By Doc Willie Ong (Internist and Cardiologist)

Oxygen is a very important to our cells. Every function in our body is dependent on oxygen, and it is the power for our body and muscles. Breathing through our lungs provide our cells with oxygen, makes our brain work and heart beat.

Follow these tips to get more oxygen in your body.

1. Get fresh air.

Fresh air will give you with additional amounts of oxygen to the lungs. However, remember if you live in an urban area that has air pollution, consider buying an indoor air filtration system, or equipments which purify air at home naturally.

2. Grow plants indoors and outdoors.

Placing live plants into your home will increase available indoor oxygen. Choose plants that are easy to keep alive and don’t require a lot of sunshine.

3. Drink enough water.

In order to oxygenate our blood and expel carbon dioxide, our lungs need to be hydrated. Therefore, drinking enough water improves oxygen levels. We lose an average of about 400 milliliters of water per day from breathing and sweating.

4. Eat iron-rich foods.

Iron-rich foods can help improve the oxygen levels in your blood. Iron is a mineral needed for our red blood cells, the cells that transport blood around the body. That is why we are tired and exhausted if we lack iron, a condition called anemia.

Great sources of iron-rich foods are green leafy vegetables like broccoli, celery, spinach, kale; fruits such as apples, bananas, mung beans, soy products, and lean proteins such as eggs, poultry, and fish.

5. Exercise.

As we exercise, our breathing rate and depth of breathing increases. Therefore, our lungs absorb more oxygen, and that means you’ll feel better. The better we are at obtaining and utilizing oxygen, the more energy our cells are able to produce. This will strengthen our endurance.

6. Avoid smoking and excess alcohol intake.

Smoking damages the lungs and reduces your lung’s capacity to take in oxygen.

7. Train your breathing.

Oxygen is transported to the blood through the respiratory system. Slow and deep breathing increases the level of oxygen in our blood. Five to ten minutes per day of relaxed and focused breathing can improve your oxygen intake and reduce stress.

Finally, nose breathing is actually more beneficial than mouth breathing. Breathing through your nose can help filter out dust and allergens and humidify the air you breathe in. Nose breathing also produces nitric oxide which dilates the blood vessels and improves the delivery of oxygen to the body.

Follow these tips to breathe easier and stay healthier. Take care.

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