Big cities usually tend to have higher air pollution than the countryside. Daily exposure to air pollutants can take a toll on your health. According to a recent study, not only does breathing polluted air bad for your lungs but it could also cause you to gain weight.
Researchers from Duke University showed that laboratory rats who were exposed to Beijing, China’s polluted air gained weight. (1)
In just 19 days, the rats exposed to the polluted air experienced “heavier and showed increased tissue inflammation.” (2)
They also had 50 percent higher LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) and 46 percent higher triglycerides (type of fat in blood).
To make matter worse, the rats also showed higher insulin resistance, which is often linked to Type 2 diabetes.
In short, the rats exposed to the bad air were heavier, with females weighing 10 percent more and males 18 percent more than those exposed to clean air.
“Since chronic inflammation is recognized as a factor contributing to obesity and since metabolic diseases such as diabetes and obesity are closely related, our findings provide clear evidence that chronic exposure to air pollution increases the risk for developing obesity,” said professor Junfeng “Jim” Zhang, senior author of the paper.
The results of this study are consistent with other studies that show air pollution induces oxidative stress and inflammation in the organs and circulatory system. The findings also echo previous studies linking air pollution with increased insulin resistance and altered fat tissue. (3)
How To Protect Yourself From Air Pollution
- Pay attention to forecasts for high air pollution days. (Download the “State of the Air” app to get forecasts delivered to your phone.)
- Avoid exercising near high-traffic areas.
- Avoid exercising outdoors when pollution levels are high.
- Don’t let anyone smoke indoors.
- Grow air purifying plants at home.
- Eat foods high in antioxidants and vitamins (especially Vitamin A, C and Beta-Carotene) (4)
3-Day Lung Detox Program (5)
- Drink a cup of sage tea before going to sleep on the evening before the detox.
- Squeeze two lemons into a 10 ounce glass of cool boiled water and add a teaspoon of local organic honey and drink before breakfast.
- Throughout the day drink 10 ounces of either pineapple, cranberry-apple or grapefruit juice, as they all contain antioxidants that assist with cleansing the lungs.
- Drink 8-10 ounces of fresh carrot juice in between breakfast and lunch as carrots affect the alkalization of the blood and this helps to stimulate detoxification.
- With lunch drink 12 ounces of any juice that is high in potassium, for example, avocado, banana, beetroot, tomato or spinach.
- Before bed drink 12 ounces of cranberry juice as this helps to fight the bacteria found in the lungs.
- Take one tablespoon of olive oil twice a day and drink a laxative tea during the morning and one in the evening to assist the intestines to function effectively.
- On the last night of the detox eat a bowl of fresh salad.
- The day after the detox eat small sized freshly prepared meals that are easy to digest.
- During the detox spend 20 minutes a day in a hot bath as perspiration removes toxins through the skin.
- Heat water in a pot and then add 5-10 drops of eucalyptus essential oil. When the water has cooled slightly place your head over the pot covering with a towel, inhaling the steam until the water has cooled right down.
- Drinking a glass of lemon juice before breakfast and last thing at night also assists with cleansing and rejuvenating the lungs.