16 Breathtaking Facts About Your Lungs.

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16 Breathtaking Facts About Your Lungs.

1. Your lungs take oxygen from the environment and transfer it to your bloodstream. However:-

2. They also help to protect your body from harmful substances. For example, they can secrete immunoglobulin which usually prevents infections. Furthermore, your lungs have a crucial defence mechanism known as mucociliary clearance where mucus and potentially harmful foreign substances are moved out of your lungs, which are either coughed out or swallowed and destroyed by your digestive system.

3. Another function of your lungs is that they eliminate 70% of waste just by you breathing.

4. Your right lung is bigger than your left one to accommodate your heart.

5. A person normally breathes an average of 13 pints of air every minute.

6. You exhale up to 17.5ml of water per hour.

7. You can breathe approximately 20,000 breaths a day. By the time you reach 50, you have taken about 400 million breaths!

8. Whatever you inhale quickly goes from your lungs to your brain in under 7 seconds.

The image shows a man's lungs breathing.
Image from Tenor

9. Your lungs are the only organs in your body that can float on water.

10. If your lungs were opened flat, they would be so large, they would cover the size of a tennis court.

11. You would normally cough about 10 times a day. This could be due to an allergen you accidentally inhaled, a sticky piece of food or your mucus generated by exercise. However:-

12. Exercise can make your lung function better, which can help with asthma.

13. You can still get lung cancer even if you never smoked. This could be due to occupational and radiation exposure and your genetics.

14. Your sneezes travel only 10mph. Scientists used to believe they travelled faster.

15. When inside the womb, a baby’s lungs are filled with fluid. When a baby is born, it takes 10 seconds to take its first breath.

16. Yawning helps you to breathe more oxygen into your lungs. When your brain realises there is a shortage of oxygen, it sends a message which tricks your sensory system to take a long, deep breath or a yawn.

Foods and Drinks To Help Your Lungs.

As stated earlier, exercise helps your lung function. Also:-

Drink plenty of fluids. There is a thin lining of mucus inside your lungs so, if you stay hydrated, this lining will stay thin which helps your lungs to work better.

Eat plenty of fibre. Research has suggested that those of us who eat a high-fibre diet have lungs that function better than those who don’t. Whole grains which are high in fibre, also have vitamin E, selenium and essential fatty acids, vital for lung health.

Berries. Blueberries, strawberries, etc. are rich in a flavonoid called anthocyanin which is an antioxidant. Some researchers believe this pigment can slow down your lungs’ natural decline as you age. A study of older men who ate at least 2 servings of blueberries a week had less decline in lung function than those who ate fewer or no blueberries.

The image shows a man's hands holding blueberries.
Image from Word Press

Leafy green vegetables could lower your chance of developing lung cancer because of the antioxidants they contain.

Tomatoes can improve airway inflammation if you have asthma and may reduce your chance of dying if you have COPD. (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease).

Coffee. Some studies show a connection between regular coffee consumption and healthier lungs. This could be that coffee is anti-inflammatory.

Foods and Drinks to Reduce or Avoid.

Processed meats. Research shows a link between processed and cured meats (like bacon, sausages and ham) and poor lung function. This could be that the nitrates used for processing these meats may cause inflammation and stress to the lungs.

Alcohol. It doesn’t just affect your liver. Sulphites in alcohol can worsen the symptoms of asthma and ethanol can affect lung cells. If you drink too much, you’re more likely to get develop pneumonia and other lung problems.

• Sugary drinks. There is a study that found adults who drank more than 5 sweetened soft drinks a week were more likely to have bronchitis and children more likely to have asthma. There is no explanation for why.

Too Much Salt. People who eat too much salt are more likely to have long-term bronchitis and salt can also worsen asthma symptoms.

Symptoms of Lung Disease

  • Coughing up blood.
  • Long periods of breathlessness.
  • Chronic cough after a month.
  • Wheezing.
  • Still coughing up phlegm after a month.
  • Chest pain, especially if it worsens when you breathe or cough.

Please don’t ignore the above symptoms and consult your doctor.

Have I missed something relevant about lungs? Then, feel free to comment in the box below.

Thank you for reading.

Rachel x

Sources: pulmonaryhypertensionnews.com, mentalfloss.com, webmd.com, factsite.com, livescience.com, byjus.com, medicalnewstoday.com, sciencedirect.com

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