It always astonishes me how much information can be found on the web. You can learn a variety of things. Some how-to and some related to health, some advice related to relationships. What a valuable resource to be grateful for, right? My passion is health and wellness. I’m always reading, watching, listening or consuming health content. This is probably why i’m a health blogger and content producer myself. I’m always learning so I always have something to share.
One of the key points for high vitality, health, energy and brain function is getting your body optimal levels of oxygen. The brain needs oxygen. The blood needs oxygen. The entire body relies on oxygen to carry nutrients to the cells wherever they are in the body.
We live in a world full of oxygen but we also live in cities and worse yet live in homes as very domesticated creatures. This disconnects us from the abundant source of fresh oxygen outside. Did you know that indoor air is 3-5 times more polluted than outdoor air according to the EPA? Learn more on the EPA’s website here.
Long story short the levels of allergens, pollutants, heavy metals, formaldehyde, mycotoxins, fungus, mold, bacteria and off-gassing from paint, furniture, carpet and other objects in your home reduce the quality of the air substantially. So what can you do? Your body craves pure oxygen and to have an abundance of it. There are a series of steps and measures that you can take to improve the air quality in your home, office and bedroom specifically.
How To Improve Oxygen Quality Levels in Your Home
- Open Your Windows! This is probably obvious right? The EPA shares that indoor air is 3-5 times more toxic and polluted. Open your windows and let the pure oxygen flow through. Open windows on the opposite sides of your home so that you get a nice cross-breeze. This is a great first step! It’s more difficult if you live in a cold climate so the following steps may be more useful.
- Get Indoor Plants: The plants in your home are what use the process of photosynthesis. Photosynthesis takes energy from the sun and converts carbon dioxide (which in excess is a waste product) as well as water and converts that sunlight, water and carbon dioxide into fresh oxygen for you to breathe! We all know that plants improve air quality, so why not stuff your home and bedroom with them? Use them to your advantage. Not only do they look great and make a home feel healthier and more cozy but they provide a tremendous health benefit. There are 12 plants and flowers that specifically do an exceptional job of filtering out pollutants, toxins and off-gassing in your home. You can find that list here.
- Remove Chemical Cleaners & Detergents: If you want higher quality oxygen in your home it is important to not bring cleaners, detergents, soaps, shampoos, hair sprays and anything in a can or bottle into your home that is not plant based and natural. This could include laundry detergents that contain toxic ingredients, hair sprays, cologne, perfume or body spray. Soaps or shampoos that are not natural and made from plants. When these products are used they off-gas which just means that they create a space around them that their fumes (think exhaust on a car) is permeating that area. If your laundry room is full of toxic laundry detergent such as Tide (read more here) then that area will be polluted with Tide chemicals. If your bathroom is full of beauty, cosmetic and hair care products that don’t care for your health then you’ll be breathing those chemicals in the bathroom. Your entire home could contain a variety of products that contain chemicals you want to avoid. It is important to read labels and understand what you’re using in your home especially around and on your children.
- Utilize a Fan or Air Purifier: Another really great idea to improve the air and oxygen quality in your home is to utilize a fan or air purifier. A ceiling fan works best, but a floor fan will work great also. Keep in mind that a ceiling fan spinning clockwise pulls cool air up and pushes hot air down. In the winter time you want the fan to rotate clockwise. In the summer time to cool down you want the fan to rotate counter-clockwise. This causes the cool air to be pushed down and the hot air to be pulled up! That’s a nice tip to know and use in case you’ve been using a ceiling fan wrong for years! An air purifier is another great way to remove pollutants, dust mites, toxins, allergens, off-gassing and any toxic micro-organism from your home. I would recommend getting a HEPA air filter personally. A HEPA filter is the highest standard in the air filtration product industry. I have a Dyson Hot+Cool Hepa Air Filter that tracks my air quality and reports it to me on my app. The air purifier can also start filtering the air in my home automatically if it detects high levels of something that is toxic or harmful. This is valuable if there is anything passing through your home or if something in your home is causing this. This could potentially save lives, especially in the winter time when windows are closed up.If you don’t feel like reading, this video explains the section above:
Improve Oxygen Levels in The Blood & Brain With Nutrition
These are some great starting points to improve the oxygen and overall air quality in your home or office. The goal is to establish a baseline air quality that is acceptable for you or your family. If you can only do a few of the things above but not all four pieces of advice, don’t let that stop you from getting started and making progress. There’s no reason to not start now and benefit from this advice long term. Your health, brain and body will all benefit. Your sleep quality may improve too as a beneficial side effect of improving the air quality in your home. It seems that we all sleep better when we venture into nature to go camping or hiking. That fresh air does the body a whole lot of good.
