National Pollution Prevention Day is observed on 2nd December in India. This day is observed in the memory of people who lost their lives in Bhopal gas calamity which occurred on 2nd of December, 1984. It claimed the lives of many people due to poisonous gas Methyl Isocyanate also known as MIC. Bhopal Gas Tragedy is considered one of the biggest industrial pollution disasters.
Objectives of the day:
- To spread awareness of managing and controlling industrial disasters
- To prevent the pollution produced by industrial processes or human negligence
- To make people and industries aware of the importance of pollution control acts
Facts Around Air Pollution
- Out of every ten people, nine do not breathe safe air.
- 7 million people around the world are affected by air pollution. Out of these, 4 million die from indoor air pollution.
- PM 2.5 is a microscopic pollutant and it is so tiny that it can pass through mucous membranes and other protective barriers to damage the lungs, heart, and brain.
- The smaller age groups and the elderly people are highly affected by air pollution.
- Air pollution can also be a risk factor to climate change.
Effects of Air Pollution on Health
Air pollution can have a serious impact on our health, affecting issues including asthma, bronchial diseases, skin problems, mental health issues, cancer, and heart disease. So, other than fleeing to the countryside, how can we protect ourselves from the effects of poorer air quality?
- · The good news is that research has shown links between what we eat and our levels of protection against air pollution, so we can make simple changes to our diet to safeguard ourselves from damage.
- · Antioxidants protect our bodies from free radicals. Free radicals are produced due to the entry of toxic air particles in the body.
- Antioxidants present in our food
· Vitamin C
Vitamin C is one of the most potent antioxidants so it should be top of your list if you’re looking to combat the effects of pollution. Vitamin C cannot be produced or stored by the body, so you must include it in your diet daily. Vitamin C helps to recycle vitamin E, as well as works in collagen synthesis. Vitamin C rich sources include Chili peppers, blackcurrants, oranges, kale, kiwis, broccoli.
· Vitamin E
You are unlikely to be deficient in vitamin E, but it’s a good idea to be aware of its importance if you’re looking to up your protection against air pollution. Being a fat-soluble vitamin, eating good quality dietary fats supports absorption. Fat sources such as olive oil, are best consumed as salad dressings rather than as cooking oils, as heating oils to high temperatures damage them. Rich sources of Vitamin E Olive oil, sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, avocado
· Omega-3 Fatty acid
Studies have linked Omega-3 fatty acids to the reduction of inflammation and oxidative stress caused by air pollution. They’re also essential for brain and heart health, but many of us aren’t getting enough, as food sources are limited. If you don’t eat a diet rich in Omega-3, you might want to consider a good quality supplement, particularly if you are a vegan or vegetarian. Omega -3 sources include: Mackerel, salmon, oysters, sardines, walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds
- Dietary beta-carotene, found in red and orange fruits and vegetables as well as leafy greens, is converted to vitamin A in the body where it has anti-inflammatory (and anti-aging) properties. Vitamin A is also important for reproductive health, eye health, and a healthy functioning immune system.
- Rich sources of beta-carotene are carrots, kale, spinach, red and yellow peppers, sweet potatoes, apricots
Since now you know what to eat to combat pollution, you should definitely include the above mentioned nutrients in your diet. Stay healthy!