Vaping is known quite universally as a healthy/healthier alternative to smoking cigarettes, if practiced safely using safe products. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that taking the health of your lungs into consideration when reaching for your vape for the 40th time today is something you no longer have to think about. Vaping is in essence an act where we put things into our lungs that are foreign, and the long-term effects of our new favorite habit are hidden behind the oily cloak of time.
However easy, convenient and safe vaping might be, it’s worth asking what we know so far about what it’s doing to our lungs, about the ingredients that go into our most coveted flavors, and what we might be able to do to improve our overall lung health. Entering from stage left, if you would kindly turn your attention, is food…
I’m not suggesting that we put broccoli in our lungs, that’s probably a horrible idea. But some foods might be able to help restore our lungs, or cleanse them, if you will. To understand what certain foods can do to help save our lungs from all this meddling, follow me!
What is Vaping Doing to Our Lungs?
With the recent barrage of negative publicity circulating through the communal consciousness of vaping and what black market e-liquids might be doing to our lungs, it seems pertinent to start a conversation about what normal, legal, regulated e-liquids contain and what this means for our bodies. And, luckily, the legal e-liquids that we vape are comprised of ingredients that are safe for our lungs, and at that there are really only 4 basic ones: water, nicotine, flavorings, and propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin, or both.
While propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin are FDA approved substances that are common ingredients in other foods and drugs, the long-term effects of continually introducing these substances to our lungs is still, as mentioned above, quite unknown. Flavorings are of course quite a wild card as different flavors may contain different ingredients, such as the infamous diacetyl, which has been traced back to Obliterative Bronchiolitis when inhaled. Nicotine, while not a carcinogen, is highly addictive and therein lies its danger.
Of course, the benefits of a vaporizer over traditional smoking cannot be ignored, there’s a reason that vaping is popularly perceived as a healthy alternative. But as the metronome continues to sway between positives and negatives, the recent health scare has caused more than a rustle and murmur – and if there is any way to save our lungs and bodies from vaping, now is the time that we want to know.
Healthier Lungs: What Foods to Eat
Much like traditional cigarette smoking, vaping can cause a buildup of mucus in our lungs, or rather, e-liquids containing nicotine can impair the clearance of mucus, increasing the risk of injury and infection. This phenomenon is called mucociliary dysfunction and is a common feature of many lung diseases like COPD and asthma and causes a thickening and increased viscosity of the mucus. Moreover, vaping can cause an acidic pH level in the blood, contains free radical chemicals (although a much lower level than that of cigarettes), and decrease oxygen levels in the blood, with consequences for the lungs, of course.
It might appear a bit far-fetched, but the right foods can help restore our lungs and bodies to a healthier state after an extended period of regular vaping and the damage mentioned above, which could in turn decrease the chance of infection and irritation.
Eat Foods Rich in Alkaline
This can combat the acidic pH level in our blood, which if allowed to run rampant can eventually cause kidney issues:
Plenty of Vegetables –
Especially incorporate leafy greens and root vegetables into your diet
All the Fruit –
Well, some are richer in alkaline than others, like apples, bananas, lemons, and oranges
Many different spices are high in alkaline, like cinnamon, curry, and ginger
Healthy Proteins –
Sadly this doesn’t mean going out and eating a burger, but rather proteins found in nuts, such as almonds and chestnuts
Increase the Oxygen in Your Blood
Adding chlorophyll to your diet is an excellent way to increase the levels of oxygen in your blood as well as acting as a cleanser for the blood and tissues of the body, including the lungs:
Juiced Wheatgrass –
This ingredient has been around our favorite smoothie shops for ages, and this is another reason to add it into a fruit packed beverage
Sprouted Seeds –
The sprouting process is known to increase nutrition levels in seeds, increasing levels of folate, magnesium, and as an added bonus, protein
Another thing we’ve been adding to smoothies for ages, this blue-green algae is on its own amazingly nutritious, known for boosting the metabolism and acting as an antitoxin
Eat Antioxidant Rich Foods
Antioxidants, in their many delicious forms, can help combat the damage caused by free radicals that result, even if just a little, from vaping:
Any and all berries are a good idea, but specifically blackberries and blueberries
Orange Fruits/Vegetables –
It might seem arbitrary, but orange is a good colour to veer towards – mango, pumpkin, apricot, carrot
Bulb vegetables like onion, garlic, and leek are all high in antioxidative power
Healthier Lungs: What Foods To Avoid
Along with the foods that can help improve your lung and body health after regular and consistent vaping, there are certain foods to avoid to help with this process as well. Foods that increase mucus production, such as dairy products like milk, ice cream, cheese, and yogurt, are best to avoid. Moreover, a diet rich in processed foods, red meat, and fast food in general can add to the problem.
If you’ve noticed that a healthier diet for your lungs closely resembles a healthier diet overall, you’re not alone. When it comes down to it, the best way to combat the consequences of vaping is to live an overall more health-conscious lifestyle. More exercise, cutting down on stress, and even having a cleaner home free of dust are all viable options when considering what you can do to minimize the effects of vaping on your body and lungs. And then of course there’s the notion of starting at the source – buying a vaporizer, dry herb or e-liquid, that is good quality will decrease the risk of potential burning/combusting, which can cause an entirely different range of lung and overall health issues. Being a conscious vaper by buying high quality vaporizer, dry herbs, e-liquid, and accessories is the first step to keeping your lungs healthy and happy.