According to the World Health Organization, air pollution kills an estimated seven million people worldwide every year.

It’s been linked to things like lung cancer, emphysema, stroke and respiratory infections. Their data also shows that 9 out of 10 people breathe air containing high levels of pollutants.

We’ve been dealing with unhealthy air quality here in Sacramento due to fires for a few weeks now, so here are some ways we give our lungs some relief and help cleanse the toxins.

Our body naturally has detoxifying enzymes not only in our liver but lining our airways. Studies have shown eating cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower can all increase these enzymes.

Broccoli sprouts have shown to have twice as much benefit as broccoli. I like to put this on my salads or sandwiches.

Researchers have also found a link between lung function and antioxidant intake. The more antioxidants improved airway function. Within days of cutting down on fruits and vegetables, which are high in antioxidants, lung function was impaired.

Some foods with high amounts of antioxidants include blueberries, kidney beans, apples, dates. Green tea, matcha and Hibiscus tea are all high in antioxidants.

More to help the lungs

Other things that can help our lungs is exercise. You might not want to exercise outside with very unhealthy weather conditions, but doing something inside will help.

Since we are spending more time indoors making sure indoor air quality is better by not using a lot of cleaners with harsh chemicals and stop using air fresheners with synthetic fragrances.

Both of these have shown to affect the respiratory system. Getting some house plants can also help indoor air.