Air pollution: what to eat, what not to eat!

November 12, 2017 - 10:26

TEHRAN — Never-ending air pollution in Tehran and other metropolises of Iran is nothing new.

The great number of high-emission cars and motorcycles, old clunkers, heavy vehicles of poor standards which mostly operate on diesel engines on one hand and pollutant industries located on the outskirts of the capital on the other hand coupled with poor infrastructure for development of public transport are among the main causes of severe and choking air pollution of Tehran.

Tehraners who may experience better air quality during spring and summer face their worst nightmare during cold, dry, and rainless days of autumn and winter.

As responsible citizens, it is our duty to find a solution for the worsening air pollution by using public transportation, carrying out vehicle inspection tests or even planting trees in front of our houses.

But we are also responsible for our health. How can we counter the harmful effects of air pollution with a healthy diet? Here is a guide!

Store antioxidants as far as you can!

Antioxidants include selenium, and beta-carotene will be your best friends during days of pollution.

Cantaloupe, mango, pumpkin, bell pepper, spinach, cabbage and apricot are rich in beta-carotene.

Selenium is found in sea food, chicken, bread, nuts and whole grains.
The foods, which are rich in antioxidants, are the best enemies of free radicals.

But what are free radicals? Free radicals are highly unstable molecules that are naturally formed when you exercise and when your body converts food into energy.

However your body can also be exposed to free radicals from a variety of environmental sources, such as cigarette smoke, air pollution, and sunlight. 

They can cause “oxidative stress,” a process that can trigger cell damage. Oxidative stress is thought to play a role in a variety of diseases including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and eye diseases such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

Vitamins E, C: Best enemies of air pollution 

Don’t forget eating celery, spinach, tomato, sweet lemon, orange, tangerine and lettuce wherever you are, inside your car, at your home or in the office!

They are rich in vitamin C and according to studies such foods lower the harmful effects of air pollution.

You can find vitamin E in wheat germ, vegetable oil, walnut, almond, olive and vegetables with green leaves.

Milk, butter and yolk are also good sources for Vitamin E.

An apple a day keeps lead toxicity away!

Eat an apple a day and its pectin protects you against lead toxicity in the air!

Don’t forget dairies!

During air pollution, consume milk, yoghurt and other dairies as much as you can. They contain phosphorus, magnesium and calcium, which help you fight effects of air pollution on your body.

The protein in the milk can combine lead into soluble compound, which can prevent the body from absorbing lead as well as removing it from the body.

Calcium and iron decrease the absorbed dose of lead and in this way they protect you from air pollution.

Garlic and onion are your smelly friends!

Garlic and onion help you to keep your lungs healthy. Allicin in garlic acts as a powerful natural antibiotic agent in the body and can help kill off respiratory infections that can clog your lungs. 

Junk food, fast food prohibited!

Junk food negates all your efforts to protect yourself from air pollution damages. Replace such foods with dairies and vegetables to improve your health.

SB/MQ/MG

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