The rising levels of air pollution have been in the news for quite some time now. The Air Quality Index (AQI) of most cities in India is alarming. The air we breathe is full of particulate matter (PM), chemicals, soil, smoke, dust and allergens; which results in long-lasting health issues.
While we can’t control all the factors contributing to the deteriorating AQI, we can surely do a few things to safeguard our health. Dr Tal Friedman, Head of Naturopathic and Research & Development Specialist, Chiva-Som International Health Resort, Hua Hin, Thailand shares a few wellness tips to beat air pollution.
Change air filters
Make sure to keep the air filters at home and at work clean. Replace when necessary and see if HEPA or better filters are available for your HVAC system. Filtrete rolls are an option to add to an existing system. Keep in mind that the finer the filter, the harder your systems fan will have to push.
Vacuum and clean dust often, daily if your neighbourhood air is very polluted and you have young children, older folks or those with medical conditions. Much of this dust is brought in from the outdoors and then recirculates inside your home. Doing a quick cleaning inside can improve indoor air quality.
There have been a couple of studies looking at the ability of plants to accumulate PM (Particulate Matter). It is seen that leaves with greater amounts of rougher surfaces, collect and accumulate greater amounts of PM.
Epipremnum aureum (also called money plant, devils vine, devils ivy) is a good choice as the texture of the leaves has been shown to collect more PM than similar plants, but most plants with big rough leaves are good choices.
Avoid strong fragrance
Fragranced products like air fresheners, laundry detergents, etc. contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs can irritate the eyes, nose, throat and lungs. VOCs are also more commonly found indoors than outdoors. When outdoor air quality is poor it would be wise to limit exposure to VOCs when indoors.
Eating broccoli has great potential to fight inflammation and expel pollutants. A study based on drinking a broccoli sprout drink in an industrial part of rural Qidong, China showed people passed significantly more benzene out through their urine. Another study showed that smokers who ate 250 gm of steamed broccoli for 10 days had significantly lower levels of inflammation markers in their blood. That inflammation is triggered by air pollution.
Award-winning Chiva-Som is known for its transformative and holistic wellness practices at Thailand’s flagship resort in Hua Hin and at Zulal Wellness Resort in Khasooma, Qatar.
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