Of all the essential materials needed by the body, oxygen ranks number one. While we all know we need an ongoing supply of oxygen to live, it’s easy to take this for granted since breathing is something the body does on its own. Understanding the essential health benefits of having oxygen-rich blood can help you make the changes needed to improve your quality of life.
The Effects of Oxygen Deficiency
Oxygen deficiency, also known as hypoxia, develops when the body’s tissues don’t receive the amount of oxygen needed to function normally. It’s typically caused by low blood oxygen levels. Hypoxia may also develop in areas of the body where blood supplies are low due to poor circulation.
Oxygen deficiency in tissues can vary from mild to severe. Different types of body tissue respond to hypoxia in different ways. For instance, the heart may undergo severe damage from a lack of oxygen while muscle tissue in the legs can better tolerate a low oxygen state.
When inadequate or low levels of oxygen persist for prolonged periods, serious health problems develop. The body’s cells and tissues depend on ongoing supplies of oxygen to carry out the essential chemical processes that keep the body running smoothly. When needed oxygen supplies are lacking on a continuous basis, any number of physical and psychological problems can develop over time.
How Oxygen-Rich Blood Benefits the Body
Food, water, and oxygen are all essential to the life of the body. That being so, it only takes minutes for the body to die without oxygen, compared to days and weeks without water or food. Considering the breath of life was the first thing our Creator gave us, this makes perfect sense. This account appears 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.”
In all respects, oxygen is essential to the life of the body, as well as to the health of the body. Your day-to-day blood oxygen levels have a direct impact on your quality of life and overall longevity. Here are a few of the essential health benefits gained from having oxygen-rich blood.
Health Benefits of Oxygen-Rich Blood
Provides Energy for the Cells
Oxygen benefits the body all the way down to the cellular level, providing fuel for each and every cell. Cells must have an ongoing supply of ATP, the energy molecule, to carry out the essential functions that maintain organ and tissue health. In turn, every cell relies on available oxygen supplies to manufacture ATP molecules through a process called cellular respiration.
Through cellular respiration, cells convert glucose materials into the fuel they need to function normally. In the absence of needed oxygen supplies, cells lose the ability to maintain organ and tissue health. These conditions open the door for sickness and disease to develop.
Improved Mental Functioning
As the years pass, the brain’s functional capacity ages, much like the rest of the body. In the process, your ability to focus and concentrate and your overall mood state start to suffer. The brain uses nearly three times as much oxygen as muscle tissue. The brain’s cells are also highly sensitive to decreases in oxygen levels. When the brain receives an ongoing supply of oxygen-rich blood, you not only think and process information better but also feel better.
When oxygen-rich blood circulates through the body, you can expect to experience the following physical benefits:
- Restful sleep
- Reduced stress levels
- Increased energy
- Faster wound healing
- Improved heart functioning
- Stronger immune system
- Faster metabolism rates
The Importance of Good Nutrition
As with most all things health-related, eating a healthy diet goes a long way toward keeping the blood supply oxygenated. Unfortunately, today’s Standard American Diet of high-fat, high-sugar, and low-fiber foods offers next to nothing as far as oxygen-rich foods go. Diets made up of lots of fruits and vegetables work especially well at raising oxygen levels in the blood.
A few examples of foods which promote oxygen-rich blood include asparagus, fruit juices, avocados, whole grains, and leafy greens. These types of foods increase blood oxygen levels by providing the nutrients that make oxygen transfer more efficient. Also, red blood cells do not clump together as much and platelets become less sticky when your diet is full of fruits and vegetables. Whether you’re looking to improve your overall health or recover from a serious health problem, eating a diet made up of oxygen-promoting food helps create the types of internal conditions that promote optimal health.