8 Surprising Foods That Can Help You Breathe Better

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2. Olive oil

The mono and polyunsaturated fats and phytonutrients that are found in olive oil play an important role in lung health. As a matter of fact, olive oil may help fight the health risks that are associated with air pollution such as increased blood pressure and impaired blood vessels—factors that can lead to a reduction in your oxygen supply.

An Environmental Protection Agency study administered fish oil, olive oil, and no oil to three groups of adults; after one month, participants breathed in filtered air and polluted air for several hours. The olive oil trumped all by boosting the blood vessel’s response to pollutant stress and increased levels of tPA, a blood protein that dissolves clots, which can actually cause you shortness of breath.

Scientists strongly believe the oleic acid, an anti-inflammatory component which is found in olive oil, may be responsible.“Olive oil is a healthy oil that serves an antioxidant function, says Norman H. Edelman, MD. senior scientific advisor for the American Lung Association.

“It helps fight the primary effects of pollutants, which is inflammation and the bad molecules that come from inflammation, which are the oxidants,” he says.

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