Most of us probably take our lungs for granted, until something goes wrong with them. We breathe in pollutants along with air every day, and these pollutants increase the risk of respiratory issues such as asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia and cystic fibrosis among others.

One way of helping your lungs stay strong and fight off illnesses is to incorporate some healthy foods into your diet that will help keep your lungs active and well. Here are 10 foods that are lung-friendly:

1. Apples

Apples have been linked with good lung function. They contain high levels of vitamins C and E, and also beta-carotene as well as antioxidants that can keep your lungs in top shape.

2. Walnuts

Tasty walnuts are full of omega-3 fatty acids, and eating a handful of them can fight asthma and other respiratory conditions. Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory, and can help protect against inflammatory ailments.

3. Berries

Blueberries and acai are great for keeping your lungs healthy. They are full of vitamin C, which help to fight dangerous free radicals.

4. Broccoli

The humble broccoli contains a whole host of lung-boosting nutrients. It is high in vitamin C, carotenids, folate and phytochemicals that fight damaging elements in the lungs. Broccoli is also said to have an anti-inflammatory effect as it contains L-sulforaphane, which tricks the cells to switch on anti-inflammatory genes.

5. Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne peppers contain a substance called capsaicin, which helps to protect mucous membranes from upper and lower respiratory tract infections. Cayenne pepper tea is also a good source of beta-carotene, which can be helpful for asthma sufferers.

6. Ginger

ginger

Ginger is anti-inflammatory, but it also helps to detoxify the lungs of pollutants. Ginger also boosts circulation and relieves congestion.

7. Flaxseeds

One rodent study found that a diet rich in flaxseeds protects lung tissues before exposure to radiation, but also can significantly reduce the damage after exposure occurs.

8. Garlic

garlic chicken

Garlic contains flavonoids that encourage glutathione production, which helps to speed up the elimination of toxins and carcinogens from the lungs.

9. Water

Water is necessary to survival, and all our body systems need enough water to function properly. Water is the best way to detoxify, so make sure you keep yourself hydrated throughout the day.

10. Turmeric

Turmeric is a spice containing substance called curcumin, which helps relieve inflammation of the airways and the tightness of the chest associated with asthma.