The heart and the lungs share the same circulation. The heart’s main job is to circulate oxygen and other nutrients through the body. The oxygen comes in through our lungs. Hence healthy lungs are key to a healthy heart.
Thus, if you have a respiratory virus that attacks the lung tissues, it can also attack heart tissue which can cause inflammation of the heart. The peak time for patients with heart failure to be admitted to hospital is following a respiratory infection. This is because when the lungs struggle, it puts a strain on the heart.
Below are some key ways to support lung health:
- Diet – eat a diet full of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and essential fatty acids to help address inflammation, which is an underlying factor in most diseases.
- Drink water – staying well hydrated helps to thin mucus and relax the blood vessels and airways. Adding a pinch of good quality natural salt to your water.
- Do not overeat and avoid processed foods. Large meals and processed foods can cause bloating. A bloated abdomen restricts the movement of the diaphragm which affects breathing.
- Reduce air pollutants: consider investing in a good air purifier for your bedroom where you spend 8 hours every night.
- When cleaning your home, avoid chemical-based cleaning products – many of them contain harmful irritants. If they irritate eyes and skin (as the labels often state), imagine what they do to your lungs when you inhale them.
- There are also several herbs and nutrients that are good for lung support such as quercetin, boswelia and black seed oil. Consult with a functional medicine doctor or naturopath for guidance on using these.
- Finally, BREATHE!!! Our lungs are huge. I think of them as the sails of our ship. Most of us breathe shallowly however we can all benefit from breathing exercises – they are like physiotherapy for the lungs. Breathing practices have been around for centuries and there are many different exercises around. One simple technique that I would recommend is 4-7-8 breathing: Inhale through the nose for a count of 4. Hold the breath for a count of 7. Then breathe out slowly and fully through the mouth for a count of 8. Repeat 4 times. Dr. Andrew Weil has a video demonstrating it here.
Wishing you all health and happiness,