ere in southern California, the last few days have taught many of us not to breathe too deeply. We’ve learned to stay indoors and keep the filter in the air cleaner clean.
Small particulate matter that’s too small to be captured by the tiny hairs in our upper respiratory tract can make it deep into the lung.
It’s much harder to get those particles out than it is to put them in there in the first place. And once there they can set off our innate immune systems … the same part of immunity that’s activated when we eat foods to which we’re allergic.
One way to help the lungs when this happens is to take antioxidants. These can help soothe inflammation in crisis situations, and often also support our detoxification pathways. I say often because about one-fifth of the population has a genetic quirk that makes detox a bit trickier.
The classic detoxifying antioxidant for smoke inhalation is n-acetyl-cysteine, or NAc. But this is a high-sulphur amino acid and that one-fifth of us I just mentioned may not do well on it. Watch for fatigue or brain-fog after taking NAc. If you notice those … go back to something simpler like vitamin C.
This is especially important for children.
Eating lots of fresh greens is a good idea, especially arugula, which feeds a different part of the detox cycle. Veges should be sure to be combining their amino acid foods and getting plenty of protein as those same detox pathways can’t work without lots of aminos.
And if you’ve been too close to a fire sometimes it’s just a good idea to take a few days away from home and give oneself a mini-vacation to recover from the shock. Stress hormones themselves inflame us … and relaxation calms that inflammation down