Unless you grew up under a rock, you are well aware of the incredible health complications associated with smoking cigarettes. Once viewed as a normal and harmless recreational activity, today experts warn that smoking is responsible for nearly 1 in 5 deaths that occur in the United States!
Increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke and lung cancer, among other problems, it is no wonder that medical professionals are going to great lengths to try to spread the word and encourage Americans to ‘butt out’ once and for all.
One of the biggest concerns for those who have smoked for any length of time in their life, whether just a few months or for years on end, is the impact that these toxins have on your lungs and the rest of your respiratory system. Cigarette smoke can irritate your windpipe and voice box, reduce lung function, increase your risk of lung infection, create excess mucus in the lung passages, cause a build up of toxins and poisonous substances in the lungs and increase your risk of lung cancer. A lot of risks to take for a few minutes with a cigarette in hand!
Despite the long list of reasons not to give in to this dangerous habit, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that more than 15% of Americans currently smoke cigarettes, and an even greater number have previously smoked and quit.
The good news is that your lungs can recover significantly after you quit, however, it takes time! In fact, experts estimate that it will take approximately 7 years from the moment a smoker quits until their lungs are able to regain the clearer, pinker color that indicates they have released the toxins from smoking. We can help to speed up this process by consuming a diet rich in antioxidants, adding more aerobic exercises to our workout routine, and paying attention to the quality of the air in our home.
One great addition to your diet and believed to work as a ‘superfood’ cure for a number of different health concerns, is turmeric. Scientists have conducted over 300 different research studies focusing on the impact of turmeric and curcumin in the treatment of lung cancer, and the results have been incredibly promising. The two have been found to be a natural anti-cancer agent and an effective antioxidant to cleanse the lungs. For this reason, many experts recommend including turmeric in your daily diet after you have quit smoking to aid in the process of cleansing and healing your lungs, promoting better overall lung health.
There are many ways to incorporate turmeric into your daily routine, but one of the easiest approaches for many is through a simple turmeric-based drink. There are many varieties, each with their own benefits and strengths. This particular recipe combines the superfood capabilities of turmeric with the antibacterial properties of onions and detoxifying strength of ginger for a power-packed solution.
Turmeric Based Lung Detox
2 tbsp of turmeric (powdered)
400g of onion
Thumb-sized ginger root
400g of maple syrup, honey or sugar
1L of water
#1 – Mix the sugar (honey or maple syrup) and water. Place this mixture in a pot on the stove, heating until it starts to boil.
#2 – Chop both the onions and ginger and add them to the boiling mixture of sugar water. Continue to boil.
#3 – Add the turmeric before reducing the heat. Allow the mixture to continue to simmer at medium until the mixture has reduced to have the original volume of liquid.
#4 – Removing the mixture from the stove, strain it into a glass container. Allow it to cool before placing it in the fridge for storage.
#5 – Consume the mixture every day: 2 tbsp in the morning and 2 tbsp in the evening approximately 2 hours after you have finished your meal.
Image via The Hearty Soul