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Can Eating Right Protect You Against Pollution?

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First, some facts that will have you gasping for (unclean) air. Almost 44% of schoolchildren in Delhi had reduced lung function compared to 25.7% in the other Indian cities.  Outdoor pollution is the cause of almost 630,000 premature deaths. India is home to 22 of the 50 most polluted cities globally.
So, what are we hapless, breathless souls to do? Obviously not inhaling this noxious air is the best solution but not all of us have the luxury of retreating to cleaner climes. Wait, all is not lost! Eating a healthier diet does mitigate some of the worst of it. New research suggests a   Mediterranean diet—lots of fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains and nuts—can protect your body against the ravages of air pollution. But how, you wail…Tiny particulate matter causes oxidative stress and inflammation in your body leading to heart disease, asthma and even diabetes.  So what a good diet does is that it helps the body copy with all those nasties.

These nutrient rich foods will help you fight against pollution

All The Alfa To Your Omegas

In a controlled study the Environmental Protection Agency gave either fish oil or olive oil daily to 29 middle-ages people for a month, and then exposed them to particulate pollution that causes variations in heart rate. The ones who took olive oil saw heart rate variability and levels of unhealthy LDL cholesterol and triglycerides rise, while the ones who took fish oil—an excellent source of Omega 3,6,9—remained unscathed. Oily fish, walnuts, flax seed, lentils and brown rice are all good sources. The anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3 fatty acids are legendary for protection against air pollution, but if you can’t stand the fishy after-taste you can give a INLIFE Sea Buckthorn Seed Oil 500mg Omega 3,6,7,9 (30 Vegetarian Capsules each) 3 Pack try.

The Cruciferous and Vitamin Horcrux

Want to know how to protect yourself from air pollution? Think cruciferous vegetables, Arugula, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Kale and Radish. A University of California, study reported that drinking broccoli sprout extract in juice form for four days blunted the amount of nasal inflammation after exposure to diesel exhaust pollution. Another Hong Kong University study suggests that taking a vitamin B supplement daily can mitigate the effects of the most dangerous type of air pollution, prevent heart rate variability and inflammation. Another Mexican study found that Vitamins C and E—when given to asthmatic children—improved lung function.

A Nutty Affair

Seeds and nuts are not just great for healthy, supple skin and hair but also fight the damage caused by pollution. The healthy fats, Vitamin E and Omega fatty acids in them fight oxidative stress caused by inflammation. Ideally, you should be consuming a handful of sunflower seeds, walnuts and almonds every day. Additionally, walnuts are a great source of Vitamin B so it’s a welcome double whammy as far as we are concerned.  

Ancient Wisdom To The Rescue

Ayurvedic medicine has long held that certain herbs and spices have miraculous effects on the respiratory system, the first vanguard against pollution. Turmeric’s antiseptic and anti-inflammatory powers are legendary. Having a dash of this sunny spice with ghee and jaggery instantly soothes an allergic cough. Haritaki mixed with jaggery taken first thing in the morning also mitigates the effects of pollution. Other anti-pollution Ayurvedic remedies include Ginger, Black Pepper, Tulsi, Liquorice, Nutmeg and Mint.
So, What Should Your Plate Look Like?
For air pollution protection the natural way, start your day with a glass of warm water with a lemon squeezed in. Then eat half a grapefruit or two oranges for breakfast. This will ensure you’re getting your daily 40mg of Vitamin C rich foods.  Mid-morning have a green veg juice made from broccoli, spinach and mint. For lunch be sure to start with a small fresh salad with chopped peppers, carrots and tomatoes, drizzled with olive oil and a small sprinkling of sunflower, flax and pumpkin seeds to get your daily dose of Vitamin E and beta carotene. For lunch and dinner eat lentils or fish, vegetables and wholegrains for adequate inflammation fighting omega fatty acids. And finally, a handful of heart and brain foods, almonds and walnuts at tea time.
Pollution won’t stand a chance.
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