Pneumonia, a common but potentially serious lung infection, can really throw a wrench into your health. But the good news is that there are steps you can take to protect your lungs and reduce the risk of getting pneumonia. It’s not just about medication or complex treatments; it’s about simple, everyday habits that can make a big difference.
Tips For Maintaining Healthy Lungs To Prevent Pneumonia:
Dr. Manoj Pawar, who is an Associate Consultant – Pulmonology, at Manipal Hospitals , Pune – Kharadi, said that maintaining healthy lungs and preventing pneumonia is crucial for your overall well-being. Some practical tips in simple terms to help you achieve this:
- Quit Smoking: If you’re a smoker, the best thing you can do for your lungs is to quit smoking. Smoking damages your lung tissue, making you more susceptible to infections like pneumonia.
- Avoid Secondhand Smoke: Even if you don’t smoke, exposure to secondhand smoke can harm your lungs. Stay away from smoky environments to protect your respiratory health.
- Vaccination: Get vaccinated against pneumonia. Vaccines can help your immune system fight off harmful bacteria and viruses, reducing your risk of pneumonia.
- Healthy Diet: Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. A well-nourished body is better equipped to fend off infections and maintain lung health.
- Exercise: Regular physical activity strengthens your respiratory muscles and improves lung function. It also helps maintain a healthy weight, reducing the risk of respiratory issues.
- Air Quality: Avoid exposure to pollution, chemicals, and allergens that can irritate your lungs. Use air purifiers and ensure proper ventilation in your living spaces.
- Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water to keep your mucous membranes moist and prevent respiratory infections.
In additiont, Dr. Apurrva Sawant, who is a Preventive Healthcare Expert, Doctor and Founder of Careport said, “Proper hygiene is a non-negotiable part of our lung health. Frequent handwashing and good respiratory etiquette, such as covering your mouth and nose while sneezing or coughing, can help prevent the spread of infections.”
“The power of having a good night’s sleep cannot be stated enough when it comes to maintaining healthy lungs. While sleeping, our bodies repair and rejuvenate including the immune system’s ability to fend off infections. Prioritising quality sleep is very important for the prevention of pneumonia and other respiratory illnesses,” she added.
Talking about those who are at higher risk such as the elderly, young children, and individuals with a bad immune system, Dr. Apurrva said that they need to take extra precautions like avoiding close contact with sick people, practicing proper hand hygiene, and following the recommendations regarding vaccination properly.
Foos Items That Keep Lung Healthy:
Dr. Mala Kaneria- who is the Consultant of Infectious Diseases at Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre, Mumbai said, “We are constantly exposed to many substances, including the air that we breathe, which is detrimental to our lung health. Also, with age, there is a physiological decline in lung function, which puts our lungs in jeopardy. Many times, all these insults are additive and the decline in lung functions renders us susceptible to many infections too.”
While exposure to pollutants, passive smoking , hereditary asthma and occupational exposures may be unavoidable, one definitely has the power to choose the right kind of food to improve lung health. Eating healthy food is overall important for your well being, but certain foods are known to provide benefits and have a positive impact on lung health.
Taling about the food items, she said, “We all know the adage, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Apples contain antioxidants and one of them called quercetin is known to decrease the rate at which lung function declines with age and also repair the lung damage caused by smoking, by acting as a free radical scavenger. A regular intake of apples reduces the risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.”
Pumpkins, as their colour suggest , are rich in carotenoids, which enhance lung function. Carotenoids are yellow, orange, and red organic pigments that are produced by plants and algae, as well as several bacteria, archaea, and fungi which give the characteristic color to pumpkins, carrots, parsnips, corn, tomatoes, canaries, flamingos, salmon, lobster, shrimp, and daffodils. Carotenoids are beneficial due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which also also improve the overall health.”
Coming to tomatoes, she said, “Tomatoes are endowed with generous proportions of a substance called lycopene, which is also a carotenoid and consuming tomatoes is favourable for the lungs.”
“Beetroot is another group of vegetables which has a positive impact on lung health by optimising oxygen intake. Additionally, beet also contains other nutrients like magnesium and potassium which are good for the respiratory system and the heart,”she continued to say.
“Last but not the least are green leafy vegetables. The entire family such as bok choy, spinach and kale are a rich source of carotenoids, iron, potassium, calcium and vitamins. These nutrients have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, which can help reduce lung inflammation and promote overall health,”she added.
[Disclaimer: The information provided in the article, including treatment suggestions shared by doctors, is intended for general informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.]