Lung Detox Diet

Breathing polluted air, smoking, eating a poor diet and lack of exercise can contribute to the need to detoxify the lungs. Detoxifying the lungs should start with proper breathing exercises, but a good diet is a part of any lung detox program. Eating more vegetables and avoiding grains and dairy are the basis for a lung detox diet.

Breathing Exercises

Dr. Andrew Weil in “Eight Weeks to Optimum Health,” describes simple breathing exercises which take only a few minutes each day. Find a spot surrounded by trees if possible. The cleaner the air during this exercise, the better. The idea is to simply breathe in for four counts, hold for four counts, and breathe out for eight counts. Starting with this breathing exercise each day will greatly improve lung function as well as aid in stress reduction and relaxation.

Eat More Broccoli

According to a BBC news report, researchers at Johns Hopkins School of medicine recently found that a compound in broccoli can actually increase the activity of a gene (NRF2) responsible for removing toxins from the lungs. Eat broccoli, kale, and other members of the brassica family for better lung health. Better yet, broccoli sprouts contain even more of the good stuff. Other good vegetables related to broccoli include cabbage, Chinese cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower.

Other Detoxifying Foods

Foods high in beta carotene support lung function. Winter squash. Sweet potatoes and carrots are good examples of foods high in beta carotene. Almonds, too, are loaded with anti-oxidants which can improve lung function. Other foods rich in anti-oxidants include berries, grapes and garlic. According to herbalist Isabel Shipard, watercress and dandelion are both herbs which can be eaten as salads and have been used since ancient times to detoxify the body. Watercress especially is high in sulfur and has traditionally been used for bronchial complaints. Omega-3 fatty acids, such as in cold water fish or organic eggs and grass fed butter, also support lung function, according to Diane Stanton, Certified Nutritional Counselor.

A Sample Diet

Two organic eggs fried in butter from grass-fed cows
Yogurt with almonds and anti-oxidant rich berries
Glass of carrot juice

Salad of mixed greens with dandelion and watercress
Steamed broccoli
Baked winter squash


Broiled salmon
Mashed sweet potato
Steamed kale

Breathing polluted air