Worried about air pollution? Wondering what else could be done? Today’s tip is on optimal nutrition to help your body fight air pollution. Research has shown that the health effects of air pollution are caused because the body has an inflammatory response that overtime degenerates into disease.
“Recent research has highlighted the potential of targeted nutrition to combat the decreased antioxidant capability, respiratory inflammation and neurological symptoms associated with certain pollutants.” explains Dr Daniel Raederstorff, principal scientist, DSM.
Infact good nutrition is the key to empower our body to moderate that inflammatory response. There are a number of studies that pinpoint micronutrients that increase protection from air pollution through increasing antioxidant functions and reducing inflammatory reactions. These are Vitamin C and E, Beta-Carotene and Omega 3. In addition, studies have found specifically that persons with low B6 and B12 have higher susceptibility to the effects of air pollution.
“Nowdays diets are characterized by an increasing intake of prepackaged foods. This dietary pattern results in a nutrient profile that is low in beneficial nutrients, such as antioxidants and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs),” agrees Professor Lisa Wood, Centre for Asthma and Respiratory Diseases, University of Newcastle, Australia.
“As these nutrients protect against inflammation, populations are thus more susceptible to the damaging effects of pollutants, which can trigger chronic diseases such as asthma. Increasing the intake of antioxidants and PUFAs may reduce inflammation, providing opportunities for asthma management.”
What should I eat to help my body fight air pollution?
VITAMIN E- an antioxidant that helps protect against injuries in organs and can be found in dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, avocados, shellfish, fish, plant oils, broccoli, squash, avocado and fruits. Research at King’s College, London, has shown that people suffering from lung diseases have decreased levels of vitamin E.
VITAMIN C- is a powerful anti-oxidant that can be found in citrus fruits, bell peppers, broccoli, berries, tomatoes, dark leafy greens, kiwifruit, guava, peas and papaya.
Beta Carotene- an antioxidant found in carrots, spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli, cantaloupe, and winter squash.
Omega 3 (polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs)- omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation. Flaxseed oil, fish oil, chia seeds, walnuts, fish roe (eggs), fatty fish, seafood, soybeans, and spinach. Many of which are also rich in Vitamin B6 and/or B12.
Other foods commonly recommended are spirulina, cilantro and chlorella.
Start now and boost your body’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capacity!