Even though the weather is beautiful now, we are turning the corner and changing seasons. Fall is a beautiful time of year here in Michiana, with crisp days and cooler nights.

This time of year we begin spending more time indoors, sharing recycled air, and kids are back in school, which can become a breeding ground for the latest colds being passed around.

Often times a common cold can migrate to the chest, leading to coughing, hacking, or, worse yet, influencing problems associated with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) or asthma.

Like the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so here are five simple tips that can help keep our lungs healthy and strong for the season ahead.

#1. Probably the most obvious, we must avoid pollutants such as cigarette smoke and environmental toxins. These can both damage tissue as well as impair the ability of the lungs to detoxify.

#2. We must stay adequately hydrated, with good clean water. Research has shown that many bronchospasms are due to dehydration of lung tissue. Drinking water evenly and regularly throughout the day has shown to be of benefit.

#3. Eating clean whole foods, free of preservatives, hydrogenated fats, and artificial flavorings and colorings is important for bronchial health. According to the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC), eating three or more weekly servings of fast food raises the severity of allergic asthma, eczema, and rhinitis among children.

#4. Many people don’t breathe correctly, taking fast and shallow breaths, as opposed to longer, deeper breaths. Proper breathing feeds oxygen to every cell in the body, and without sufficient oxygen, people are more prone to lung problems. Consider adding healthy breathing techniques to your schedule. Not only will it provide oxygen to your lungs and whole body, it is also a great way to combat stress.

#5. Supplements can play a terrific role in preventing and treating lung issues. As with anything, I like to start with foundational supplements that provide many other benefits to our bodies. For lung and immune health, I like omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) and vitamin D.

Vitamin D has been shown to decrease lung inflammation, while vitamin D deficiency has been linked to various airway inflammatory diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil are another foundational supplement that has shown immune, anti-inflammatory, brain and memory support, and support for lung health.

Research from the University of North Carolina has shown that in a study of more than 4,000 people, the risk of asthma is reduced with higher intakes of omega-3 fatty acids, most likely due to their anti-inflammatory properties.

The latest research on omega-3s and lung health out of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry has shown that an inhaled version of omega-3 fatty acids actually cleared a bacteria known as nontypeable Haemophilus influenza. This is a common form of bacteria that often plagues people with inflammatory diseases like COPD and asthma.

For the month of September 2016, all our Pure Encapsulations fish oil is 25% off regular prices, including Pure’s new ONE Omega, delivering the highest in absorption and concentration at just one fish oil capsule per day.

While taking advantage of a high-quality Pure fish oil at a great price, make sure you pick up a free Omega-3 Nutrient Spotlight Guide at the pharmacy counter to learn all the other benefits in addition to lung health.