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We are all so busy with our lives that we forget to do one essential thing that keeps us going…breathe! I hear people telling others to just breathe all the time lately. When and how did we get to this place that we forgot to do the one essential thing that keeps us balanced, running and alive? If we really want to live a well balanced, happy, healthy life then we have to remember to breathe. By that, I mean that we need to add more oxygenation into our diets and remember to add in deep breathing to our daily routine.

The Science Behind Oxygenation

Our normal arterial oxygen levels are anywhere between 75-100 mmHG. Anything under 60 mmHG is considered dangerously low. Most of us have no idea how to measure this, so the more common form of measurement is through pulse oximeter readings, which should be anywhere between 95-100%. You can get this reading from your doctor, but the much cheaper versions can be purchased on Amazon. They even have some pretty cool color options, all for only $18.95! It is a good way to keep tabs on your regular oxygenation so that you know where you are starting, what affects your oxygen levels and where you need to be.

When the oxygen content in your blood is low it can create all sorts of negative side effects. Some of these include:

  • Bluish coloration of the skin (Nobody wants to be a Smurf!)
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent coughing
  • Irritability
  • Lethargy
  • Not sleeping well (lack of oxygen continually impairs good quality of sleep = COPD)
  • Shortness of breath while resting
  • Shortness of breath while exercising
  • Wheezing

Now, I don’t know about you but I am not a fan of any of the aforementioned. As a pretty busy person, I can’t afford to have any of those negative side effects affecting my daily life and/or my productivity. Therefore, I do everything in my power to avoid anything, and everything, that may slow me down. Stopping every now and then to remember to take some deep breaths, especially when I am beginning to feel stressed out, really helps. However, so does continually making sure that I eat foods that increase my blood oxygenation levels.

Higher Oxygenated Foods

Our current food patterns all seem to be leading us to include more healthy foods into our diets, which is absolutely fantastic! Not only are we eating more healthy foods, but we are going back to our local food roots, which is great news. We are beginning to diversify our diets again, which is what we were always meant to do. But the one thing that we haven’t really been talking about yet is the oxygen content of our foods, or how those foods effect the oxygen content of our blood, which directly effects every part of our lives.

So what are some of the best foods to eat for better oxygenation of our blood? Well, here are some of the best options, which coincidentally are pretty easy to track down:

  • Alfalfa Sprouts
  • Apricots
  • Apples
  • Asparagus
  • Avocados (My absolute favorite and a daily staple in my house!)
  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Black Rice
  • Broccoli (This is one of the ONLY vegetables that my daughter will eat!)
  • Cantaloupe
  • Carrots
  • Cayenne
  • Celery
  • Dates
  • Garlic
  • Grapes
  • Green Tea
  • Honeydew
  • Kale
  • Kiwi
  • Legumes
  • Lemons (We drink this in our water all day long!)
  • Limes
  • Mango
  • Papaya
  • Parsley
  • Pears
  • Pineapple
  • Quinoa
  • Raisins
  • Seaweed (The two older boys take this for lunch every day and fight over it!)
  • Spinach
  • Teff Flour (One of my FAVORITE gluten free grains to bake with!)
  • Water, Water and MORE Water!
  • Watercress (Love this in stir fry!)
  • Watermelon

The Takeaway

So now that you know some of the best foods to increase your blood oxygenation and that they are easy to find and incorporate daily, don’t wait to start including them! Just remember to incorporate regular deep breathing into your daily regimen also because it will help everything stay in balance and help reduce normal stress levels. This is especially important if you have a stressful job or you have children, because as much as we love them they can certainly induce stress!

What are some things that you have regularly incorporated to increase your oxygen levels, decrease stress and increase your quality of life?