That smoking is injurious to health is known to everybody. We have seen the warning signs literally shout at us, from billboards, print and media advertisements, and even on the cigarette cartons, where the warning is usually accompanied by a grotesque image which portrays the after-effects of this dangerous habit. Before we delve into the foods which we can consume in order to detoxify our lungs, let us first see the effects which smoking can have on our system.
Every time we smoke a cigarette, toxic gases pass into your lungs and then into your bloodstream, where they spread to every organ in the body. A cigarette is made using tobacco leaves, which contains nicotine and a variety of other compounds. As the tobacco and compounds burn, they release thousands of dangerous chemicals, including over 40 known to cause cancer. Cigarette smoke contains the poisonous gases carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide and trace amounts of cancer-causing radioactive particles. All forms of tobacco are dangerous, including cigars, pipes and smokeless tobacco such as chewing tobacco and snuff. Nicotine is an addictive chemical in tobacco which induces a pleasurable feeling in the brain. Repeated intake of nicotine desensitizes the brain, making it crave more and more nicotine just to feel normal. The harmful effects of smoking include:
- Premature death
- Heart disease
- Heart attack
- Cancer of the blood and bone marrow, mouth, larynx, throat, stomach, kidneys etc.
- Cardiovascular disease
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, and many others
Fortunately, there exist few foods which may help in cleansing your body. Read the importance of each of these foods and include them in your diet to flush nicotine out of your body.
Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties which helps remove toxins from the respiratory tract. It contains many vitamins and minerals including potassium, magnesium, beta-carotene and zinc, and as an added bonus, helps spice up bland dishes! Certain extracts of ginger are also known to kill lung cancer cells. You can add ginger to many dishes as an herb or consume it in the form of ginger tea.
Also known as ‘Golden Spice’, turmeric also helps cleanse our lungs, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.
‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away’ goes an adage. It contains a wide variety of flavonoids, vitamins and antioxidants, especially vitamin C which helps us in fighting lung diseases effectively.
It contains a compound called allicin, which acts as a powerful antibiotic agent and helps overcome respiratory infections that clog our lungs. It also helps reduce inflammation, improve asthma and reduce the risk of lung cancer.
Green tea contains powerful antioxidants which are instrumental in boosting cardiovascular health, protect against various cancers and remove fluids from our lungs. The herbs present in green tea help loosen mucus from the linings of our lungs and are antimicrobial in nature.
The chlorophyll present in these vegetables acts as detoxifiers and helps in filtering the blood and flushing out toxins from our body. Some examples of cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussel sprouts etc. These are also rich in vitamin C, which boosts our immune system.
There are many other foodstuffs which help in combating the harmful effects of smoking and detoxify our body from within. The important point to remember is that a diet rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants can enhance our immunity and help us withstand the adverse effects and conditions. We should make it a point to include such items in our diet in order to lead a healthy life.