Juicing for lung health just makes sense. After all, without lungs, we can’t survive. And so many of us have exposed our precious lungs to so much, from pollution to smoking. So what can we do to remedy the damage?
Whether you’re living in a highly polluted area or you’ve recently quit smoking (congrats!) and you’re looking for a way to detox your lungs, one of the best things you can do is to add a load of nutrients to your diet that will target and repair lung cells.
So which nutrients are best to give your lungs a whole lot of TLC?
- Carotenoids. Also called tetraterpenoids, carotenoids are naturally occurring pigments in plants that provide the yellow, orange, and red color we see in certain fruits and vegetables. Carotenoids include beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Carotenoids are important for healthy mucus membranes in lungs. They heal and protect lung cells, and improve immune function
- Bioflavonoids. These are a class of phytochemical that helps the body maximize the benefits of vitamin C. Studies suggest that they have antiviral, anti-allergy, anti-inflammatory, and anti-tumor abilities.
- Vitamin C. Vitamin C is important for healthy immune function. A person who lacks vitamin C may suffer from poor lung health.
- Vitamins B3, B6, and B12. These vitamins have been shown to reduce asthma and allergy symptoms and improve lung function.
- Vitamin D. A person who lacks vitamin D is at greater risk for asthma and respiratory infections due to poor immune function.
- Quercetin. This is a natural compound and antioxidant found in leafy greens, tomatoes, berries, and broccoli. It has strong anti-inflammatory effects and has been shown to reduce asthma and allergy symptoms.
And of course, you can get all of these through a steady supply of fresh fruits, veggies and herbs…
Juicing for Lung Health: Which Foods are Best?
When you’re juicing for lung health, some fruits and veggies are better than others. Here’s what you want to toss in your juicer!
Watercress is a member of the cruciferous family and a leafy green as well as one of the best foods for lung health. Along with broccoli, kale, and spinach, it tops the bioflavonoid charts but it’s benefits don’t stop there – watercress has been shown to help soothe swollen airways and lubricate the lungs as well as to remove toxins and mucus from the lungs.
Studies have even found that it contains protective compounds like phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC), which acts as a chemopreventive agent against lung cancer that’s caused by the tobacco-specific lung carcinogens.
This one’s definitely a must-juice for smokers and ex-smokers alike!
Regular consumption of apples is linked to a lower risk of lung cancer. They can also reduce asthmatic symptoms.
Apples contain important antioxidants polyphenols and flavonoids which fight free radical damage by maintaining and repairing lung cells. They also contain vitamins C and E, which improve lung and immune function.
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower are directly linked to reduced risk of developing lung cancer. They are rich in chlorophyll which contains important antioxidants and supports blood health.
Broccoli is among the foods with the highest concentration of bioflavonoids. It contains vitamin C, carotenoids, folate, and phytochemicals, which are all linked to a reduced risk of cancer. So make sure to juice your fill of cruciferous veggies!
Blueberries are one of the most protective foods in the world, thanks to it ranking among the top foods with the highest antioxidant concentration including quercetin. Thanks to their abundance of antioxidants, they provide anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits that protect your lungs as well as the rest of your body.
Garlic is widely known for its heart-health benefits, but it is incredibly beneficial for the lungs as well. It is a natural anti-inflammatory and detoxifying vegetable, containing flavonoids which promote the elimination of toxins and carcinogens from the lungs. Regular consumption of garlic can halve the risk of developing lung cancer.
Cantaloupe is rich in vitamins A and C in the form of carotenoids which heal and protect lung cells. Carotenoids are associated with a reduced risk of lung cancer. A study on Japanese preschoolers found that those who consumed more vitamin C had significantly fewer asthmatic symptoms than those who consumed less.
Pomegranates are among the best foods to offer protection against the development of lung cancer. The seeds contain important antioxidants, including anthocyanins, which neutralize free radicals found in air pollution, preventing long-term damage. Pomegranate juice also improves blood circulation and helps in the body’s detoxification process.
Fruits and vegetables with bright yellow, orange, and red colors are rich in carotenoids. Carrot is no exception. Carrots contain beta-carotene, an important carotenoid and antioxidant that can help reduce asthmatic symptoms. The antioxidants in carrots also help boost immune system function.
Ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory and detoxifying food which promotes the elimination of harmful pollutants from the lungs. It is a circulatory stimulant, it eases respiratory congestion, and reduces inflammation.
Regular consumption of leafy greens like kale, spinach, and collard greens can reduce the risk of cancer and respiratory disease.
Spinach is topping the bioflavonoid charts including the USDA Flavonoid Database. That means that spinach contains antioxidants with antiviral, anti-allergy, anti-inflammatory, and anti-tumor benefits.
5 Lung Cleanse Juice Recipes
Juicing and blending fruits and vegetables is a great way to get the most out of all the important nutrients they have to offer so here’s 5 powerful lung health juice and smoothie recipes to get you started. Happy juicing!
Lung Detox Juice
This recipe is rich in bioflavonoids, vitamins A and C, and many other antioxidants and antiviral nutrients. It is the juice you want to be drinking for healthy lungs and for young age!
1 bunch watercress
3 large carrots
1 clove garlic
Directions: Juice and enjoy!
Lung Cleansing Juice
Here’s a simple juice recipe with lung-protective and digestion-boosting benefits. It’s full of antioxidants which fight free radicals in the lungs from air pollution. And both the watercress and pineapple reduces coughing and swelling. Overall, the perfect recipe when you need a quick and simple tonic for your lungs!
- 1/4 of a pineapple
- 1 large handful of watercress
- 4 – 6 kale leaves (Tuscan cabbage)
- 2 celery stalks
Love Your Lungs Juice
Carrots are full of those carotenoids that are so important for lung health. Cilantro helps detox the body of heavy metals, reducing the risk of cancer. The celery helps the body eliminate carbon dioxide, and the ginger promotes the elimination of harmful pollutant and irritants from the lungs, reduces congestion, and improves circulation. If your lungs are suffering from years of smoking, or you have a chest cold, inflammation, or phlegm, this is the juice for you.
1 pineapple center
3 celery stalks
Small handful of cilantro
1 inch ginger root, peeled
Directions: Place all ingredients into juicer, enjoy!
Lung Cleanse Juice Recipe
The carrots provide carotenoids. The grapefruit contains important antioxidants that inhibit the activation of a cancer causing enzyme and cleanse the lungs. The garlic removes toxins and carcinogens from the lungs and provides anti-inflammatory benefits. The pineapple reduces coughing and swelling. Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable that has been linked to reduced asthmatic symptoms and lowers the risk of developing lung cancer.
1 grapefruit, peeled
2 garlic cloves
4 cabbage leaves
1 cup pineapple
Directions: Juice all ingredients together, stir, and enjoy!
Carrot Lung Cleanse Juice Recipe
This recipe contains so many important antioxidants from the apples, carrots, lemon, and orange that reduce the risk of developing lung cancer.
2 large apples
½ peeled lemon
1 large orange
2 large peaches
Directions: Put all ingredients into juicer, enjoy!