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Nature’s Wonders: The Best Foods For Your Lungs

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Healthy lungs start from your toothbrush | ERC: European Research Council

There is nothing scarier than the truth. In fact, the World Health Organization reported that around 235 million people are suffering from asthma, and 234,000 have lung cancer each year. Whether they smoke or not, the statistics don’t lie.  

However, there is only one thing that matters most. Everyone needs to take good care of their lungs. That being said, diet is one of the major factors to optimum respiratory health. There are countless studies about foods that protect the lungs from certain diseases. 

One of the best things I found out while writing this article is, some foods can reverse the effects of smoking. However, you must always keep in mind that there are foods that have opposite effects. 

We hope that after you read this content, you will include these foods into your diet. Let’s get going. 

Tomatoes 

The John Hopkins University researched in 2017, wherein they analyzed the lungs of people who used to smoke and how their diet affects their recovery. What they found out was quite astounding as it’s amusing. They found out that tomatoes can accelerate the recovery of the lungs. 

Additionally, tomatoes can prevent the damage from getting worse. Even better, tomatoes don’t just help smokers but everyone who eats them. That’s because, according to the American Lung Association, as people age, the lungs naturally start to decline. It starts at around age 35 because the diaphragm and the inner tissues start to get weaker.  

However, they found out that eating tomatoes several times a week can help delay this process. 

Pistachios 

White Yellow and Brown Peanut on Clear Glass Basin

Be careful if you are allergic to nuts. Pistachios have many amazing benefits for the lungs. In fact, a study from the American Association for Cancer Research reported in 2009 that pistachios could reduce the risk of lung cancer. 

According to Dr. Ladia Hernandez, a researcher from the University of Texas said that one compound has been effective at guarding the lung against lung cancer. That compound is gamma-tocopherol. Surprisingly, pistachios are rich in gamma-tocopherol and vitamin E. 

She advised two ounces or ¼ cup of pistachios a day is enough to keep your lungs healthy. 

Carrots 

Carrots had some major scrutiny in 2008 after a study in Cancer that said beta-carotene supplements could increase the risk of lung cancer. However, there are new studies that believe those claims. One of the most prominent is research from 2017 that reported eating carrots can lower the chances of lung cancer. 

The study concluded that vitamin C and carotenoids in carrots are nutrients that effectively guard the lungs against diseases and cancer. In fact, it contradicted the previous study as they find out that high amounts of beta-carotene can reduce the risk of cancer. 

Broccoli 

Here’s an interesting find. In 2011, researchers from John Hopkins University reported that oxidative stress could lead to COPD. Likewise, they found out that COPD patients are low in antioxidants. So, they tried to replenish that nutrient with broccoli.   

Broccoli contains sulforaphane, an antioxidant that has seen great results in reducing COPD markers in mice. Dr. Shyam Biswal of Bloomberg School said broccoli could also clean the bacteria in the lungs with the compound sulforaphane. 

That means eating broccoli will help clean your lungs, especially if you have COPD. 

Cayenne Pepper 

Surprised? Let’s continue. Cayenne contains a compound called capsaicin. Capsaicin is the same compound that gives cayenne its spiciness. However, it has another amazing benefit. According to Dr, Farshad Fani Marvasti, from the University of Arizona that cayenne can vitalize secretions in the lungs. 

These secretions are responsible for the opening of airways while protecting the lungs at the same time. Likewise, further research in Experimental Biology found out that capsaicin is effective in slowing down the spread of lung cancer. However, there is no proof that cayenne can be a form of cancer treatment but can lower inflammation. 

Garlic 

Photography of Garlic on Wooden Table

Garlic might be effective in eliminating dangerous lung bacteria. That’s according to research in PloS One in 2013. They tested allicin, a chemical present in garlic. They found out that it stopped the growth of infectious bacteria that can cause major lung infection. 

In 2016, scientists from the University at Buffalo found that eating garlic can lower the risk of lung cancer in participants. Likewise, a similar study conducted by Chinese scientists reported that eating garlic lowered the risk of lung cancer by 44%. 

Onion

Although onions have the notoriety for making people cry, it’s actually good for your lungs. A research conducted by Penn State University found that onions contain anti-inflammatory compounds that could ease the symptoms of asthma.   

Another study conducted in 2019 by the Scientific Reports reported that red onions could relieve allergy. However, they saw an exception in pickled onions. In fact, scientists found out in a 1990 research that Spanish pickled onions can cause inflammation in asthma. That was credited to the high sulfur dioxide and acidity. 