After the baseline quality of air in your home has improved your body will have more readily available oxygen to benefit from. Beyond these techniques there are more specific techniques that will help the body to absorb and utilize a higher quantity of higher QUALITY oxygen moving forward. So far we have established a good base to work from. Now we are going to turn the dial up and optimize things on a higher level so that your brain, body, energy levels and sleep quality all improve from higher quality air to breathe. Now let’s dig into some principles that will improve oxygen levels and delivery in the body.
Improve Red Blood Cell Health To Benefit Oxygen Uptake:
The body depends on red blood cells to deliver oxygen to the entire body. Red blood cells depend on a protein known as hemoglobin which is a protein found within red blood cells that directly delivers oxygen to the body. The important thing to remember is to eat and drink foods and liquids that promote a higher quantity and quality of red blood cells in the body. Dark leafy green vegetables are one of the clearest winners in the food category for regulating and promoting healthy red blood cells. Both Avocado and green peas both contain multiple nutrients (Vitamin E and B3) which promote healthy red blood cells. You can find a full list of nutrients and foods that improve red blood cell health here.
The Importance Of The Hemoglobin Protein Molecule in Oxygenating Your Cells:
Hemoglobin is the protein found within red blood cells that carries oxygen to the entire body. There are multiple ways to improve the health of the hemoglobin protein molecule. The hemoglobin protein molecule works in a very interesting way. It is comprised of 1 iron atom and 1 oxygen molecule. They bind together and that is how the oxygen is delivered to the cells in the body. If you have an iron deficiency then your hemoglobin molecule cannot be formed completely and the oxygen uptake in your body suffers.
This will benefit the health and oxygen levels in your brain and body as a whole very well.
Increase Oxygen Levels With Vitamin C, Folic Acid, Iron, Nettle
Foods rich in vitamin C will also help. They support the absorption of iron in the body. Vitamin c rich foods include bell peppers, lime, lemon, orange, tomato, papaya, grapefruit and broccoli.
Iron Rich Foods:
Believe it or not approximately 70% of your body’s Iron is found in your red blood cells and hemoglobin. This means that if you have an Iron deficiency your red blood cells and hemoglobin suffer. Iron is an incredibly important nutrient to complete the hemoglobin protein molecule so make sure that you are eating Iron rich foods such as spinach, kale and other dark leafy greens. Spirulina in a one ounce serving provides half of your daily value of Iron needed. You can find good high quality sources of spirulina online here. Liver and grass-fed beef are also really great sources of Iron if you are a meat eater. Lentils, dark chocolate, black beans and pistachios are great sources of Iron as well. These all support the health of that hemoglobin molecule to bind to oxygen and carry that throughout the body effectively.
Folic acid is a B-complex vitamin that is essential for the creation of red blood cells. If you have a folic acid deficiency then your hemoglobin levels are going to be lower by default. Some good dietary sources of folic acid are green leafy vegetables, sprouts, dried beans, broccoli and bananas. Beetroot is also highly recommended to increase the body’s red blood cell count as it is high in folic acid as well as iron, potassium and fiber”, says Nutritionist and Dietician Sheela Krishnaswamy. (Source)
Interestingly enough nettle tea contains vitamin C and Iron both! it’s a great anti-inflammatory aid also which improves circulation throughout the body. Two of the three nutrients that really benefit the hemoglobin protein molecule are in nettle tea, so drink up!
How To Improve Oxygen Levels in The Brain & Body With Exercise & Breathwork…
We’ve covered a lot of bases so far. Creating a standardized quality level of oxygen in your home or office by improving your environment. We’ve covered how to nutritionally give your body the building blocks it needs to improve oxygen quality in the brain and body. Now we’re going to cover the exercise aspect of it all. How to spend just a few minutes a day (or once a week, if you prefer) to really give your body higher doses of pure oxygen when you want it. These techniques and exercises will really help you to get more oxygen into your body or brain, depending on your personal preference. More oxygen into the body will improve your Vo2 Max. The Vo2 max is a metric that athletes track to see how much oxygen their lungs an intake per their amount of weight. The higher your Vo2 max the more available oxygen your muscles have to perform. To give your brain more oxygen will improve cognitive performance, creativity, memory and speed of thinking. This can come in handy in the corporate environment or when trying to come up with new, creative and innovative ideas.
