We continue to see devastating fire seasons over the past few years in California. They are also getting closer and closer to home.
Our hearts weigh heavy with all the stories and what families are having to go through. We can't even imagine.
Your lungs + smoke
Others who are further removed, like those of us in the Sacramento and surrounding areas, are experiencing symptoms like lung inflammation.
In my work I’ve treated numerous firefighters, and have seen firsthand the effects that smoke has on their bodies, specifically the lungs.
Many of our patients are coming in with lung inflammation and trouble breathing. Those inflicted with asthma are especially feeling the affects.
Here are my top 5 tips to keep your lungs healthy:
Get Adjusted By Your Chiropractor
Positive clinical outcomes - increased chest expansion and oxygen rate post-adjustment - are seen in my office daily, not to mention the increased healthy immune system response that has been proven with Chiropractic adjustments.
For even better results, see a Chiropractor who specializes in Applied Kinesiology. They are able to dive deeper into respiratory function, looking at diaphragmatic control and neuro-lymphatic drainage of the lung.
Chiropractic also can address possible misalignment of cervical vertebrae which transmits nerve impulses to the diaphragm, which in turn, helps the diaphragm (your primary breathing muscle) function optimally.
Lung inflammation can also be linked to the consumption of inflammatory foods.
The top 5 inflammatory foods to avoid in order of priority are:
Need more specific recommendations - check out my healthy eating guide
There are also a few things you can consume that help with lung function:
1.Vitamin e rich oils/fats: olive oil, grass fed butter, wheat germ oil. Please note: wheat germ does not contain gluten, so calm down!
2. Fatty fish- salmon, mackerel, sardines and anchovies.
3. Nuts and seeds (all raw organic).
4. Veggies. Lots of them! The main vegetables to be sure to include in your diet are garlic, onions and the cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale, collards, cabbage, cauliflower, watercress, etc).
5. Drink more water than usual. Recommended daily intake is half your body weight in ounces. I would add an extra 40 ounces to that with lemon and lime.
Take Whole Food Supplements
The Number One supplement I recommend to allow for better lung function is wheat germ oil.
Cold processed wheat germ oil is a gluten-free concentrate made from the germ of the wheat kernel and provides the WHOLE vitamin E complex. Vitamin E is not just alpha tocopherol, which is ONLY the antioxidant or PROTECTOR of vitamin E complex. Vitamin E complex works together to support hormone precursors, support integrity of the tissues, and maximize oxygen levels. Wheat Germ Oil is the most concentrated, natural source of the complete vitamin E complex in the world.
WGO is also a source of octacosanol, a nutrient that can increase your endurance and physical performance.
which is good for vascular health, promotes cardiovascular health, prevents heart disease and age-related macular degeneration.
I recommend taking this supplement to all my firefighter patients, anyone trying to increase muscular endurance, and to those who go to places of high altitude. Plus, people that have a personal or family history of cardiovascular health complications.
WARNING: Do not consume synthetic OTC vitamin E - as it most likely ONLY contains the antioxidant portion of the vitamin E complex. Make sure you only consume whole food natural wheat germ oil.
Diffuse essential oils
My favorite oil blend to diffuse for lung health is Breathe by DoTerra. Lime and lemon are also great options to diffuse in your home.
And last but not least…
Check out a local yoga studio that will help you breathe better during class.
Yoga teaches us specific breathing techniques that are always beneficial, but are especially so when we’re dealing with the effects of smoke in the air.
Two areas close to us that continue to be affected by fires year after year are El Dorado and Placer counties. There are two local nonprofits that we know support victims of the fires. Comment below if you know other local organizations that support our communities during these trying times.
El Dorado Community Foundation (eldoradocf.org)
Mosquito Fire Relief Fund | Placer Community Foundation (placercf.org)
Stay Safe, Be Kind, and help where you can.