New Delhi, November 7: All any one seems to be talking about these days is the pollution in India’s national capital Delhi, which has reached truly astronomical levels post-Diwali. The pollution level has reached over 16 times the safe limit, with the Indian Medical Association calling it a ‘pollution epidemic’ and the state government declaring a slew of emergency measures to halt increasing pollution. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has ordered a halt to all construction and demolition activities as well as advised people to stay indoors as much as possible. Schools have also been shut, in order to prevent kids from getting exposed to harmful toxins and heavy metals in the air.

Steps to avoid exposure to polluted air

Besides the use of gas masks and air purifiers, there are a couple of lifestyle and other changes that can be adopted to, reduce the impact of the smog on your health and the health of your family members.

  • Check the daily air quality index of the city and if it has exceeded 200, avoid sending children outdoors to play. Special care must be taken with people suffering from asthma and/or respiratory allergies.
  • As advised by the state government and also the Indian Medical Association, one should reduce the amount of time spent outdoors. If it is unavoidable to spend long hours outside, always carry a gas mask with you.
  • Install air purifiers inside your homes and bring home plants which are natural air purifiers, like aloe vera, ficus, Ivy, spider plant, etc.
  • Small and big dietary  changes can also help you combat pollution and boost your immunity. ALSO READ: Delhi Pollution: 5 immediate steps to be taken by Arvind Kejriwal govt to improve air quality

Dietary Changes

Air Pollution can cause a number of respiratory and skin ailments and cause hormonal imbalances within the body, leading to infertility in males and even miscarriages in females. To protect yourself from such adverse effects of pollution, you should consume foods which fight diseases and give a boost to your immunity.

  • Drinking plenty of water is a must- it helps you flush out toxins which might have entered your body and also keeps your skin healthy. So make it a habit to consume enough water.
  • To fight respiratory infections, cough and cold, have ginger with honey. It is an effective way of reducing throat irritation and provide instant relief.
  • To clear off the cough accumulated in your chest, have honey with crushed black pepper.

Anti-oxidants to fight pollution

Further, consume foods which are anti-oxidant rich, which includes all fruits and vegetables, especially the ones rich in Vitamins A and C. Anti-oxidants fight the degradation of normal healthy tissue, caused by the creation of free radicals in the body, when it is exposed to pollutants.

  • Fruits and vegetables which boost Vitamin A in the body include those which are yellow, orange and green in colour and hence, are rich in carotenoids.
  • Lemon, guava, amla, tomato, brusells sprouts and brocolli are considered rich in Vitamin C, and hence, must be added to your day-to-day diet plans.
  • Though whole fruits are preferable, fruit juices like orange juice and lemon juice can also be consumed. If you are looking to combine health with taste, gajar ka halwa and other sweet carrot preparations can be considered.  ALSO READ: Delhi pollution levels alarming, Centre summons 5 northern states

Steps to reduce pollution

While this year pollution levels have reached unprecedented levels in the city, the issue is not a new one. Every year, several thousands of people are killed due to this monster, which has only been growing with time, not just because of faulty government policies, but also because of collective apathy of Delhiites. So even as you fight the adverse impacts of a disaster of your own making, you should also reflect on what you can do differently, in order to make a change on the environment, however, small that change might be. Small steps, like carpooling and using the public transport, instead of insisting on using own vehicle can go a long way in reducing pollution in the city.