Cities are without a doubt fun and fabulous but they are also frightfully polluted. London, I’m looking right at you. We already know that the main contributors are vehicles, industry and public transport but lesser known hidden contributors such as dust mites, air fresheners and off-gassing from plastic bottles all accumulate to create a ‘silent smog’ of circulating chemicals. We are concerned with air contamination because it has been linked to sinus infections, asthma and lung diseases, not to mention the impact of pollution on the appearance of our hair and skin.
Since wrapping ourselves in a bubble isn’t an option the next best approach is to ensure that our immune system is working at full capacity. In order to keep your immune system fortified it is vital to fuel yourself with the correct diet, high in specialist nutrients that work simultaneously to improve overall immunity.
Support your liver and lungs
In order to neutralize free radical damage caused by air contamination we especially need to look after our liver and lungs. Broccoli is a great addition to your diet. Being especially high in vitamin C, broccoli specifically supports the liver to better eliminate toxins associated with air pollution. To rejuvenate your lungs eat a diet high in oranges, grapefruit, beetroot, apples, cabbage and avocado.
Increase your vitamin C intake
Take a vitamin C supplement or eat vitamin C rich foods. Vitamin C is the most important antioxidant in the body as it scavenges free radicals, counteracts the inflammatory allergic response and also contributes to vitamin E regeneration – a fat soluble vitamin that is the first line of defence against external environmental stress. Good sources include guavas, potatoes, peppers, leafy green vegetables, broccoli and strawberries. Or you can even reach your daily recommended intake by squeezing the juice of 2 lemons into your water throughout the day. All of our programmes are packed with fruit and vegetables to fill you up with antioxidants. Take a look at our variety of programmes here.
Take advantage of natural cures
Natural cures such as ginger and anise can act as decongestants. Green tea and ginger are also powerful adaptogens (see our blog on adaptogens) which are herbal ingredients that improve the health of the adrenal system, and thus enable the body to better handle stressors like pollution and environmental toxins. Try incorporating fresh ginger in your stir fry, mixing with lemon and honey for an immune boosting drink or even finely grating into a salad dressing.
Increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids
Omega 3 fatty acids have been found to help prevent and treat the inflammation and oxidative stress caused by air pollution. Eating just 2-4g per day of good quality omega 3 fatty acids could help to counteract the negative effects of pollution. For example, 2 portions (85g) per day of salmon, herring or mackerel would provide you with 3g of omega 3 fatty acids. Alternative sources do include both flax and hemp seed oils which can be added to meals or taken as a daily supplement.
At The Pure Package we ensure all of our programmes are high in fresh fruit and veg and healthy fats. This way our meals naturally contain high amounts of the nutrients required to fight back against oxidative stress from environmental pollutants.