There may never be a more important time for keeping your lungs healthy than right now, especially in the Bay Area.
Healthy lungs are able to bring in healthy levels of oxygen, remove healthy levels of toxins and waste products, and fight off the more than 450,000 virus particles that are in the air at any given time.
Now you might be thinking, why aren’t we always sick if we are constantly breathing virus particles?
Because of your IMMUNE SYSTEM.
It’s doing battle, every breath, with microorganisms in the air and constantly fighting them off.
The lungs, in particular, are where much of this battle takes place.
Every time you breathe in air, you are taking in thousands of virus particles.
In healthy lungs, these virus particles are never given the chance to stick around and are eliminated immediately by the immune cells in your lungs.
However, in unhealthy lungs, the virus particles can slip through the cracks and cause illness.
This article is going to focus on the main tool for keeping your lungs as healthy as possible:
For a complete guide to making sure your immune system, in general, is as healthy as possible, check out my previous article 5 Strategies to Bulletproof your Immune System.
You’ve probably heard that your body is 60% water, but you may not know that your lungs are around 83% water.
This means that their health is even more connected to your hydration levels.
Dehydrated lungs don’t fill as deeply, don’t take in as much oxygen, and don’t get rid of as many toxins.
When your lungs don’t expand fully, “dead air” remains at the bottom of your lungs.
Bottom Line: You need to stay hydrated to keep your lungs healthy.
Keys to hydration:
1) Drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day
The traditional advice of 8 cups of water a day may work for some people, but it doesn’t take into account environment, exercise, and overall health.
Therefore, a new recommendation has been made, found at the Mayo Clinic…
“The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is: About 15.5 cups (125 oz) of fluids for men. About 11.5 cups (91 oz) of fluids a day for women.”
Now this may sound like a lot of water but remember, it takes into account the water in foods as well.
One last note, if you’re exercising and/or it’s hot or humid outside you may need to consume additional fluids,
2) Incorporate water-rich foods
One of the most effective ways of staying hydrated is eating foods that are high in water.
Water stored in foods is more easily absorbed by your body than plain drinking water and can make a big difference when trying to stay well hydrated.
Here are 10 water-rich foods you can add into your diet:
- Bell Peppers
Honorable mentions: Cauliflower, Cabbage, Cottage Cheese, Grapefruit, Coconut Water, broths/soups
Want some extra credit for combining more than one of these water-rich foods, make a smoothie!
It’s perfect for getting water and water-rich foods at the same time.
3) Add a pinch of salt/squeeze of lemon if you’re drinking water without food to increase absorbability.
In your digestive tract, water isn’t directly absorbed.
When your digestive tract absorbs sodium, potassium, chloride, and other minerals found in food and natural water, the water follows and is absorbed indirectly.
This means that if you are drinking filtered water, which has most of the minerals removed, you could be absorbing less water than is ideal.
This isn’t a problem around meals, but during the rest of the day, you might not be absorbing as much water as you could.
The simple solution:
- add in a pinch of high-quality sea salt or Himalayan salt.
These kinds of salt are naturally occurring and have a more natural mineral content than conventional salt which is just sodium and chloride.
Extra credit for putting a squeeze of lemon in the water too.
This is my favorite way to get rehydrated first thing in the morning.
Give these a try and let me know what you think!
Have questions about any new or recurring pain?
Request an appointment with Dr. Brink!
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