high-calorie content. Non-vegetarians can include salmon, roe and eel as a part of their diet to fight air pollution. Spices and herbs such as chilli powder, paprika, cloves, oregano, basil, and parsley also contain vitamin E. But most of them are consumed in small quantities. So, adding them in your regular meals would be effective.
2. Vitamin C
This water-soluble vitamin is the most potent antioxidant for our body. Vitamin C also contributes to Vitamin E regeneration. It is easily available in citrus fruits. Adults require 40mg/day of this vitamin. Vegetables like coriander, drumsticks, parsley, cabbage, and turnip greens are good sources of Vitamin C. Amla, orange and guava are some fruits which are rich in this vitamin. It is advised to include the juice of 2 lemons in your daily diet to fight air pollution.
3. Beta Carotene
Beta carotene is a red/orange pigment found in many fresh fruits and vegetables. This nutrient plays an important role in controlling inflammation and converts to vitamin A in our body. Studies have suggested that people who consume at least four daily servings of fruits and/or vegetables containing beta carotene have a lower risk of developing cancer or heart disease. Rich sources of beta carotene are leafy vegetables like amaranth (chaulai ka saag), coriander, fenugreek (methi), lettuce and spinach. Radish and carrots are also good sources.
4. Omega – 3 Fat
Another one of the foods to combat air pollution is Omega-3 fat. Including this in your diet, helps in protecting the body against the detrimental effects of air pollution your heart health and lipid profile. Fishes are rich sources of this fat. Vegetarians can try nuts, seeds like walnuts, chia seeds and flax seeds. Methi seeds, mustard seeds, green leafy vegetables, kala chana, rajma and bajra are also good sources of Omega-3 fat.
5. Ayurveda Solutions
Apart from the above-mentioned vitamins and fats, Ayurveda also recommends some foods to combat air pollution. Certain spices and herbs that have antioxidant qualities are mentioned below.
- Turmeric, a well-known antioxidant, is said to help protect the lungs from the toxic effects of pollutants.
- Turmeric and ghee mixed relieve cough and aid during asthma. Turmeric with jaggery and butter can be taken during an asthmatic attack to relieve symptoms.
- Jaggery mixed with onion juice can be taken during both wet and dry cough. This concoction is said to have an expectorant effect.
- A mixture of haritaki and jaggery can be taken before bedtime and in the morning as it is good for relieving phlegm.
- According to Ayurveda, a diet rich in butter and astringent food should be taken, as opposed to sweet or sour foods, during asthma. Wheat and cow’s milk are also believed to be beneficial for asthma patients.
- People suffering from respiratory ailments should include ginger, black pepper, tulsi, liquorice, nutmeg, mint and galangal in their diet to fight air pollution. These spices are said to help in curing these ailments.
A well-balanced diet is important to lead a healthy lifestyle. The addition of above-mentioned food items in your diet would help you combat air pollution. In addition to food, exercising regularly will also be beneficial. If the air quality around your home is very poor, investing in a natural air sanitizer like FOREST would help you maintain a healthy environment in your home.