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Eating Fruits and Vegetables Could Improve Lung Health

Respiratory diseases are common in older adults. They can suffer from conditions like asthma and COPD. In some cases, symptoms are mild, but some seniors have severe lung conditions that compromise their ability to breathe. There are many things that you can do to help improve your aging relative’s overall lung health. In fact, a recent study suggests that simply adding certain fruits and vegetables to their diet could make a difference.

Fruits and Veggies May Slow Decline.

By the age of 30, adults have achieved their “peak lung capacity.” After that, experts say that all people experience a gradual decline in lung capacity as they age. The rate at which they decline is dependent on a number of factors, including whether the person smokes and if they engage in physical activity.

New research indicated a link between slower lung decline and eating more dark-colored fruits and vegetables. Scientists believe that the slower decline has something to do with a specific kind of flavonoid called anthocyanins. Flavonoids are a substance found in plants that have been proven to have antioxidant properties and help reduce the risks for several kinds of diseases.

Vanessa Garcia-Larsen, lead author on the study, stated, “A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help protect the lungs against damage, preserving their functionality and reducing the risk of developing respiratory diseases later in life.”

Some fruits and vegetables that contain anthocyanins include:

  • Red grapes.
  • Blueberries.
  • Purple potatoes.

More Tips for Improving Lung Health.

In addition to eating more dark-colored produce, there are many other ways you can help your aging relative to keep their lungs strong, such as:

  • If they smoke, encourage them to quit.
  • Help them remain physically active.
  • Avoid pollutants, like secondhand smoke, chemicals, and air pollution.
  • Take steps to prevent infection with respiratory viruses. Remind the older adult and those who spend time with them to wash their hands frequently and avoid people who have symptoms of respiratory illnesses.
  • Remind the senior to get a yearly flu vaccine.
  • Make sure the older adult sees a doctor regularly.
  • Suggest deep breathing exercises. They’re great for lung health and can also help reduce stress.

Senior care can also help your aging relative keep their lungs healthier. A senior care provider can offer opportunities for physical activity, such as suggesting a walk or driving the person to a group exercise class. Senior care providers can also remind visitors not to smoke around the older adult and to wash their hands frequently.

If you or an aging loved one are considering senior living in Stone Oak, TX please contact the caring staff at Senior Care Family Advisors. Call Today (210) 622-8150

 

Sources

https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/news/20180521/berries-and-grapes-may-keep-you-breathin-easy#1

http://www.lung.org/lung-health-and-diseases/protecting-your-lungs/

https://www.healthline.com/health/understanding-idiopathic-pulmonary-fibrosis/ways-to-keep-your-lungs-healthy-and-whole

https://www.webmd.com/lung/copd/news/20150106/about-1-in-7-older-adults-has-some-form-of-lung-disease-cdc#1

https://www.livestrong.com/article/492244-what-are-the-health-benefits-of-flavonoids/