If you have recently quit smoking, you may be feeling concerned about your lungs. Smoking tobacco has a negative impact on your lungs, irritating and inflaming them.
Smoking also has the potential to do irreparable damage to your lung tissue. You may also develop diseases such as lung cancer.
So, it is understandable why you would seek out information regarding how to clean your lungs. In this article, we will provide more information, and more. So, if you are interested, then read on for more!
How Long Will It Take Your Lungs To Heal After You Quit Smoking?
When it comes to repairing your lungs after you quit smoking, then your biggest factor will be time.
The levels of carbon monoxide in your blood will return to normal twelve hours after your last cigarette. After this, your body will get the required oxygen it needs for cellular function.
Your lung improvement will start around two weeks to three months after you quit smoking. The cilia, small hair-like organelles in your body, will heal anytime from one to nine months. The cilia are responsible for clearing out pollutants like mucus and debris.
So, as you can see, your lungs will take a long time to heal after you quit smoking. However, here are some tips on how you can clean your lungs effectively after you quit smoking. This should give you a great chance of a quick recovery.
Can You Clean Your Lungs In A Natural Way?
Yes! There are many ways to clean your lungs in a natural way after you quit smoking. Let’s check them out below:
- Regularly exercising
- Deep breathing exercises
- Avoiding pollutants
- Eating anti-inflammatory, detoxifying foods
Cleaning Your Lungs: Diet
Foods You Should Avoid
Your diet can largely help clear out your lungs after you quit smoking. Just as there are foods you should eat, there are also foods you should avoid. These are:
- Dairy products: Dairy products produce mucus which makes it harder for you to clean your lungs after you quit smoking. This includes anything from cheese, to milk, to yogurt, and kefir.
- Processed Foods: You should avoid meats that have been changed for the purposes of extending shelf life or for improved taste. Like salami, hot dogs, jerky, canned meat, etc. This also includes fast food and vegetarian processed food substitutes.
- Candy: When trying to clear your lungs, you will need to avoid candy like gelatin, taffy, cakes, pies, candy bars, etc.
- Caffeine: Instead of drinking caffeine in coffee, soda, or tea, you should drink lots of water instead. However, while green tea is caffeinated, it is also rich in antioxidants so may be beneficial for you to drink when trying to help with lung pain.
Foods You Should Consume
Here are some foods that will aid the cleaning of your lungs:
- Honey: There is some evidence, albeit anecdotal, to suggest that a teaspoon of honey a day can provide mental health benefits, which include the removal of pollutants from your lungs.
- Leafy Greens: Including Brussel sprouts, bamboo shoots, broccoli, rosemary, cauliflower, oregano, etc.
- Pineapple: Pineapple will help to reduce inflammation thanks to a compound called bromelain. This also helps to increase the elasticity of your lungs. This will help you take deeper breaths, which will allow you to take in more oxygen.
- Berries and Citrus Fruits: This includes grapefruit, lime, lemon, blackberries, blueberries, etc.
- Radishes: This includes daikon, red radishes, horseradish, etc. Radishes actually have numerous health benefits and are great for lightening discomfort in your lungs. Not only will they remove any excess mucus, but they will clear your sinuses, decrease any congestion in the respiratory system, and soothe your sore throat.
Is There Anything You Can Drink To Clear Your Lungs?
Yes! There are many drinks that can help you to clean your lungs. This includes:
- Lemon water
- Carrot juice
- Ginger and turmeric
- Green tea
- Honey mixed with hot water
- Drinks rich in potassium, like bananas, oranges, berries, and spinach
Cleaning Your Lungs: Pollutants
If you remove the opportunity for other pollutants to enter your system, then you have a better chance of quitting smoking. Let’s check some out below:
It is wise to avoid other smokers if you are trying to clear out your lungs. Second-hand smoke will be harmful to your lungs. It may also induce cravings and potentially result in a relapse. It is also wise to avoid smoke from different sources, like fires.
Clean And Ventilate Your Living Spaces
Having an air purifier at home, or a house plant such as a rubber tree or a spider plant can help to clear your lungs.
It may also be beneficial to open your windows and then go to sleep, which will let in the air as you are sleeping. Additionally, it is a good idea to regularly vacuum and dust your house.
Cleaning Your Lungs: Exercises
Here, exercise references both physical exercises and breathing exercises. Let’s check out each one individually.
To help your lungs to function effectively, you should do diaphragmatic exercises.
Here, you should place your hand on your stomach and the other hand on your chest. When breathing in, you should permit the hand on your stomach to rise, while the hand on your chest stays in place.
Breathe out through pursed lips and push the air out with the hand on your stomach. Repeat this anywhere between three to ten times.
You should also try something called “pursed-lip breathing” where you inhale through your nose for two seconds and exhale out of your mouth for four seconds. The breathing should be slow and steady, and your neck, shoulders, and head should be relaxed.
Physical exercise is a very important part of maintaining a healthy body, which includes healthy lungs. Exercise also releases dopamine and endorphins, which will aid with nicotine withdrawal.
If you do not exercise regularly, then you need to add it to your routine slowly. As you are exercising, the mucus present in the respiratory system will become loose and you can cough it up to remove it from your lungs.
Smoking can cause a significant amount of damage to your lungs, but there are ways that you can help to clear them, including consuming and avoiding certain foods and partaking in both physical and breathing exercises.