All of us living in today’s climate know that air pollution is a major public health issue. From the deadly smog in cities like Beijing and Mexico City, to the recent fires along the West Coast, our air quality is becoming more harmful to our health.
Moving away from cities may reduce your exposure to emission-based air pollutants, but other forms of air pollution may be unavoidable. Whether it’s caused by natural forces like wildfires, or industrial power plants, or even indoor pollution, it’s important to understand how air pollution affects your health, and what steps you can take to protect yourself.
Because air pollution particles are so small, you can easily ingest them and cause damage to your system. Here are some of the most common health effects caused by air pollution:
And that’s just to name a few.
But if you do live in an area where you’re exposed to high levels of air pollution, there are preventative measures you can take to minimize your health risk.
You might be thinking, “how can food protect me against air pollution?” While the two might seem unrelated, certain foods can fight the free radicals that enter your body through air pollution.
When free radicals enter your body, they cause oxidative stress. This leads to inflammation and long term health issues, like the ones mentioned earlier. In comes antioxidants.
Antioxidants are substances found in food with the ability to counter free radicals. Numerous studies (like this one) show that dietary antioxidant supplementation or increased ingestion of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables neutralize the effects of pollutants.
Here are some of the highest antioxidant food sources:
If you want to know more about incorporating more antioxidants into your diet, try Yes Health free for 14 days and see what your health coaches recommend for you.