Foods That Can Help Us Protect Our Lungs

Our lungs are the main part of our respiratory system. Its main role is to take oxygen from the environment and transfer it to the bloodstream. From there, it circulates to the rest of the body.
However, due to too much air pollution and an increased number of the population who smoke, lung diseases have increased drastically.

Luckily, there are certain foods in our diet that can help protect our lungs from harmful pollution and help us breathe better.

Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper is a hot chili that is used to flavor various dishes. It is rich in capsaicin, which protects mucous membranes in the lungs by stimulating healthy secretions. It can help protect mucous membranes from the upper and lower respiratory tract.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Olive oil is loaded with antioxidants and healthy fats and has been shown to offer numerous health benefits. Its monounsaturated fats, vitamin K, and vitamin E play a key role in protecting against oxidative stress in the lungs and preventing lung tissue damage.


Being a natural decongestant, ginger can help in clearing up clogged air passages and improve circulation in the lungs. Enjoy this benefit by having a soothing warm ginger tea or simply grate fresh ginger over dishes like stir-fries.


Present in broccoli is a compound known as sulforaphane. Experts have found that this important component can help increase the activity of a gene found in the lung cells that protects the organ from damage caused by oxidative stress and improves airflow in the lungs in asthmatics.

Apples And Tomatoes

According to a study, apple and tomatoes may play a role in helping to repair the lungs of ex-smokers.

Adil Akhtar, MD, an oncologist, and palliative care expert in Detroit, Michigan, says:

“Apples and tomatoes have the ability to help slow the natural decline in the lung functions. They contain high levels of antioxidants, which may be important in protecting the lungs from the harmful effects of atmospheric pollutants and cigarette smoke.”

Green Tea

Green tea contains various antioxidants that are good for the lungs. Its antioxidant quercetin acts as a natural antihistamine which slows down the release of histamine that causes allergy symptoms. Also, it may help decrease inflammation in the lungs and promote better healing.

Drinking two cups of green tea per day had been associated with better lung function, according to the 2017 study.

Foods Rich in Vitamin C

Having a daily dose of vitamin C from foods might have a protective effect against lung cancer, according to studies. Furthermore, research showed that dietary vitamin C can also provide protection against COPD, independent of smoking history.

Experts suggest consuming more foods rich in vitamin C such as oranges, pumpkins, apples, carrots, papayas, and red bell peppers.