It’s all about ‘the breath’ in yoga or meditation practice, isn’t it? We say “take a deep breath” when we want to calm ourselves down. “Don’t hold your breath!” is a common saying too, and there are many more. Breathing is obviously, an important part of living; indeed being ALIVE! Respiratory health is so important! Do you know that we breathe in and out about 22,000 times every day? (source)
Our respiratory system is a crucial part of US. Every day, we breathe, ideally good air. We take deep breaths of clean unpolluted air ~ at least: In a perfect world, as ‘they’ say. Too often, we are living in homes where the furniture or carpets are off-gassing and the daily choices we make, include chemicals (beauty products, laundry, cleaning supplies etc.) from morning until night!
Recently, the huge forest fires burning over so much of North America and Australia, have made “breathing” a real chore for millions of people. I want to share some ideas for healing ~ for us all ~ and especially for those who have been affected by the intense smoke, ash, and many evacuated ~ during this stressful time. Anxiety has been a big part of all of this too, don’t you think?
Fall is a great time to give added thought to our respiratory system, and added nourishment to those life-supporting LUNGS!
Have you ever thought about giving added support to your lungs?
Here are some ideas for Respiratory Health:
- Avoid foods that can be allergy causing or sensitivity present.
The most common foods are wheat, sugar, corn, soy ~ for starters.
- Decrease mucus forming foods which clog the lungs and nasal passages.
Dairy, heavy meats can help mucus to form.
- Decrease digestive mucus membrane irritants. When they get irritated, they produce more mucus and the respiratory membranes produce more mucus by reflex. Anything that irritates the digestive tract will lead to over-production of mucus in the digestive and respiratory tracts.
Coffee is a digestive irritant, for example.
- Increase aerobic exercise to increase blood flow to the respiratory system. This, helps to thin mucus, and stimulates the mucociliary escalator. Do not exercise in polluted places. Do not swim in chlorine.
- Avoid very cold foods and drinks as they ‘freeze’ the lungs and weaken the immune response in the respiratory tract. They cause an increase in mucus production in the lungs and a decrease in activity of the phagocytes in the lungs. This paralyzes the mucociliary escalator (which helps mucus come up and out of the lungs) and constricts the bronchial passages. This interferes with gas absorption and the release of histamine. Cold food and drinks decrease the metabolic rate of the cells (in other words: weakens what they do).
Choose nutritive warming foods and room temperature or warm teas.
- Avoid airborne allergies. Stay inside when necessary (during times of extreme ‘high alert’)
- Breathing habits: Through the nose (the nose clogs up when mouth breathing), breath slow and deeply (lungs clog up if breathing is shallow).
- Avoid using chemicals ~ cleaning, laundry, etc.
Choose to make your own or purchase non-toxic non-chemical products.
- Consider herbal support for your lungs and respiratory system. Check out this post “Lung Herbs”
- For additional support, consider a good quality supplement with vitamins A,C,E and Selenium. I like Sisu (Ester-ACES)
and another with Vitamin D3. I use I D Drops.
Sisu also produces a good Co-Q10 and I like NAC from Jarrow Formulas
(both are known to support the respiratory system)
Probiotics have been well researched and important to consider. I take this brand from
Kyo daily. I believe that we should change the brand of probiotics every few months as the body responds better to slight changes in formulas. I also like this gluten free option from Now Foods. There are many reputable brands. Your local health food store will offer choices.
Herbs can help. Whether daily supportive teas or tinctures/extracts, there are definitely good choices for lung support and for overall respiratory system function. I promise ~ when combined with some or all of the above ideas! Herbs will not be as helpful if we don’t support ourselves with these ideas for overall vitality. Here’s the post with my favourite lung herbs.
My eBook “Cold + Flu Season ~ Are YOU Ready?” offers ideas for overall health and specific symptom treatment during the ‘season’ and year ’round!
Check it out here.
Respiratory Health ~ Here’s to yours !
green blessings, Carol