As Delhi NCR and most of North India fights with severe AQI levels, it becomes even more imperative to think of ways to lower the effects of such drastic levels of pollution.
Thick smog engulfs the city every day and the effect of dust, emissions, burning waste, construction dust etc hang in and stay intact in the thick air of the region. Pollution has harmful long-term effects on the body and the brain.
World Health Organisation (WHO), has marked pollution as the fifth leading cause of death in India, after high blood pressure and tobacco smoking. According to WHO, Delhi’s air quality is worse than Beijing’s. WHO’s report also states that environmental pollution causes 12.6 million deaths worldwide every year.
Hence, in such emergency situations, what does a person do. Leaving and moving out of the city isn’t an easy option. The only thing left then, is to ensure we eat and live in a way that minimises the effects of this smog.
A nutrient-rich diet is a way of enhancing the immunity system and fighting off the ills of pollution.
This acts as an antioxidant and helps keep local flu, cold and other viral at bay. It builds the immunity system & keeps bones strong. A 2012 study by scientists from the Imperial College, London, found that people who had higher levels of vitamin C in their blood were less likely to go to the hospital on days when pollution levels were high.
Fruits – Strawberries, citrus fruits, papayas, black currants, kiwis, bell peppers, guavas.
Vegetables – coriander leaves, drumsticks, parsley.
Lemon – the easiest and best way to get your daily dose of Vitamin C.
This helps control inflammation and improves the immune system and eye health. It is a good way to detox the body and relax.
Vegetables like fenugreek, lettuce, spinach, radish leaves, and carrots.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Foods rich in this, help protect the heart and lipid profile from the harsh effects of pollution.
Walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, mustard seeds,
Green leafy vegetables
Methi seeds, mustard seeds, kala chana, rajma and bajra
Fish also has high content.
They protect the lungs and lower Vitamin E in diet can have greater impact of fine particulate matter, which is one of the main air pollutants. They also help improve injury to human tissue.
Avocados, spinach, almonds, sweet potatoes, wheat germ, sunflower seeds.
Sunflower, rice bran oil, canola, peanut and olive oil.
Salmon, roe and eel.
Chilli powder, paprika, cloves, oregano, basil.
Other important elements that should be included in diet to fight pollution – Certain herbs and spices have very positive impact in curing respiratory ailments.
• Turmeric – is a well-known antioxidant and is said to help protect the lungs from the toxic effects of pollutants. Turmeric can be had with ghee, jaggery or mixed with warm milk.
• Jaggery is very good to purify blood and fight the ill effects of contaminated air.
• Ginger, black pepper, tulsi, nutmeg, mint and galangal are also useful for curing respiratory ailments.
• Olive oil, Flaxseed – help reduce the symptoms of asthma and other allergic reactions.
• Vegetables like Broccoli and Tomatoes also enhance the immunity system. Include them in your diet in a balanced manner.