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Surprising New Role for Lungs: Making Blood

Exciting studies with mice are showing that your lungs may have an additional role beyond providing you with air to breathe, according to HealthCanal. Scientists report that they discovered that the lungs in mice not only produce platelets necessary for blood clotting, but can restore blood production when bone marrow stem cells are depleted.

While the studies are still too new to know whether this applies to humans, it’s still a good opportunity to talk about ways to keep your lungs healthy. Of course, we know the importance of not smoking and avoiding environmental exposures that can damage our lungs — especially since exposure to chemical toxins affects your lungs, cognitive function, and even is connected to a rising number of children affected by autism spectrum disorder and ADHD.

But did you know that something as simple as eating a high-fiber diet can help your lungs stay healthy? It’s true: Studies show that people who ate a lot of fiber scored better on two breathing tests, indicating larger lung capacity and the ability to exhale more air in one second.

This adds to mounting research suggesting that a high-fiber diet can help reduce your risk of premature death from any cause, including cancer and heart disease.

If you want to increase your daily fiber intake, forget grains and concentrate on eating veggies. A high-grain diet tends to promote insulin and leptin resistance, which is counterproductive as this actually promotes many of the chronic diseases that healthy fiber can help reduce, most notably type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Excellent fiber choices include soluble fibers found in veggies and fruits like cucumbers, blueberries, beans and nuts, and insoluble fibers like dark green leafy vegetables, green beans, celery and carrots.
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