Air quality generally doesn’t get much attention unless it’s unusually bad, but you can get a snapshot of pollution levels and types of pollutants, at any location in the United States, at airview.blueair.com. Just type in a street address, and results from the nearest air quality monitoring station will appear, including an overall air quality score. Pollutants measured include different industrial and vehicle emissions, bacteria, viruses, dust, and pollen. Air pollution increases risk for respiratory and heart diseases, and may contribute to diabetes and dementia. But studies show that the following foods and nutrients can help protect against damage:
- Fruits and veggies reduce heart-related risk from air pollution.
- Vitamin E helps protect lungs against tiny particles called particulate matter.
- Olive oil —as little as two-thirds of a teaspoon daily (3 grams, which contains 40 calories)—reduces pollution-related inflammation and constriction of arteries.