Apples 

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” However, you can say an apple a day keeps the pulmonologist away. Well, that’s just the conclusion from the John Hopkins study. In their European Respiratory Journal, scientists found that eating apples for over ten years have reduced the onset of lung disease. 

It can also help reverse the damage done by smoking, according to Vanessa Garcia-Larsen, the lead author of the research. 

Moreover, in 2000 scientists from London found that eating apples five times a week can help improve the health of the lungs. They credit it to the apple’s abundance of vitamin C and antioxidants that help clean the body. 

Turmeric 

Have you heard about curcumin? It’s the compound that gives turmeric the yellow-orange color. However, the benefits don’t end there. That’s because an animal study in Carcinogenesis found that curcumin’s anti-inflammatory capabilities can stop the development of COPD and lung cancer. 

Moreover, another study from 2007 reported that curcumin has protective capabilities. In fact, it could guard against lung injury, oxidative stress, and respiratory toxins. 

Green Tea

Person Pouring Liquid Into Brown Ceramic Cup

Green tea contains a high amount of antioxidants. In fact, it’s so high that it could possibly protect the lungs. Additionally, in 2007 a review by Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine reported that green tea could delay lung cancer in smokers. 

Interestingly, six years after it was backed by another study in Carcinogens. According to the study, green tea contains EGCG, which is effective in fighting cancer. 

Flaxseeds

Flaxseed has shown significant results in animal experiments. A study conducted by the Journal of Pulmonary & Respiratory Medicine reported that mice consuming flaxseed have less oxidative stress in their lungs. Another competent study by the Cancer Prevention Research said that flaxseed could stop the growth of tumors in the lungs. 

Moreover, flaxseed has also shown promising results with other diseases like pulmonary fibrosis. 

Ginger 

Ginger has many benefits when it comes to the optimal function of the lungs. The American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology noticed that ginger cleared airways in animal studies, relaxes the muscles, and allows mucus to flow, allowing people to breathe easily and efficiently. 

In 2018, Turkish scientists found that ginger can also heal lung damage caused by inflammation. They reported that ginger could stop bronchopulmonary dysplasia from spreading. 

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Diet & Fitness

6 Secrets of Asian Diet That You Should Try

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Vegetables and Noodles in Plates on Table

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the prevalence of obesity in the United States was 42.4%, and that was back in 2017~2018. That’s a very concerning piece of statistic because obesity has been linked to numerous health problems. 

There are several factors to blame for the prevalence of obesity today, but one of the main reasons is the diet followed by most people. To put it simply, people are not eating healthy.

One possible solution to the obesity problem is for people to explore the Asian diet.

Secrets of the Asian Diet

Obesity is not that prevalent in Asia.  In places like Japan, people tend to live very long lives. It has something to do with the diet that people follow. If you want to reap the benefits of the Asian diet for your health then here are some of its secrets that you should be aware of.

Secret # 1: Use Smaller Bowls and Plates

Don’t use large plates and bowls when you are eating. Asians mostly use smaller serving vessels for their meals, which translates to smaller portions and fewer calories. Finish what’s in your first bowl, then stop and decide if you really want to eat more.

Secret # 2: Use Less Oil

One of the reasons why the western diet is so unhealthy is because it relies too much on frying foods. While it is okay to eat fried foods from time to time, eating them on a daily basis can be a problem. The Asian diet does not rely too much on fried foods, and you should seriously consider that for your diet.

Secret # 3: Don’t Eat Until You Are Full

Unrecognizable woman eating delicious takeaway Asian dishes

This is a very good practice that originated from China which can prevent you from overeating. According to this concept, you should stop eating once you feel that you are 80% full.  There is some scientific truth behind this concept because the brain does not recognize right away that your stomach is already full, which is why people have a tendency to overeat.

Secret # 4: Cook Your Vegetables

Asians rarely eat raw vegetables. There are two reasons for that. The first reason is safety. Raw vegetables may have contaminants that can make you sick. Cooking them removes that possibility. Also, cooked vegetables are easier to digest than raw ones. Eating raw vegetables can slow down the metabolism of the body, which can lead to weight gain.

Secret # 5: Eat Lots of Grain

Asians love eating rice, wheat, and other types of grain.  But they don’t just eat rice; they also have a wide variety of rice that they include in their diet. Each variety has its own nutritional value and you can really benefit from eating as many varieties as you can.

Secret # 6: Go for Less Meat

The western diet emphasizes meat, and while that has its benefits, too much of that can be a bad thing too. Follow the Asian diet that emphasizes grains and vegetables.