Oxygen For Your Brain:
Hang upside down on an inversion table or in a yoga swing. This will cause the blood to rush to your head and blood carries you guessed it, oxygen! I own an inversion table but if I were to do this over again I would get a yoga swing. A yoga swing can be hung anywhere and allows for you to hang completely upside down without any structural support. A yoga swing is the equivalent of hanging from a tree whereas an inversion table is hanging upside down with your back supported. Both are great options and will increase blood and oxygen flow to your brain. This is great to do first thing in the morning and at the very end of the day. In the morning it will help your brain have more oxygen to perform better throughout the day. At night it will help your body relax and drift off sooner.
You can get a yoga swing here. You can get an inversion table here.
Oxygen For Your Body:
Breathwork is a tremendous way to get oxygen into your entire body. Deep breathing exercises are very valuable for oxygenating your entire body as a whole. This will benefit your brain and body both and the great thing about deep breathing exercises is that you can do them anywhere at anytime. No nutrients or environmental factors need to change. All it takes is a few minutes of your time. There are many different forms of yoga and meditation that include breathwork practices within them. My recommendation is to try different types of yoga and meditation and test these exercises out for yourself to see which works best for you. You’ll be exposed to a variety of deep breathing practices that help to oxygenate your body and one or a few of them will resonate best with you. Keep benefiting from those long term by continuing with those practices whether in the class, at home or at work.
Pure Oxygen Benefits Your Health in Many Ways
We’ve covered a lot of ground in this article. You’ve learned how to increase the air quality in your home so that more readily available oxygen is available for you and your loved ones to breathe. We’ve covered how you can nutritionally enhance your diet so that your body utilizes the hemoglobin protein within red blood cells to carry oxygen to your cells throughout the entire body. You’re reading and researching this topic for a reason. There are plenty of benefits to having fresh oxygen in your body, blood and brain at any given time. It benefits your health in a multitude of ways. So what exactly does it do and how does it directly benefit our health and performance?
- It oxidizes Our Food:
Oxidization of our food is one critical role that oxygen plays. Oxidizing food essentially means that oxygen helps the food to break down and turn into ATP which helps the body to produce energy from food. The more oxygen your body has available the better you will digest food and produce energy for everyday living tasks. This will also give you an edge in your workout routine at the gym!
- Your Body is Largely Oxygen:
We often forget that a large percentage of our body (anywhere from 50-70%) are water. The cells within our body are 70-90% water. The molecular structure of water is H20 which means there is 1 part hydrogen to 2 parts oxygen. Your body contains and needs a lot of oxygen to simply function and perform regular tasks all across the board. Oxygen helps your body function normally and a better available source of oxygen helps your body to function at more optimal levels for higher performance.
- Benefits Lung Health:
Your lungs are your “oxygen organs” to help intake and process. If your body is healthy and properly utilizing oxygen your lungs will be healthier and better able to do their job in your body over time.
- Benefits Heart Health:
The heart will work harder to pump blood and the oxygen within the blood to the brain if the brain isn’t getting enough oxygen. Having enough oxygen in your body helps your heart rate normalize and not be stressed trying to get oxygen to the brain.
- Helps The Body Detoxify & Cells Regenerate:
Oxygen is great for binding to toxic substances within the body to help expel them. Oxygen is also a vital component in the regeneration of cells within the body.
- Improve Sleep Health:
Oxygen helps the body to repair and recover. It helps to ease the brain from stress and anxiety throughout the day. I always sleep with my windows open when it’s warm outside so that i’m breathing fresh air throughout the night. You’ll sleep better and wake up feeling more mentally and physically rejuvenated!
- Prevent Various Diseases & Conditions:
When the body has enough pure oxygen it can work wonders for helping prevent disease or chronic conditions. Everything from asthma to diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Oxygen works to stabilize and harmonize organs and systems within the body that are responsible for healthy function of everything as a whole.
- Enhance Immunity & The Nervous System:
Oxygen helps to repair and rejuvenate immune cells at a healthier rate which means that your immune system will be stronger and better able to fight off disease, infections, bacteria or any harmful organisms. Oxygen also benefits the nervous system by giving the brain enough oxygen. When the brain has enough oxygen to function at an optimal level the nervous system is stronger, your motor skills and balance will even improve. Your nervous system is connected to your muscles as well so your muscles can fire faster and you’ll feel an enhanced sense of energy and performance.There you have it. You are now able to upgrade the quality of oxygen in your home, improve the nutritional harmony within your body to have more readily available oxygen at any time. Focus on a few exercises that give your body more oxygen intentionally wherever you are whether that’s at home, the office or vacation. Lastly, you now know the benefits of giving your body, brain and blood more pure oxygen to work with. Your health, performance and life will feel more at ease and simply work better because of more fresh oxygen!Image: https://vimeo.com/133627232