16 Lung Healthy Foods

a cup of olive oil

See the Best Foods For a Good and Healthy Lung

The lung is an essential organ of the body that needs to be kept healthy and functioning throughout your lifetime. This pair of important organs can be harmed by some environmental, dietary, and lifestyle factors. Certain health conditions can also take a toll on the proper functioning of the lungs. Some of these common health conditions include; asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, and obstructive pulmonary diseases, which are capable of reducing or affecting the quality of your life.

Over the years, a number of researches have discovered the usefulness of lifestyle and dietary modifications that can help protect the lungs and ensure that it functions properly. These modifications help prevent lung damage and reduce lung diseases.

Some foods have been identified to be highly beneficial in the protection of the lungs and improvement of lung functions.

Lung-Friendly Foods

The following are 16 foods that contain properties that can help boost lung function.

Beet Greens and Beet

The compound contained in beets is capable of optimizing the functioning of the lungs. Both beet greens and beetroots contain a compound known as nitrate, which has been discovered to be effective in the protection of the lungs. Nitrate is popular for the following health benefits; regulating blood pressure, optimizing the intake of oxygen, and relaxation of blood vessels.

People with lung conditions like pulmonary diseases or pulmonary hypertension who consumed beet supplements reported improvement in symptoms of their condition. Pulmonary diseases and hypertension are major markers for increased blood pressure in the lungs.

Other nutrients contained in beetroots and beet greens include; magnesium, potassium, carotenoids, antioxidants, and vitamin C. All these nutrients are beneficial and essential to ensure a healthy lung.


Peppers are packed with high vitamin C contents. Vitamin C acts as an active antioxidant in the body and is particularly beneficial for smokers. Vitamin C is a water-soluble nutrient that gives your optimum lung protection.

The adverse effects of smoke in the lung require that smokers consume large and healthy amounts of vitamin C daily, something to the tune of 35g per day.

The research found that smokers who consumed vitamin C daily have better and improved lung function compared to those who did not.

Peppers provide at least 169% of the required daily value intake of vitamin C.


Consuming apples regularly can provide various health benefits, even beyond just the protection of the lungs. This affirms the popular aphorism “one apple per day keeps the Doctor away.”

Apple boosts the function of the lungs by eliminating lung decline in old people and in ex-smokers. Consuming about 5 apples in a week can reduce your risks of developing lung diseases and lung damage.

Coupled with their high vitamin C content, apples contain properties like flavonoids that reduce the risks of other breathing conditions like asthma and lung cancer.


Pumpkin provides varieties of healthy lung properties. They are packed with high contents of carotenoids, some of which include zeaxanthin, lutein, and beta carotene, all of which contain high anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

When compounds like carotenoids are surplus in the blood, the risks of liver damage drop below 2% both in adults and in children.

Smokers and ex-smokers are advised to consume foods that are high in carotenoids. One of the richest sources of carotenoids is pumpkin.

The research found that people who smoke have 20% lesser carotenoid contents in their blood compared to those who do not smoke, and this leaves them at the risk of having higher chances of developing health issues like lung cancer and lung damage, and other diseases.


Turmeric is a kitchen spice that has proven to be effective in the medicinal world. Its effectiveness in the relief of symptoms and the prevention of health conditions is due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory contents. Curcumin is an essential component of turmeric and has been found to support the proper functioning of the liver.

The research uncovered that a high intake of curcumin could translate to improved lung function, and the lungs of smokers who consume curcumin-rich foods tend to have improved and better lung function compared to smokers who have low curcumin contents in their blood. It gives the lungs of the former 9.2% more advantage over the latter.


A picture of tomato fruit and juiceLycopene is a plant-based compound that is commonly found in tomatoes and tomato products. It is a carotenoid antioxidant that is effective in the improvement of lung function.

Healthy tomato consumption has been associated with the elimination of inflammation in the airway of people with breathing or lung problems like asthma and pulmonary diseases.


Blueberries contain high amounts of nutrients that provide numerous health benefits, which include the preservation and protection of the lungs.

Blueberries contain the following compounds; anthocyanins, petunidin, cyanidin, peonidin, malvidin, and delphinidin. Some of these compounds have been associated with the protection of lung tissues and are effective in the preservation of lung cells and tissues from oxidative damage.

Regular consumption of blueberries can reduce the risks of lung decline by up to 30%.

Green Tea

Green tea contains epigallocatechin gallate, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties that are responsible for the prevention of scarred lung tissues and fibrosis. Fibrosis is a disorder of the lungs that results from the scarring of lung tissues. Epigallocatechin gallate has been discovered to help in the remedying of this tissue scarring. According to research, people suffering from fibrosis and who were given green tea reported a reduction in the fibrosis markers within 2 weeks.

Red Cabbage

Red cabbage contains anthocyanins compounds that ensure the elimination of lung decline. It also contains fiber that is an essential component for the protection of the lungs.

Olive Oil

Olive oil‘s health benefits have been associated with the protection of the lungs against asthma. It contains a high content of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant content like polyphenols and vitamin E, which are responsible for its numerous health benefits.

Studies found that olive oil is healthy and beneficial for smokers and also for those who have breathing problems like asthma.


Oyster contains zinc, B vitamins, selenium, and copper, all of which are essential to lung health. People who have high contents of these compounds in their blood tend to have more improved lung function compared to those who have low levels of the compounds. Its zinc and vitamin B contents are essential for smokers and ex-smokers.

In addition, since smoking reduces the content of B vitamins in the body, oysters replenish them and beat down smokers’ risks of developing pulmonary diseases.


yogurt and fruitYogurt is packed with potassium, calcium, selenium, and phosphorus. These are nutrients that are active in the boosting of lung functions and the reduction of lung diseases and cancer risks. Research on a group of Japanese discovered that people who have high selenium, potassium, and calcium contents in their blood have lesser risks of developing pulmonary diseases by having about 36% reduced risk.


Coffee does not only boost your energy and keeps you active all day. It also has the tendencies of giving your lungs optimum protection. Coffee contains antioxidants and caffeine, both of which can positively impact your lung health.

Studies found that regular consumption of coffee can reduce the risks of respiratory illnesses and protect the lungs from damage. The caffeine content of coffee gives coffee the ability to open up clogged blood vessels, which can improve the condition of those with asthma.


Barley is one of the most nutritious whole grains in the world. Its high fiber content makes it highly nutritious. Asides from reducing the risks of lung damage, it also eases the bowel and supplies the body with essential nutrients.

Some of the properties found in barley include vitamin E and flavonoids, both of which are known to help boost lung health and protect the lungs against cellular damage.


Lentils contain high copper, iron, magnesium, and potassium content. These contents give lentils the ability to support lung health. People who consume lentils with high fiber foods experience reduced risks of developing pulmonary diseases and lung cancer.


Cocoa products have high flavonoids, antioxidants, and theobromine contents that ensure the relaxation of the lungs’ airways. It reduces respiratory allergic reactions and protects the lungs from cancer.

In conclusion, the adoption and consumption of a healthy and lung-friendly diet is a great way to protect, preserve and support the lungs’ health.