Foods That Are Good for Your Respiratory Health and Lungs

The secret to promoting respiratory and lung health is a strong respiratory system. Lungs work tirelessly, helping us breathe. When our lungs don’t function properly, we are prone to respiratory diseases like asthma, bronchitis and so on. And when our respiratory system is weak, we have problems in breathing, might experience pain and suffer from exhaustion. A healthy immune system is necessary to ward off respiratory diseases and illnesses related to our lungs. To improve your immune system, you can eat certain foods which would help to fight off diseases. Let’s take a look at the foods which are good for your respiratory health and lungs:


The kiwi fruit boosts our immune system as it contains various minerals and vitamins, especially vitamin C. Vitamin C encourages immune system functions, and studies have found that those who consume vitamin C regularly had a much reduced risk of having the common cold (45-91%). The chances of contracting pneumonia were also reduced by 80-100%.

Kiwi also prevents respiratory problems. A study found that those ate more kiwi and citrus fruits had 44% less chance of wheezing, 28% less chance of a runny nose, 32% less chance of experiencing shortness of breath and 25% less chance of suffering from chronic cough. 

Cold water fish

These fishes are good sources of protein which helps in repairing tissue and improves physical health required for good health. They contain omega-3 fats which improve the immunity and reduce inflammation. Albacore tuna, lake trout, salmon, sardines, mackerel, halibut are considered to be rich sources of omega 3 fatty acid. To get the best out of them, using low-oil methods of cooking like broiling, steaming, baking and grilling are most effective. 


Garlic has many health benefits, one of them being improving immunity. Studies have found that people who ate garlic had a lesser chance of catching cold, especially during extreme cold season. You can have it raw, as a pickle or use it in your cooking regularly to get the benefits of garlic.

Whole grains

In whole grains, the nutritious components such as fiber, protein, antioxidants are retained which make them a healthy food. People who suffer from lung problems should eat foods rich in fiber such as whole grains. These grains provide glucose too, which your body requires to convert into energy. Wild rice, brown rice, quinoa etc are whole grains you can include in your diet to improve respiratory function.


Water is the important as it cleans the lungs and helps to keep the blood flowing through the lungs. It keeps the mucus flowing and lungs hydrated. A flowing mucus helps to flush out pollutants, microbes and toxins, which would otherwise cause lung and respiratory problems.


Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties which promotes elimination of pollutants.

Chilli peppers

Peppers which contain capsaicin improve the flow of blood, fights infections and stimulates the mucus membranes leading to better respiratory health.

Cruciferous vegetables

Cauliflower, cabbage, kale and broccoli have been found to reduce the spread of lung cancer, and cuts the risk of cancer by half. The chlorophyll and antioxidants in these vegetables builds and cleans blood.


Turmeric contains curcumin which helps cancer cells to self-destruct.


Pomegranate juice helps to slow down the growth of tumors in the lungs.


The flavonoid Naringin present in grapefruit inhibits cancer. White grapefruit has more flavonoids than the pink variety and is good to cleanse the lungs after you quit smoking.


Apples are rich in vitamin E, vitamin C and flavonoids which help lung function and people who eat apples regularly have healthy lungs.

Nuts, seeds and beans

These contain magnesium and fatty acids which is good for the lungs and our cardiovascular system.


Oranges which contains vitamin B6 and vitamin C helps the lungs in transferring oxygen.

Carrots, pumpkin

Carrots and pumpkin are packed with lycopene, vitamin C and vitamin A which promote lung health and reduces the risk of lung diseases.

Echinacea tea

This has anti-viral properties which fights colds, ear and sinus infections and heals wounds. 

Instead of reaching for medicines, we can improve our respiratory and lung health by eating these foods and have a strong immune system which keeps illnesses at bay.

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