This does not mean that you only have to cook or eat Asian dishes. The idea is to follow the healthy ideas connected with the Asian diet.

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8 Coffee Myths and the Truth About This Popular Beverage

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Person Filling Clear Glass Mug With Coffee

Around 64% of American adults drink coffee on a daily basis. That’s a lot of coffee, and Americans are not alone in loving this beverage. During the 2020-2021 period, 60-kilogram bags of coffee were used around the world. 

Because coffee is so popular, people have a lot of beliefs about it and its effects. It’s inevitable that some of the things that people believe in about coffee are wrong.

Here are 8 coffee myths that you should stop believing now:

Myth 1: Drinking coffee in the afternoon will lead to insomnia.

Yes, caffeine can keep your drowsiness away, but if you drink coffee in the afternoon, most of the caffeine in it should have been processed out of your body within four to seven hours after drinking it. That means if you drink coffee at around 3 in the afternoon, it should not affect your sleep.

Myth 2: You need boiling water on the coffee grounds.

If you use boiling water when making your coffee, the bitter oils contained in the grounds will also be extracted. Sometimes, the bitter taste of a coffee drink can be attributed to water that is too hot.

Myth 3: Coffee reverses the negative cognitive effect of alcohol

Jack Daniel's Bottle

This is one of the most prevalent myths regarding coffee and arguably the most disappointing one. While it can make a drunk person more alert, it will not sober him up. This can potentially lead to a more dangerous situation in which an intoxicated person might feel alert and capable of handling tasks like driving.

Myth 4: Coffee helps in weight loss.

Caffeine can increase your metabolism but only to such a slight degree that it’s negligible. Caffeine can also decrease your appetite, but that effect is only short-term.

Myth 5: Coffee can stunt growth.

This myth has been around for a long time, and it really has no scientific basis at all. But like other myths that have been around for a long time, a lot of people believe it without really checking the truth.

Myth 6: Caffeine can be highly addictive.

You can develop a slight addiction to caffeine, but it’s not as bad as other substances. Caffeine withdrawal symptoms should only last for a day or two, and you may not even notice them. 

Myth 7: Pregnant women should never drink coffee.

Pregnant Woman Holding Tummy

This one is kind of controversial, and it has coffee lumped together with alcoholic beverages. Experts actually advise pregnant women to  200 milligrams of caffeine each day which would be about a cup. It’s more of a personal choice because there is no solid evidence yet that caffeine is harmful to the baby.

Myth 8: All Coffee Are the Same

Some claim that all types of coffee are the same when it comes to alcohol content. That’s simply not true because some types have more caffeine content than others.

Tell your friends about these myths as well so they can be informed.

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Diet & Fitness

20 Best Foods For Weight Loss In 2020

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Top View Photo of Food Dessert

There are countless weight loss programs available out there. In fact, the internet is flooded with so much content about which one really lives up to its claim. There are also countless testimonials saying most diet plans actually leave them unsatisfied and hungry most of the time. 

The good thing is, not all diet plans work the same way. For example, a low-carb diet will get you the results you want but don’t have similar effects. Additionally, it is most likely the easiest to stick to. 

We are what we eat. That being said, our body composition is directly related to our diet. So if you’re like me who wants to lead a happy, healthy life, here are 20 of the best-known foods to get rid of those excess body fats – quick and easy. Green-Leafy Veggies. Leafy greens are low in calories and carbohydrates, making them the best food choices for weight loss. Leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, swiss chards, collards, among others, are considered very nutritious with all sorts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. 

Whole Eggs

Recent studies showed that whole eggs don’t have negative effects on the body like rising cholesterol in the blood or cause heart attacks. Since they are making a positive comeback, whole eggs are actually one of the best foods for weight loss. They are high in protein, they contain healthy fats, making you feel full with very little calories. 

Cruciferous Vegetables

Don’t get bothered by the term. They are a vegetable group that includes cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli, etc. These plants are high in protein, fiber, and low-energy-density properties make them one of the best foods for losing weight.     

Chicken Breast and Lean Meats

Raw Meat With Green Leaf on White Ceramic Plate

Let’s face it. Meat has largely been criticized for almost every health problem known to man. Although such claims might be true to processed meats, unprocessed organic meats can benefit the body. Unless, of course, done in moderation. 

Potatoes

Boiled potatoes contain properties that make them one of the best foods for weight loss. They come with a variety of nutrients, most of them what our bodies need. 

