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Thursday 7th May 2020

We are all waiting to hear what the next stage of lockdown will look like. We know now it isn’t going to be a quick return to normal life and that changes are going to be in place for a long time to come. With this in mind, I’ve been thinking more about ways we can strengthen the lungs to protect ourselves and keep strong and healthy.

The Breath

Deep breathing exercises are an important way to nourish the lungs and to strengthen them. As well as helping hugely with stress and anxiety. It’s impossible to feel anxious or angry, if you’re breathing properly.
First inhale through the nose, concentrating on breathing deeply into your stomach, before filling your lungs. Your stomach should expand as you do this. Hold the breath for a count of 5, if possible. This will feel like a long time if you’re not used to breathing properly. Then slowly exhale through the mouth, focusing on completely emptying your lungs. Continue to do this for several minutes. Then relax and you can repeat the exercise throughout the day. I often feel lightheaded when I do this. A sure sign that I’m not breathing properly, most of the time!
Another way of looking after the lung function is to eat certain foods. From a Chinese Medicine perspective, particular foods benefit the lung. I’ve compiled a list below;
  • Soybean products
  • Spinach
  • Barley
  • Millet
  • Pear
  • Apple
  • Seaweeds
  • Almond
  • Pinenut
  • Peanut
  • Sesame seed
  • *Honey (cooked)
  • *Milk and dairy products
  • *Eggs
All of these foods are good, particularly if you have any signs of dryness in the body, such as dry skin, or dry cough. The dairy products and honey are good if you’re particularly depleted and low in energy, but otherwise the other foods suit most people better.
The following are also good for the lung;
  • *Chilies
  • *Garlic
  • *Ginger
  • Radish
  • Cabbage
  • White peppercorn
The foods above that I’ve highlighted are best avoided if you suffer from heat symptoms such as hot flushes etc, as they can add heat to the body.
Dark green leafy and orange vegetables are generally good for the lung and benefit most people such as;
  • Seaweed
  • Flaxseed
  • Fenugreek
  • Carrot
  • Winter squash
  • Pumpkin
  • Parsley
  • Kale
  • Turnip
  • Watercress
  • Wheat or barley grass
  • Broccoli
If you suffer from a lung condition, frequently catch viruses, or have skin problems, these are associated with a poor lung function, so you would benefit from incorporating these foods into your diet. The feelings of sadness and grief are connected with the lung, so if these are frequent emotions for you, then you’d do well to nourish the lung also. The lung function generally declines with age, so its a good idea to nourish the lung if you’re over 70 too.
Stay safe and well,
Victoria x