Oxygen is most vital element for human survival. It is not possible to live without oxygen on this planet. Thus appropriate oxygen level is important for human body. Since the cells utilizes oxygen for energy metabolism, the body needs regular and steady supply of oxygen. You get it through respiration when you breathe air. Usually in a healthy person, the level of oxygen is always maintained to its normal. Body regulates it properly and you do not have to monitor it regularly. However, oxygen level drops in certain diseased states, especially in chronic health conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive lung disease, heart disease, etc.There are several methods which may help to increase oxygen level in blood if it is low.
How does oxygen get into the bloodstream?
Before you know the ways to increase oxygen level in blood if it is low, it is necessary to understand the oxygenation process in the body. The air that you breathe in contains oxygen. Through the respiratory tract it finally enters into the lungs. Lungs are made up of tiny air sacs called alveoli. The wall of air sac is thin like a paper having tiny vessels called capillaries.Oxygen can easily enter in the capillaries and into the bloodstream. Hemoglobin in red blood cells carries oxygen throughout the body. From the lungs the pure oxygenated blood enters into the left side of heart. It is then pumped to rest of the body through arteries. Meanwhile carbon dioxide that is brought from right side of heart into the lungs crosses over through capillaries into the air sac. Finally it is breathed out. The normal oxygen saturation level in human beings is considered to be between 95 to 100 percent. Oxygen level below 90 percent is considered low. Level of blood oxygen less than 80 percent is too serious and can cause damage to brain and heart. Constant low level can lead to cardiac or respiratory failure.
Ways to increase oxygen level in bloodstream:
There are several natural ways that may be useful for enhancing oxygen level in blood. Simple lifestyle changes and adopting healthy habits can bring in the desired success. Below are given the natural ways to increase oxygen level in blood.
- Exercise: During exercise, your cells burn oxygen more than usual. This also results in increased carbon dioxide level in the circulating blood. Brain detects this change and triggers the respiratory center to increase the respiratory rate to get more supply of oxygen. During exercise the lungs and heart work harder for intake of oxygen. For people suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), exercise is thus beneficial to enhance the capacity of oxygen saturation in their blood.
- Antioxidants: Eating foods that are packed with antioxidants helps better utilization of oxygen. Antioxidants increases efficiency of blood oxygen saturation. Antioxidants are vitamin A, E, C and Co Q enzyme. Strawberry, blackberry, mulberry, plums, kidney beans, kiwi fruit, etc are rich source of antioxidants.
- Avoid polluted areas: Avoid going to places that have high amount of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide in the atmosphere. You must also avoid smoking as this damages the alveoli permanently.
- Get fresh air: Spend more time in areas that have fresh air. Walk in garden, park or in areas with trees and shrubs in morning. Trees release oxygen in morning. You can inhale fresh oxygen in a natural way.
- Eat foods with fatty acids: Fatty acids tend to increase oxygen and hemoglobin level in blood. The two common essential fatty acids are alpha-linolenic acid and linoleic acid. They are only available in foods such as sunflower oil, canola oil, coconut oil etc.
- Breathing exercise: Oxygen intake capacity increases with proper breathing. Deep breathing and yoga is beneficial to increase oxygen level in blood. People suffering from asthma, bronchitis etc can practice breathing exercise daily to increase the oxygen level.