Health

Oxygen : The Key To Health And Well-Being

Breathing Oxygen - key to health and well being
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Breathing is a spontaneous process we perform in a continuous and automated way, providing us with the vital element that keeps almost everything on our planet alive: Oxygen.

We all take for granted the fact that oxygen is vital, but if we were to know how it actually affects our body, we would enjoy every single breath we take.

In fact, Oxygen has a lot to do with your health, stamina, and well-being. Its deficiency is known to cause fatigue, lack of concentration, irritability, and stress, yet, when available at sufficient amounts; it does wonderful things to your body.

So, what exactly is Oxygen? How does our body benefit from it? What is causing its deficiency? And most of all, How can we keep oxygen levels at the optimum?

Let us dig a little deeper and rediscover Oxygen as for the first time.

The element of Life.

forest-plants-photosynthesis-oxygen-production

Oxygen is the eighth element in the periodic table of elements. A colorless gas that makes up 20.8% of the air we breathe. It is the third most abundant element on the planet after Hydrogen and Helium. It is responsible for keeping almost everything alive on our planet, and one of the reasons why Earth is not just another dusty inhospitable place.

It is made available for us by plants through a process called Photosynthesis, during which they convert carbon dioxide to release huge amounts of Dioxygen – a diatomic gas with the formula O2 (two atoms of oxygen bound together) – in the air using sunlight and water.

Another form of oxygen exists in the atmosphere known as Ozone (03), which role is to protect the planet from the ultraviolet radiation coming from the sun.

Few billion years ago, oxygen made up to 30% of the air we breathe. In the present day, and because of various reasons such as pollution,  deforestation, and the industrial progress, this amount has drastically decreased, and seeing the abuse we do to our dear planet, these levels are only to tumble down, hence the need for us all to care about the environmental cause and opt for green alternatives in our daily.

How our body uses Oxygen.

let us have a glance at how our body gets oxygen. Most of the oxygen we get is through breathing. The lungs ensure the gas exchange between the human body and the ambient air. These exchanges take place at the level of the alveoli (tiny air sacs in the lungs) where the blood is then enriched in oxygen and devoid of carbon dioxide. It is the pressure difference of CO2 and O2 between the cell and the capillary which induces this exchange.

Blood rich in carbon dioxide is brought by the pulmonary artery directly from the right ventricle of the heart. To ensure the oxygenation of lung tissue, bronchial arteries provide oxygen-rich blood.

In the blood, the oxygen attaches to the hemoglobin of the red blood cells, which serves as a carrier. The hemoglobin then releases the oxygen in the cells, and in exchange, it captures the carbon dioxide output of the cellular respiration and returns it to the lungs where it is eliminated in the exhaled air.

The oxygen deficit (Hypoxia).

Our body can experience a lack of oxygenation for various reasons, this deficiency is known as Hypoxia, and its severity depends on the amount of oxygen we can get. For example, at high altitude where oxygen levels are lower (14% at 10 000 feet), we are to experience symptoms like fatigue, numbness, tingling of extremities, irritability, and headache. with even lower rates the symptoms can be far more dangerous like confusion, disorientation, hallucinations, severe headaches, unconsciousness, slow heart rate, low blood pressure and even death.

The oxygen deficit (Hypoxia).

Our body can experience a lack of oxygenation for various reasons, this deficiency is known as Hypoxia, and its severity depends on the amount of oxygen we can get. For example, at high altitude where oxygen levels are lower (14% at 10 000 feet), we are to experience symptoms like fatigue, numbness, tingling of extremities, irritability, and headache. with even lower rates the symptoms can be far more dangerous like confusion, disorientation, hallucinations, severe headaches, unconsciousness, slow heart rate, low blood pressure and even death.

Under oxygenation can occur for several reasons:

  • Air Pollution
  • Smoking
  • Lung and respiratory diseases
  • Circulatory diseases
  • Anemia
  • Stress
  • Intense physical exercise
  • Altitude

Moreover, hemoglobin passes oxygen to the cells only under certain conditions of temperature, acidity or carbon dioxide rate in the air, if that rate exceeds 0.06% the exchange doesn’t happen causing an under oxygenation. However, this is almost always the case in cities where the rate varies between 0.09 and 0.14%.

In such circumstances, we are to find new ways to maintain high oxygen levels, if we want to prevent its deficiency, and keep our body cells in optimal conditions.

Oxygen as key to Good Health and well being.

Since antiquity, scientists, doctors,  yogis, they all agree that oxygen is the key to well-being.

Maintaining a good health depend not only on a good nutrition and regular exercise, it also depends on a good oxygenation of the body.

Good oxygenation is the result of new oxygen-rich blood being pumped through the different veins and arteries to different parts of the body, ensuring that every cell receives the proper amount of oxygen. This leads to a series of reactions that stimulate different organs and provide us with more energy.

Oxygen has huge benefits on our body, it is known to:

  • Boost the nervous system and enhance brain performance.
  • Strengthen the immune system.
  • Have a detoxifying effect.
  • Contribute to cells generation of damaged tissues.
  • Help cleansing and detoxifying important organs such as the liver, and the pancreas.
  • Help reduce stress.
  • Improve sleep quality.
  • Optimize sports performance.
  • Limit the growth of cancer cells.
  • Prevent Heart Disease.
  • Prevent Asthma.
  • Prevent the Seizure in Epileptic Patients.
  • Increase burning of fat.
Breathing while walk in a pleasant environment like a garden or a park boosts oxygen levels

Tips for a better body oxygenation.

Consume anti-anemia and Iron rich foods.

This kind of diet will increase hemoglobin production, and thus promotes oxygen transport and increase its level in the blood. in this category of food we will find, red meat, liver, seafood, dried fruit and nuts, green vegetables, beet …

More Vitamin C.

Vitamin C help in the absorption of iron. It is found in foods like orange, lemon, and kiwi. For a better absorption of iron, these foods should be consumed in the same meals as foods rich in iron, or right after.

Include Alkaline-rich foods in your diet.

Alkaline-rich foods regulate the body pH and promote exchanges at a cellular level that would increase the oxygen level in the blood.

Practice conscious breathing everyday.

We usually breathe through the upper body (chest breathing). This type of breathing is useful but generates stress, and creates tension. In sophrology we learn to breathe consciously, performing long and deep breathing, which aims to slow down the heartbeat and gives us a soothing and relaxing feeling.

Conscious breathing consists of inhaling ample amount of air deeply and gently through the nose and exhaling through the mouth in a contentious and unbroken way.

It’s simple but the effect is very deep. When we fully concentrate on our breathing and recognize it as such, we automatically free ourselves from the past and the future, and we focus on the present moment, we fill up our body with oxygen, generate more energy, lose all the stress, and enjoy the amazing benefits of good oxygenation.

Take a morning walk.

Go for a walk in a pleasant environment (a garden, a park ..) and practice conscious and slow breathing. Inhale air through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Starting your day with this simple and easy exercise every morning will boost your oxygen uptake.

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