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Kid enjoying fresh strawberries and milk for respiratory health
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Foods That Help Your Respiratory Health [Slideshow]

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For individuals struggling with asthma, COPD, breathing difficulty, adding certain foods to your diet may help. Even if you are looking to improve and protect your respiratory health. These dietary tips are a significant step in the right direction.

The Connection Between Diet and Respiratory Health

Many people have never thought about the connection between their diet and respiratory health. It turns out that the two can be related. For those with a medical breathing condition, if you are having difficulty breathing, your body will have to work harder when eating, as the process requires adequate oxygen intake.

Similarly, certain breathing conditions cause enlarged lungs, which leave less room for food that’s digesting in your stomach. Even for those without medical conditions related to respiratory health, keeping bodily inflammation in-check is essential to promoting healthy breathing, another factor affected by diet.

Check out the slideshow below to learn about foods that can help your respiratory health.

A basket of fiber rich foods such as apples, grapes, broccoli, and peppers
Image by Werner Weisser / Pixabay
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Foods Rich in Fiber

It's recommended that to maintain optimal respiratory health, individuals consume 20 to 30 grams of fiber daily. Foods that are packed with fiber such as beans and lentils are not recommended, as they can lead to gas, leaving less room for your lungs to work correctly.

The American Lung Association recommends fiber-filled sources such as: Whole-grains, fruits, and vegetables.

pieces of seared salmon on a plate that aid in respiratory health
Image by robson melo bob / Pixabay
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Foods With Lots of Protein

It's recommended that individuals consume high-protein foods to maintain respiratory health. Protein helps strengthen the muscles in your respiratory system, allowing them to function at their best capacity.

Recommended sources of protein include: Milk, fish, eggs, peas, and chicken.

A close up of cholesterol and sodium on an ingredients label
Image by Mark Poprock / Shutterstock
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Low-Sodium Foods

Sodium can lead to increased inflammation and high blood pressure, two things that are detrimental to your respiratory system. To improve and maintain respiratory health, stick to foods that are low in sodium. 

Many foods, such as soups, salad dressings, margarine, seasonings, and more, now offer "low-sodium" options. Look for these labels when grocery shopping to help limit your salt intake. If you're worried about sacrificing flavor, try adding various herbs to your favorite recipes.

water pouring into a glass to help promote respiratory health
Image by rawpixel / Pixabay
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Water

Water is essential to all of our bodily functions but particularly important for maintaining respiratory health. Increasing your water intake can help thin mucus that's stuck in your respiratory tract, so your body can get rid of it more easily.

This can be especially helpful if you're struggling with a cold, an upper respiratory infection, or illnesses such as bronchitis or pneumonia. 

Growing blueberry fruit stem with fresh blue berries hanging
Image by Paul Ramsay / Pixabay
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Foods with Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Inflammation in your respiratory system can lead to problems breathing as your bronchial tubes start to contract. To combat this inflammation, it's recommended that individuals consume foods with anti-inflammatory properties.

Foods with anti-inflammatory properties include: leafy greens, blueberries, olives, and walnuts.

Four large unpeeled onions that boosts respiratory health
Image by Manfred Richter / Pixabay
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Foods With Antioxidants

Antioxidants are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. They do so by protecting your cells from the effects of free radicals. Reducing inflammation in the respiratory system is key to maintaining healthy breath. 

Foods that are packed with antioxidants include: green tea, beets, turmeric, blueberries, ginger, spinach, and garlic.

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Anne
GR8NESS Writer
Anne is a GR8NESS Contributing Writer, covering mental health, self-development, body, health, and pet care. She believes that self-betterment comes from addressing all aspects of the mind, body, and soul. When she’s not writing, you will definitely find her giving her dog belly rubs and reading the first half of every book she buys.
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