We all know smoking and a sedentary lifestyle are major risk factors for heart disease. But did you know that if you live in an urban city that struggles with air pollution, you're also at greater risk for heart disease? According to an October 2016 study published by The American Heart Association's medical journal Circulation Research, air pollution from cars and factories, as well as fire and cigarette smoke, damages blood vessels and causes inflammation in otherwise healthy young adults.
While no one advocates moving to the woods to stave off heart disease, we do recommend a few choice tips for reducing exposure to pollution and detoxing the body of harmful pollutants.
1. Avoid pine and citrus scents. Prevention warns of cleaning products and air fresheners with pine and citrus scents. These popular home goods can react with the ozone in the air to form polluting particles in your own home.
2. Be smart about outdoor exercise. Avoid jogging in places that are near high-traffic areas, such as busy roads and highways, says Prevention. While exercise is always recommended for heart health, be wise and exercise indoors on days when pollution levels are dangerously high. You can check the air quality of your city by visiting airnow.gov
3. Leave your shoes at the door. When you come home, take your shoes off immediately. This reduces the amount of pollutants you bring into the home, says Natural Society. To make this habit easier, keep cozy slippers at the door to replace your shoes indoors.
4. Peace lilies. This is one of several indoor plants Natural Society recommends using to purify the air in your home. These plants are like natural air filters. English ivy, bamboo palm, chrysanthemum, and Gerber daisies are just some of the pretty plants known to clean the air.
5. Oxygen Exercise. Increase the oxygen in the blood and in the cells with this simple oxygen exercise from Dr. Jon Dunn. Inhale through your nose for 4 seconds and hold your breath for a count of 7. While pursing your lips, exhale slowly for a count of 8. Repeat 8 times, twice daily. After two weeks, your body should produces more 2,3 DPG, the substance that allows the body to acclimate in high altitude by releasing more oxygen from the hemoglobin in the blood.
6. Turmeric. This Ayurvedic root is anti-inflammatory, detoxifying, and blood-purifying. To purify the body from polluted air, CureJoy recommends adding turmeric to your daily diet. To do so, take these tips from theKitchn and add the spice to eggs, roasted vegetables and rice. You can also simmer it in milk and honey to make a warming tea.
7. Ginger. Get in the habit of drinking a warm cup of energizing ginger tea when you come home from being outdoors. CureJoy says this tasty root has a purifying compound known as gingerols, which is anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, blood purifying and detoxifying.
8. Garlic. The sulfur in garlic stimulates the liver, helping to eliminate toxic substances like air pollutants. CureJoy says garlic also contains detoxifying enzymes that filter waste materials from the bloodstream.
These tips can make everyone healthier. SHARE this article on social media!