Air pollution is a growing concern as the air quality is decreasing day by day. Recently hospitals in Delhi reported that due to the increasing levels of air pollution, cases of breathing disorders have spiked by 50%. To find some natural solutions for combatting lung diseases during this pollution season, the team of OnlyMyHealth spoke to Dr Esther Sathiaraj, Head- Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics, HCG Cancer Hospital, Bengaluru, who shared the powerful benefits of omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids Boost Lung Health
“Healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids are so beneficial for the lungs that they are even recommended during the treatment of lung cancer,” said Dr Sathiaraj.
Here’s how omega-3 fatty acids boost lung function and can help you protect yourself from air pollution:
Consuming omega-3 fatty acids in dietary supplements can protect your lungs against declining health, revealed a study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
In the lungs, inflammation is a common response to pollutants. Omega-3s can help to mitigate this inflammation, potentially reducing the damage caused by polluted air.
Also Read: 5 Ways To Safeguard Yourself Against Air Pollution And Smog
Enhancing Lung Function
The results of a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded study showed that higher levels of omega-3 were associated with better lung function. This means that individuals with higher omega-3 levels may be better equipped to deal with the challenges posed by air pollution.
Another NIH-funded study revealed that omega-3 fatty acids also act as antioxidants, helping to neutralise the harmful free radicals generated by air pollutants. This aspect of omega 3s makes it good not only for the lungs but also for the heart.
Omega-3s may also help regulate mucus production in the airways. Excessive mucus can trap pollutants and worsen lung conditions. Omega-3s may assist in keeping mucus production in check.
Adding Omega-3s To Your Diet
Recommending some of the great sources of omega-3 fatty acids, Dr Sathiaraj said, “Canola oil, vegetable oils, and seeds and nuts that have healthy fats can be incorporated into your diet.”
Here are some more sources that can help you harness the lung-protecting benefits of omega-3 fatty acids:
- Fatty Fish: Aim to include salmon, mackerel, and sardines in your diet regularly.
- Supplements: If you don’t consume enough fish, omega-3 supplements can provide a convenient way to boost your intake.
- Plant-Based Sources: Flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts are also good sources of omega-3.
In conclusion, omega-3 fatty acids have the potential to shield your lungs from the harmful effects of air pollution and may play a significant role in preserving your respiratory health. To fortify your lungs against the challenges of modern-day air pollution, consider incorporating omega-3-rich foods into your diet and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Your lungs will thank you for it.