As ordinary as breathing may seem, the intake of oxygen sustains human life at its most fundamental level. This can be seen in the very first book of the Bible in Genesis 2:7: “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life: and man became a living soul.” The body has an immediate, moment-by-moment need for oxygen; not water, not food … oxygen. Not surprisingly, God has supplied us with more than a few foods that promote oxygen-rich blood to nourish this vital life requirement. Here’s some helpful information on how oxygen supports the body’s health, along with six foods that build oxygen-rich blood to include in your daily diet.
Benefits of Oxygen-Rich Blood
Oxygen travels from the lungs to the bloodstream, with the bloodstream delivering oxygen to every cell of the body. In turn, each cell in the body uses oxygen to carry out a process known as cellular respiration. It’s through this process that cells generate energy. From there, the health benefits of oxygen-rich blood run the gamut, a few of which are:
- Healthy digestion
- Strong muscles
- Mental clarity and ability to focus
- Strong immune system
- Strong heart
- Healthy nervous system
6 Foods That Build Oxygen-Rich Blood
As one of the most oxygen-promoting foods, lemons have strong electrolyte properties, which is a good thing when it comes to helping oxygen move from the bloodstream into the cells. Each cell in the body has a membrane that’s designed to allow needed nutrients to enter the cell. Cell membranes rely on a delicate balance of minerals and nutrients to function as they should. The electrolyte properties of lemon make it easier for blood to get oxygen into the cells.
Red Kidney Beans
Red kidney beans contain high levels of iron, a vital mineral that enables the blood to carry oxygen to the cells. When oxygen travels from the lungs to the bloodstream, it binds with certain key transport proteins known as hemoglobin and myoglobin. These proteins contain iron-based molecules that bind with oxygen molecules. Red kidney beans supply the bloodstream with the iron materials it needs to attract oxygen and carry it to the cells.
Lentils contain high levels of folate (also known as vitamin B-9). The blood relies on adequate levels of folate to maintain a healthy red blood cell count. The greater the number of red cells in the bloodstream, the more oxygen the bloodstream can carry to the cells. Lentils help increase your red blood cell count.
Rich in antioxidant materials, blueberries help clear the way for oxygen molecules to enter the body’s cells. Blueberries do this by killing off the free radical materials that disrupt cell membrane functions so oxygen can flow into cells more efficiently. Blueberries also help the body better absorb oxygen into the bloodstream.
Dark, Leafy Greens
Dark, leafy greens like kale and spinach contain high levels of chlorophyll, which accounts for their dark green color. Chlorophyll shares certain key similarities with hemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen in the bloodstream. Dark, leafy greens also contain lots of iron. Just like kidney beans, the iron helps the bloodstream better absorb oxygen from the lungs, which, in turn, helps promote oxygen circulation throughout the body.
While eating oxygen-promoting foods will make a tremendous difference in your overall health, proper hydration is just as important. Whether it be water or healthy beverages like fresh juices and smoothies, proper hydration makes it easier for blood to carry oxygen and nutrients through the body. Healthy fluid levels also support the heart’s role in pumping blood throughout the body.
When the body is dehydrated, the heart has to work that much harder to circulate blood. It also means the lungs have to take in more oxygen as well. When your body is properly hydrated, you can expect to reap the full benefits of eating foods that promote oxygen-rich blood.
Consider Adopting a Mostly Raw, Plant-Based Diet
Considering the all-encompassing role oxygen plays in maintaining the body’s health, optimal health can be achieved through a diet that includes a wide array of foods that promote oxygen-rich blood and healthy oxygen absorption. Raw plants, in particular, have an abundance of oxygen inside their cellular structures. The oxygen enters the plant body through a process known as photosynthesis, which is how plants use sunlight to manufacture food from water and carbon dioxide.
A raw, plant-based diet offers a range of health benefits along with increasing oxygen levels throughout the body. Plants contain enzymes, which are the “living” materials that separate quality foods from sub-par foods. Enzymes participate in the millions of chemical processes in the body that keep it healthy and strong. Adopting a mostly raw, plant-based diet is the best way to reap the benefits of foods that increase the body’s oxygen levels and promote ongoing health and longevity.