Your lungs are hugely important to your metabolism! In fact, there’s a test to check your metabolic rate—and one of the first things you have to do is breathe into a tube. Did you know there are foods that can actually heal your lungs and improve your metabolism? Whether you’ve quit smoking, had pneumonia as a kid, are prone to asthma—or even if you’ve just gotten over a bad chest cold—try these super lung-healing foods.
Clear food. Traditional Chinese medicine uses white or “clear” foods to nourish and moisten the lungs. Radish, mushroom, Asian pears, and white fish (like cod, haddock, halibut and flounder) are great.
Sprouted grains and seeds. Sprouting, or letting the grain grow roots, boosts the nitrogen content of grains and seeds, which helps make oxygen more bio-available to you. For more on the benefits of sprouted grains and how to eat them, see “All about sprouted grains.”
Marshmallow and mullein teas. Medicinal herb teas can strengthen your lungs, too. Marshmallow (yes, marshmallows were originally made from this plant) moistens the lungs and soothes inflammation. It’s a laxative too, so don’t overdo it!
Mullein, a Native American medicinal herb, also calms inflammation and loosens phlegm, making it a go-to remedy for persistent coughs. You can easily find these herbal teas at your grocery store, drugstore or health food store.
Avoid dairy. Dairy products can actually cause lung congestion. In Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine, dairy is known as a food that promotes phlegm or mucus, so steer clear of dairy to help clear up your lungs.