7 Top Foods for Lung Health

Diet influences the condition of the respiratory system more than one might think. This is where foods for lung health comes in. For instance, certain foods such as milk and eggs can precipitate asthmatic crises. Others such as onion or garlic resist bronchitis.

Foods for lung Health: Image of two figs.

Fruits and vegetables rich in beta-carotene protect against lung cancer. An investigation conducted in England and Wales shows that children who eat two or more pieces of fruit a day breathe better and have a lower risk of respiratory difficulty.

On the other hand, pulmonary function is worsened in those who eat processed meats (ham, sausages, etc.).

Foods for Lung Health

DATES have been traditionally used to relieve excessively dry cough and to fight bronchial colds. They have a proven soothing effect on the bronchial passages, as well as being antitussive. This is is possibly due to their richness in sugars and some other component that has yet to be identified. The most effective manner to use them for this purpose is boiled in milk.

FIGS, regardless of how they are prepared, but mainly dried figs that have been rehydrated or boiled with milk, have a pectoral action that fights infections. They relieve cough, facilitate expectoration, and soothe the respiratory tract. Their use is recommended in cases of chronic bronchitis, as well as acute respiratory infections caused by colds or flu.

JUJUBES have an emollient and soothing effect on the respiratory mucosa, thanks to their high mucilage content. They facilitate expectoration. Eating them raw or dried, is appropriate for those suffering from cough, bronchitis, or asthma.

ONION’S contain sulfur compounds that forms its essential oils, which pass rapidly through the bloodstream from the stomach. They are first released in the lungs. This explains why after only a few minutes of eating onions, the breath has its characteristic odor. Onions are able to break down heavy mucus, expectorant, and antibiotic on gram-positive germs.

All respiratory infections from sinusitis to pneumonia, improve with onion consumption, preferably raw, although also boiled, baked, or in syrup. Another great addition to the list of foods for lung health.

In the pediatric clinic of the University of Ludwig-Maximilians in Munich (Germany), it was proven that thiosulfinate, one of the components of the onion’s essential oil, is capable of stopping bronchial allergic reaction in asthma cases. It was shown that thiosulfinate from onions acts on the respiratory center of the brain stem as well, producing dilation of the bronchial passages.

These investigations plainly justify the use of raw onion for bronchial asthma because of its anti-allergic a d bronchodilator effects. The positive effects of onions on the bronchial tubes are felt in only a few minutes after eating them.

The RADISH is a great addition to the list of lung cleansing foods because it contains mucus softening properties, which makes it an excellent food for sinusitis and bronchitis.

ORANGES contain high levels of vitamin C and people with elevated levels of vitamin C in the blood suffer less from allergies. This is probably because vitamin C is partially agnostic to the effects of histamine, the substance that initiates allergic episodes. Eating five oranges a day (or their equal in juice), contributes to the prevention of the appearance of allergic reactions such as rhinitis or bronchial asthma, which makes it recommended among the foods for lung health.

From a nutritional point of view, WATERCRESS provides a few carbohydrates and proteins; almost no fat; vitamin A and C; abundant minerals, particularly iron and iodine; and a sulfurated glycoside that provides it slightly piquant flavor, as well as most of its medicinal properties, which is the following:

Expectorant: Facilitates the elimination of bronchial mucus by making it more fluid.


  • George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Foods and Their Healing Power.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Foods and Their Healing Power. Trans. Annette Melgosa. Vol. 2. Chai Wan: Editorial Safeliz, 2005. 148, 146, 148, 144, 365. [foods for lung health]

Last update on 2023-09-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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