Status: Eat healthy to protect your lungs from cigarette smoke
Did you know that a smoker's body starts healing soon after he has kicked the butt? Based on a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a smoker's heart rate decreases just within 20 minutes of taking the last drag. And, his lung function improves within 3 minutes of smoking the last cigarette. This means that if you do not light up for 10 years, lung cancer risk will be half that of a chain smoker. While your lungs begin to heal after you've quit, there are certain food items that protect your lungs from cigarette smoke. Here are three of the most important ones:
Based on a study published in the 'Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention', the intake of more vegetables and fruits may reduce the possibilities of developing lung cancer in active smokers. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower are considered as great cancer fighters. These vegetables repair the damage done by carcinogens to your body cells before they turn cancerous. Research shows that Brussels sprouts and broccoli lessen lung cancer risk by 40 percent. Smoking drains your body of folate, a B vitamin that protects your body cells from carcinogens. According to a study at the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, ex-smokers who included more folate in their diets lowered the possibilities of developing lung cancer by 40 percent.
2. Food Rich in Flavonoids
Food rich in flavonoids such as epicatechin, kaempferol, catechin and quercetin have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties to protect smokers' lung from nicotine damage. Flavonoids, for example, protect smokers from lung cancer by checking cancer cell’s growth and fighting the DNA damage caused due to smoking. Green tea, strawberries and black tea are rich in catechins while apples contain kaempferols. Eat more beans and onions that contain quercetin.
3. Papaya, Collard Greens and Cantaloupe
Reduce the risk of developing emphysema, a lung disease, by eating food rich in vitamin A. This is a lung condition related to smoking, and is caused by the carcinogen benzyopyrene found in cigarettes. Eat collard greens, papaya and cantaloupe to make up for vitamin A deficit.