Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Clean Your Lungs with Apples!

Came across this from Men's Health Weekly and I find it really good info to share.

Your lungs and your liver are putting in extra hours to keep the haze from paralysing your body. Scrub them clean of the garbage the smog has placed in your body.

Your lungs are the only internal organs that are continuously exposed to the external environment. Every breath you take brings in whatever debris happens to be floating in front of your face.

To deal with that floating junk, your lungs are lined with hair-like cilia, which sweep out the pollutants, bacteria, and viruses that you breathe in. Your lungs also perform the most essential task of extracting oxygen from the air and swapping it for carbon dioxide. Continued exposure to airborne gunk (like those the prevailing winds have brought in from Indonesia), however, can interfere with these processes, causing inflammation that may trigger bronchitis and asthma-like symptoms.

Scrub Your Lungs Clean: Eat some apples. People who chomped on the fruit were 33 per cent less likely to have a chronic phlegmy cough than those who ate the least, according to a National Institutes of Health study in the US. The pectin and antioxidants in the peels can reduce inflammation in your lungs.

Also, stay inside when ozone levels are high. This pollutant causes inflammation that can narrow your airways. "If you're unusually winded after a run, you could be sensitive to ozone," says Dr. Norman Edelman, the chief medical officer of the American Lung Association. Check out the PSI reading at the NEA website, and work out indoors when the Air Quality Index is moderate or higher.

In addition to processing booze, this 1.6kg gland – the largest in your body – has at least 250 functions. Primarily, it filters bacteria and pollutants from your blood. It also produces bile, a viscous goo that breaks down fat for digestion and absorption. “These functions begin to suffer when alcohol injures your liver or a poor diet causes extra fat to build up in your liver,” says Dr Paul Martin, the chief of hepatology at the University of Miami. When fatty liver occurs in people who don't drink heavily, it's associated with the same risk factors as those of metabolic syndrome: obesity, diabetes, and high triglyceride levels.

Scrub Your Liver Clean: Hitting the gym for an extra 10 minutes a day helps ensure that your liver stays on top of its responsibilities. In a 2009 study in Hepatology, people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease who increased their exercise by 60 minutes a week for 3 months reduced their levels of four enzymes that indicate liver problems. “Exercise removes fat from the liver," says study author, Dr Jacob George, a professor of gastroenterology and hepatic medicine at the University of Sydney.

But you can easily undo your gains if you drink too much. While the occasional beer is fine, avoid binges of five or more drinks on a single occasion. So you’d want to make sure you’re not seeking shelter from the haze in a joint.

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