Beans and Legumes

Kidney beans, black beans, lentils, etc. are among the best beans and legumes to eat for weight loss. These foods are high in protein, resistant starch, and fiber which promotes satiety. 

Tuna

Tuna is classified as a lean fish that translates to low-fat content. In fact, it’s a high-protein food but low-calorie food. In a word, tuna is becoming more popular among bodybuilders and fitness models. That being said, if you want the full benefit of high protein tuna in a can, we recommend choosing the tuna canned in water. 

Salmon

Salmon can be a very satisfying food to eat, and it can keep you full for a couple of hours. Moreover, salmon contains high-quality protein, healthy fats, and other important nutrients. Seafood is our major source of iodine which is necessary for the proper function of the thyroid gland. This gland is responsible for ensuring optimum metabolic function.    

Soups

Soup on White Ceramic Soup Bowl

Meals considered low energy density is a great choice for people who are on a low-calorie diet. This specific type of food contains vegetables, fruits with a lot of water. Because of this, adding water to your meal will make you an instant low energy density meal. Likewise, some studies found out that eating the same food except that water was added to make it into a soup can result in a feeling of satiation, thereby eating fewer calories. 

Avocadoes

Avocados are a pack-full of healthy fats. In fact, this fruit contains a high amount of monounsaturated oleic acid, a healthy fat present in olive oil. Similarly, it also contains a lot of water, making it less energy-dense. Aside from their beneficial fats, it also contains important nutrients such as potassium and fiber.

Apple Cider Vinegar

This is getting popular for salad dressings and health enthusiasts. You can even mix it with water and drink it instantly. There are actually some known studies that apple cider vinegar is good for people trying to lose weight. An interesting study conducted on obese individuals showed that taking 15-30 ml of vinegar daily for 12 weeks caused a significant weight loss of 3.7 pounds. They also found lower sugar levels after meals. 

Cottage cheese

Cottage cheese is a great choice for weight loss because it contains mostly protein with very little fat and carbohydrate. Cottage cheese, therefore, is a good source of protein with fewer calories. 

Nuts

Nuts are fundamentally a good snack. But the best part is it has a high amount of protein, healthy fats, and fiber. According to studies, nuts can help improve your metabolic health, which results in weight loss. Interestingly, people who ate nuts are healthier and leaner. However, you want to eat moderately since nuts are actually high in calories.

Whole grains

Brown Nut Lot

While they have received a bad reputation in the past, whole grains are naturally healthy except, of course, the bad ones. The good ones are gluten-free because they are loaded with fiber and protein. This includes brown rice, quinoa, and oats. Oats, for example, contain beta-glucans that are responsible for optimum metabolic health and increase satiety. 

Fruits

Health experts would not argue that fruits are the healthiest foods in the world. According to most population research, people eating fruits and vegetables are healthier than those who don’t. So, how do fruits match up when it comes to losing weight. First, fruits belong to the low-density food, high in fiber, and rich in beneficial vitamins and minerals. 

Chili

Chilis are actually a great food to consider for weight loss. They contain capsaicin, a substance that reduces a person’s appetite and promotes faster burning of fat. In fact, this substance is present in commercial weight-loss food supplements sold in the market.

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are without a doubt a superfood. Notably, it contains 12 grams of carbohydrate per ounce, but there’s no need to worry; 11 grams is actually fiber. Not only that, but it is also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids; it’s rich in antioxidants, calcium, and iron. The omega-3 fatty acid is responsible for increasing HDL, otherwise known as Good Cholesterol, to prevent stroke and heart attack.   

Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil is rich in Medium Chain Triglyceride, a fatty acid capable of boosting satiety while promoting faster burning of calories. Other studies even saw that coconut oil could help reduce belly fat. Moreover, coconut oil is high in calories, so adding them to your diet is not recommended, but replacing your cooking oil with it is. 

Grapefruit

Close-up Photo of Grapefruits, Fig, and Limes

This fruit deserves to be on this list. That’s because of a study involving 91 obese individuals who were given half of a grapefruit before meals have lost 3.5 pounds in just 12 weeks.

Yogurt

It is considered one of the best dairy. They contain probiotic bacteria that help in improving your gut’s function. Your gut needs to be in optimum health to protect your body from swelling and leptin resistance. This is important because leptin is the hormone responsible for obesity. However, I would like to suggest using full-fat sugar because this type of yogurt is linked to lessening obesity and type-2 diabetes. Low-fat yogurt, on the other hand, contains a lot of sugar.     

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