For many people in our country, Diwali season is the most important time of celebration and happiness. Yet, the after-effects of the revelry, seen in the ensuing air pollution, have long-term and devastating consequences. Most young parents are familiar with this rigmarole and soon after Diwali, they either leave heavily polluted cities for a few days or bring out the air purification paraphernalia in their homes, locking doors and windows shut. Fortunately, there is another method one can adopt to ensure immunity for their children from within – by including foods for combatting air pollution in their diets. Read on to know about the best foods for air pollution, so you are prepared for this season.
1. Foods Rich in Vitamin C
It is no secret that Vitamin C has numerous benefits for our skin and health, as it is tremendously rich in antioxidants. Vitamin-C rich foods add vitality and freshness to our bodies. A little known fact about this wondrous ingredient, however, is that our lungs require Vitamin C to maintain regular functioning. This makes it imperative for both adults and children to consume adequate amounts of Vitamin C to function optimally. And when air pollution is severe, they need extra amounts of it as the extraneous conditions are challenging.
If you are looking to include more foods in your diet for air pollution, include vegetables like coriander leaves, turnips, cabbage, parsley and drumsticks; as well as fruits like orange, guava and amla. Lemons and citrus fruits are other sources of concentrated Vitamin C that can easily be included in one’s diet.
2. Natural Spices
Natural spices, such as ginger, star anise, hot mustard and fennel have long been known as effective decongestants. Their superpower is enabling the body to handle stressors like pollution and environmental toxins. Another powerful ingredient is raw turmeric. Its curative properties are said to protect one from ailments like wheezing, allergic coughs and colds as well as more serious ones like chronic bronchitis. After all, homemade solutions like teas made with tulsi, ginger and raw turmeric have been touted as the best solutions to ward off illnesses by our mothers and grandmothers for centuries.
3. Green Foods
The merits of green-leafy vegetables in one’s diet cannot be regaled enough and their number is placed very high up on any list of foods for air pollution. Their chlorophyll content makes them powerful antioxidants which allows them to fight the harmful free radicals inside the body. Broccoli, celery and spinach are a must to combat the effects of air pollution as they contain lutein, carotene and zeaxanthin, which work on the immune system and protect our lungs. Spinach in particular is also rich in magnesium ions which reduce the impact of smog.
4. Nuts and Seeds Rich in Omega-3 Fats
Flaxseeds and walnuts are packed with Omega-3 fatty acids and phytoestrogens. These work to protect the heart and blood vessels from the harmful effects of smog as their antioxidative properties helps to cut down the stress in the body. They also help in reducing the symptoms of asthma and other lung allergies. The magnesium present in these nuts and seeds reduces inflammation and eases breathing.
5. Olive Oil
Though technically not a food, olive oil as an ingredient to cook one’s food can also help in combatting the effects of air pollution. This cooking oil contains mono and polyunsaturated fats and phytonutrients that help to keep the lungs fit even after they breathe in polluted air. Other advantages of Olive Oil such as reducing high blood pressure and improving the functioning of impaired blood vessels due to reduced oxygen supply in the body are also connected to the body’s overall fight against air pollution.
These foods for air pollution must be included in your diet at the earliest as an effective and easy way to sail through this time without incurring adverse health effects.