- A new study by Leeds University says that Indian air quality will worsen
- PM2.5 concentrations in India will double by 2050
- Eating foods rich in vitamins C, E can fight pollution-related ailments
Pollution has always been a big issue in India. Some of the most polluted cities in the world are in India, including the capital city of Delhi. Things get especially bad during winters, when a toxic fog starts taking over large parts of the colder states of the country. Breathing ailments, lung ailments and a number of other health complications result from the pollution that chokes Indians during winters every year. An estimate puts the number of deaths caused every year in India due to air pollution at 1.6 million. A new research led by scientists from the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds has shown that implementing stricter emission standards in India can save thousands of lives.
The study also suggested that one of the most insidious air pollutants which wreak the most havoc on the health of Indians- the Particulate Matter PM2.5- could double in concentration by 2050, creating a dire situation. As a part of the Leeds study, scientists compared India’s existing and planned policies to a more aggressive plan to curtail pollutants and exposure to them, saying that if the latter were implemented, it would bring down Indians' rate of exposure to pollution by nine per cent. The study warned that India's economic and industrial growth is likely to increase ambient concentrations of PM2.5. Although these emission control measure will go a long way in ensuring better health for Indians across the country, there are some measures that we can take on an individual level to fight diseases related to air pollution.
These include adding certain foods to our diets, which increase our capacity to fight air pollutants. Here are some such foods that you should add to your diet, ahead of the winters:
1. Vitamin C-Rich Foods: Cirtusy fruits like oranges, lemons are rich in vitamin C, which is crucial to boost immunity. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant, which scavenges free radicals and can be easily added to your daily meals in the form of a little lemon juice squeezed over salads and in drinks. Other than this, guavas and amlas or Indian gooseberries are excellent sources of vitamin C.
2. Vitamin E-Rich Foods: Foods that are abundant in vitamin E help create the all-important first line of defence against damage to the human tissue. Plant-based cooking oils like canola, sunflower and olive oil are excellent sources of vitamin E, as are sunflower seeds and almonds.
3. Omega 3-Rich Foods: Omega 3 fatty acids are important for offsetting the effects of air pollution on our heart health and lipid profile. Foods like flaxseeds, fatty fish, kidney beans or rajma, bajra grain flour, methi or fenugreek, green leafy veggies are all rich in omega-3 fatty acids.