Lung health may seem like a strange topic for the month that's associated with the heart, but lung health is largely influenced by heart (or cardiovascular) health so is much more relevant than it might appear. We tend to take breathing for granted, but it's so very essential! There are a number of things we can do to promote the health of our lungs preferably before we have any problems.
Pneumonia is the leading infectious cause of death in children worldwide
A recent study has drawn attention to an association between being hospitalized for pneumonia and subsequent risk of cardiovascular disease, most notably in seniors, but also in younger adults. For those aged 54 and older, the increased risk is highest in the first year following the infection, but the risk remains elevated for a decade. In the first month, their risk of having a heart disease event is four times higher than that of people who were not hospitalized with pneumonia. For younger adults, the risk is also elevated, but not to the same extent and it appears to level off after two years. This study reinforces the connection between lung health and heart health.
Chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD)
COPD is a serious and progressive lung disease which develops when lungs become damaged from smoking and/or heavy expoure to pollution, chemicals or dusts. There may be a genetic predisposition to COPD. Airways become partially blocked making it hard to breathe. The damage is irreversible and there is no cure. However, you can do a lot to slow down its progression and live a higher quality, longer life. Early diagnosis can improve a person's prognosis. The best option is, of course, prevention.
According to the World Health Organization, asthma is now a serious public health problem with over 235 million sufferers worldwide. According to Statistics Canada 8.5% of the population aged 12 and over have been diagnosed with asthma as of 2010. Asthma is most common during childhood and affects at least 13% of Canadian children. It is a major cause of hospitalization of children in Canada.
There are many risk factors and triggers for asthma. They include:
The main cause of lung cancer is smoking - the more you smoke and the longer you smoke, the greater your risk of developing lung cancer. Exposure to second-hand smoke also increases your risk of lung cancer. Other causes include a family history of lung cancer, exposure to air pollution, exposure to asbestos and also petroleum (crude oil), radon gas and other chemicals.
There are many things you can do to keep your lungs healthy.
Some things you can do to avoid second-hand smoke:
Wash your hands properly with regular soap and water. It's estimated that hands spread 80 percent of common infectious respiratory diseases like colds and flu. You can reduce your risk of getting sick by learning how and when to wash your hands, and by teaching this skill to your children. Avoid anti-bacterial soaps and cleaners - using these can lead to antibiotic resistance. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when you don't have access to soap and water.
Be aware of air pollution and do your part to keep the air clean. Indoor and outdoor air pollution can cause health problems, especially for people with lung diseases. Air pollution can irritate, inflame or destroy lung tissue. Even low levels of air pollution can cause health problems. Children, seniors and people with chronic health problems have a higher risk of getting sick from air pollution. If you're at high risk, it's best to stay indoors when the air quality index indicates high levels of air pollution.
Exercise is important to keep your lungs healthy. Lungs rely on the diaphragm muscle, so exercise doesn't necessarily strengthen them, but any improvement of the cardiovascular system makes the job of the lungs easier. Do something active for at least 30 minutes per day even if you break this up into, say, 3 ten-minute periods of activity.
Foods for healthy lungs and easier breathing
We can nourish our lungs indirectly through the cardiovascular system by eating a diet high in fruit and vegetables, and including plenty of water. Good hydration levels can, for example, play an important role in reducing or eliminating asthma attacks. Specific foods that promote lung health include:
Garlic and onions are great for the heart, and therefore the lungs too. They reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol and fight infection.
Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and promotes the elimination of pollutants from the lungs.
Chili peppers are filled with capsaicin, the spicy compound that makes them hot. Capsaicin improves blood flow, stimulates mucus membranes, and fights infection.
Cruciferous vegetables - cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and kale have been shown to halt the progression of lung cancer, and cut the risk of developing lung cancer in half. They are rich in chlorophyll that cleans and builds blood, and full of some very effective antioxidants.
Pomegranates - Pomegranate juice slows the growth of lung tumours. Pomegranates contain many antioxidants including ellagic acid, which is gaining in importance in cancer research.
Turmeric is related to ginger and has many of the same benefits. It contains curcumin that encourages the self-destruction of cancer cells.
Apples are rich in flavonoids, vitamin E and vitamin C, all of which help the lungs function optimally. People who eat several apples a week have healthier lungs.
Grapefruit contains naringin, a flavonoid that inhibits the activation of a cancer causing enzyme. White grapefruit contains a high amount of this flavonoid. Pink grapefruit has some as well, along with the antioxidant, lycopene. Grapefruit is especially good at cleansing the lungs after quitting smoking.
Beans, seeds and nuts are all rich in magnesium, a mineral that contributes to healthy lung function. They also provide essential fatty acids that are good for the cardiovascular system.
Carrots are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C and lycopene, all antioxidants that affect lung health and lower the chances of developing lung disease.
Oranges - Citrus is rich in vitamin C and vitamin B6. They help the lungs to tranfer oxygen.
Pumpkin is another food rich in beta carotene and vitamin , like carrots.
Red bell peppers are rich in vitamin C and the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. Carotenoids have been shown to cut the risk of developing lung cancer.
Eat well and breathe easier!
Zambroza is a blend of the most healthful fruits and nutritional supplements from all over the world. Zambroza is replete with xanthones, bioflavonoids and powerful antioxidants. Bioflavonoids give fruits and vegetables their bright colors. In the body, bioflavonoids enhance vitamin C absorption and help maintain collagen and capillary walls. They also aid in the body’s immune–defense system.
Super Vitamins & Minerals for vitamin A, C, E and numerous minerals. http://www.ramilas.com/store/#!/Super-Vitamins-&-Minerals-120-tablets/p/6402719
Ginger capsules are available directly from our office.
Vitamin E with selenium is available directly from our office.
Capsicum (capsaicin) is available directly from our office.
Cure-Q-Min (curcumin) http://www.ramilas.com/store/#!/Cure-Q-Min/p/21211310
Magnesium complex is available directly from our office.
LH-C - Tonic formula used in chronic weaknesses of the respiratory system. http://www.ramilas.com/store/#!/LH-C-100-capsules/p/6402684
AL-C - Contains herbs traditionally used for sinus congestion, bronchitis, sinusitis, headaches, asthma, chronic coughs, emphysema, tuberculosis, croup, sore throat, and the common cold. AL-C is available directly from our office.
AL-J is an excellent respiratory formula for relieving sinus and upper respiratory
For additional information, please email email@example.com; or call Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic at 613.829.0427 for an appointment. Please continue letting friends and family know about this newsletter. Also on our website, please see back issues of this newsletter, additional information about products, order products, and see information about our Clinic.
The suggestions and recommendations in this newsletter are not intended to be prescriptive or diagnostic. The information is accurate and up to date to our knowledge, but we are not responsible for any errors in our sources of information.
These newsletters will help you make better choices for better health. The choices that you make today can either have a positive or negative impact on your overall health. Begin by choosing better. It is a step toward longevity.