Protect Your Lungs From Smoke
Posted on Sep 13, 2020
Over 16,000 firefighters continue working to contain 28 major wildfires across California. Wildfire smoke is a mixture of particulate matter and smoke. Particulate matter is the most harmful air pollution. Daily inhalation exposure can cause eye and respiratory tract irritation, reduced lung function, pulmonary inflammation, bronchitis, exacerbation of asthma, and other lung and cardiovascular diseases.
The main organs to detox from smoke inhalation are the lungs, liver, kidney, colon, and skin. Here are some tips to help your body process the smoke:
- The most important thing to do is hydrate. On a routine day without excess sweating, you should drink half your body weight in ounces of water. The rule about 8 glasses/day is outdated and does not work well for all different body sizes. Using the half your body weight rule, a 200lb person would drink 12 glasses and a 100lb person would drink 6 glasses. Don’t get dehydrated. It can take 3 weeks to rehydrate your tissues.
- When hydrating, pick water. Drinking water helps the liver secrete bile, which is necessary to digest fats. If the body is dehydrated and does not has enough bile, the fats will not be absorbed well by the body and causes inflammation. Water is also important to keep your kidneys and bladder healthy.
- There is a well-known saying in Chinese Medicine: “When the river is dry, the boat won’t sail down the stream.” This describes constipation due to dehydration. We need daily bowel movements to rid our bodies of everyday toxins. If these toxins don’t leave through the colon, they will seek another exit, usually through the skin. This can lead to acne, psoriasis and eczema.
- Antioxidants like Vitamins A, C and omega 3s may reduce the damage of smoke inhalation and help lungs heal faster. So make sure your diet is filled with a colorful variety of vegetables, some fruits, healthy fats, nuts, seeds and salmon.
- Turmeric is another antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties. It is the spice that gives curry the deep yellow color. Turmeric inhibits the toxicity of environmental cancer-causing chemicals. Add it to soups, roasted vegetables and even in your coffee/tea with some almond milk.
- Daikon mean “big root” in Japanese. It is a large long hard white radish used especially in Asian cuisine. It’s slightly pungent effects help open the sinuses and stimulate peristalsis to move toxins out of the colon.
- Support your lymph system through movement. Our lymph network runs all throughout our body like a big net and is a critical part of our immune system. Dance with fun music, rock in a rocking chair, bounce on an exercise ball, take zoom exercise classes. Take a hot bath or a long shower to sweat out toxins.
Remember, during these days when the air quality is bad, it is best to stay indoors. If you have to go outside, wear an N95 mask or cloth mask with P2.5 filter. Monitor the air quality in your area using AirNow. They report air quality using the official U.S. Air Quality Index (AQI), a color-coded index designed to communicate whether air quality is healthy or unhealthy for you.
Filed in Current Health News
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