Come winter, come smog. Smog is nothing but smoke + fog, a type of outdoor air pollution that can cause particular problems for people with existing health problems, including chest, lung or heart complaints. The following changes can help in strengthening the lungs:
Eliminate certain foods
Most lung disorders and infections, ranging from asthma, sinus to serious pulmonary disorders are caused due to the amount of mucus that builds up in our lungs. It is actually our body’s natural defence mechanism to trap certain bacteria and pathogens. If one is prone to snot formation, it’s recommended to avoid foods that trigger its secretion like milk, gluten, refined salt, sugar, oils, corn. Cucumber and yoghurt, at night, may not suit some and should be avoided.
Bring in some foods
Nature has given us some foods that can work as natural decongestants and expectorants like bromelain (pineapple extract), cayenne pepper, oregano, cardamom, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, castor oil, garlic, onion, ginger, black pepper, raw honey. Even ajwain (Bishop’s weed) works well in expelling
mucus, which is why ajwain potli, which is an age-old remedy, works as well as a nebuliser.
Practice yogic breathing
A lot of us don’t breathe to our full capacity. We breathe short and shallow which not only creates a shortage of oxygen in our body, but also fails to effectively eliminate toxins from our body. The pranayamic style of breathing, which teaches us ways to control our inhale and exhale is one of the most sought-after ways to improve lung health. Yogic techniques like Anulom vilom, Bhastrika, Kapalbhati really help. In yoga, these are also called shuddhi kriyas, because they help in cleansing and detoxification. For maximum benefits, one should note that the exhale must be longer than the inhale, preferably in the ratio of 1:2 (inhale: exhale).
Purify your home
Add some natural air purifiers into your living space like plants, blocks of activated charcoal, pink Himalayan salt lamp n Cut down the overall usage of chemically loaded household products n Refrain from smoking (both active and passive) n Take regular steam inhalations with turmeric powder and a few drops of eucalyptus/pine oil n Invest in an air humidifier n Exercising regularly helps build lungs that are strong enough to combat winter smog. In air filters, the activated charcoal absorbs many types of allergens and pollutants, leaving the air fresh and clean. For those suffering from breathing problems, activated charcoal air filters could be the best investment.