One of the greatest blessings we take for granted as humans is breathing. Breathing helps us take in enough oxygen into our bodies.
This is then transported by the blood to all the trillions of cells, our tissues, and organs for survival. Oxygenated blood is needed for optimum health and survival.
Just like money and time, the value of oxygen and deep breathing is only valued in time of sickness. The best time to benefit from oxygen is when you are healthy.
The reason is that an optimum amount of oxygen can prevent diseases in your body such as cancers. Oxygen is the main element in the ozone layer that blocks harmful UV rays from reaching us.
Without oxygen, we would all burn and turn into human toast. Oxygen also helps to bind concrete structures. Without oxygen, all building made of concrete will collapse.
There would be no water on earth if there were no oxygen. This would happen because oxygen and hydrogen makes up water. This simply means the world would come to an end, LOL.
Well, in this post, we will set our focus on the health benefits of oxygen. Just relax and enjoy your reading.
The Health Benefits of Oxygen
When people hear the word “oxygen”, the first thing that comes to their mind is breathing. We get oxygen when we breathe in but the functions of oxygen go more than that.
The overall benefits of oxygen can be summarized in this phrase “no oxygen, no life”. But how does oxygen perform all these “magic” in the body? Due to the importance of this element, nature made it unlimited.
Below are some of the amazing health benefits of this important element.
Oxygen is a source of energy. Glucose (the main source of energy in the body) cannot supply energy in the absence of oxygen. This leads to excess blood sugar and this would eventually lead to diabetes.
This is why your breathing is heavier during a physical exercise or workout. This happens because your body needs more oxygen to burn fats and calories and later turns them into energy.
Oxygen supports optimum brain health
Your brain depends heavily on oxygen. It is an important element for the brain, a shortage of oxygen in the brain can send the whole body into shock.
This condition is called cerebral anoxia. This can range from mild to severe. There are many ways oxygen promotes brain health.
It increases behavior and cognition
One way to know that oxygen boosts cognition and behavior is to take a close look at someone or people who survived stroke.
People who are close to stroke patients all agree that there are changes in their behavior. They behave differently, many even say that they have become someone else.
This happens because oxygen-rich blood was prevented from reaching the brain and stroke occurred as a result. This also forces your heart to work harder.
It optimizes the functions of your brain
A person can land in coma if the brain is not getting enough oxygen for a long time. This increases the risks of brain death.
In this condition, the person will still be breathing but the brain is no longer active to give commands to the body systems. This means the overall body will not function.
Shortage of oxygen affects motor skills negatively
A lack of oxygen in the brain could lead to problems with motor skills. Shortage or lack of oxygen in the brain leads to cell death in the cerebellum.
This part of the brain helps to regulate balance and movement. Oxygen helps in the regeneration of cells in the cerebellum and other body parts.
Shortage of oxygen in the brain increases the pressure on your heart
Your heart rate is closely related to the blood flow in your brain. The heart will be made to work harder when the flow of blood to the heart is restricted.
This is done to ensure that your brain receives a lot of oxygenated blood. However, this can increase your risks of heart attack. This simply means that you can have a stroke or heart attack if your brain doesn’t get enough oxygenated blood.
It prevents dizziness and fainting
The first symptom when you have a concussion of the brain is dizziness and this is followed by fainting. This simply means that the supply of oxygen in the brain has dropped or is low.
Deep breathing is one of the fastest and most effective remedy for fainting. This instantly reduces the symptoms.
Oxygen stabilizes your central nervous system
What affects your brain affects your central nervous system. This is why your brain takes most of the oxygen in your body.
The central nervous system is responsible for balance, movement, behavior, mental health and so on. An oxygen-rich brain means that you would have a stable nervous system that would boosts the functions of your body.
Oxygen detoxifies the body
Oxygen is a natural detoxifier. Oxygen therapy is one of the natural therapies used in detoxifying the body. It binds to toxic substances in your body and washes them away from your blood.
Oxygen therapy is mostly used by alcoholics and drug addicts. This washes away all toxins from your bloodstream and toxins. Oxygen also has other important functions in the body apart from detoxification.
Oxygen repairs damaged cells and tissues
Oxygen aids the process of cell regeneration. Inflammation causes tissue damage and this can be reversed by oxygen.
Oxygen therapy is used to help this process. Higher amount of oxygen is supplied through your blood vessels to enhance tissue regeneration.
This hastens the healing process and also boosts the immune system. It is impossible for cell regeneration to happen in the absence of oxygen.
For you cells to regenerate and be in optimal working condition, you have to make sure that they receive enough oxygen. This also would boost your immune system.
Oxygen detoxifies your organs
People suffering from specific health problems such as pancreas or liver problems caused by drugs or alcohol are made to go through oxygen therapy.
Oxygen will clean up the toxic substances and also repair damaged cells and tissues at the same time.
Oxygen boosts sleep
A long, deep, and uninterrupted night sleep is a good detox for your brain. It energizes you, boosts brain functions, and you also wake up feeling stronger.
Quality sleep helps you to control your emotions better by supporting optimum brain health. It boosts your decision making abilities, memory, concentration, and focus.
It also boosts your alertness. You would perform better during the day if you had a good night sleep.
Oxygen boosts your immune system
Low immunity makes people susceptible to infections. The risk of a weak immune system in your body is higher when some cells in your body are old and weak.
The way to prevent this is cell regeneration which can only be done in the presence of sufficient oxygen. When your body has enough oxygen, your cells can be regenerated easily and quickly.
This will improve the strength of your immune system and its response.
Oxygen boosts weight loss
This important element increases metabolism and also boosts the circulation of blood. This will help your body burn calories. Also, the more oxygen you take in, the less hungry you feel.
Oxygen prevents chronic diseases
Oxygen is highly important in the prevention of chronic diseases. Below are some diseases that oxygen prevents:
Oxygen prevents cancer
In 1931, a scientist called Otto Warburg received a Nobel Award. He was able to convert healthy cells into cancerous cells by depriving the healthy cells of 35% of their oxygen in 48 hours.
Healthy cells became cancerous when they passed through this process. He described cancer as “oxygen deficiency”. Cancer cells are anaerobic. They cannot thrive in the presence of oxygen.
Do you also know that cancer can affect every other organ in the body except the heart? The reason this happens is because the heart is the center for the production and distribution of oxygen-rich blood.
Since there is a constant supply of oxygen in the heart, cancer cannot thrive there.
Oxygen prevents seizures in epileptics
One of the triggers of seizures is lack of sufficient oxygen in the brain. It is not possible for seizures to happen when an epileptic patient is in a normal breathing condition.
The risk of seizure is higher when normal breathing is obstructed.
Oxygen prevents heart disease
When oxygen gets to your brain, your heart won’t be put under pressure to pump more blood. When under pressure, you can develop heart attack or heart disease.
It is also important to note that the main symptoms of heart disease are when the cells don’t get enough oxygen. Oxygen plays an important role in making sure that all cells, tissues, and organs are oxygenated.
In this condition, your heart would work perfectly without any pressure or risk of heart attack.
Oxygen prevents asthma
This chronic respiratory condition occurs when the lungs don’t receive enough oxygen. This makes the person breathe hard.
Breathing therapy can help this condition.
Oxygen prevents diabetes
If you care to know, people with diabetes have heavy breathing. The main cause of diabetes has to with insufficient insulin production or insulin resistance.
However, there is another main reason why the body can’t produce enough insulin. It is caused by low levels of oxygen in the cells. Low levels of oxygen in the cells of your pancreas will affect the functions of the pancreas in producing insulin.
The pancreas would be unable to produce insulin. Also, the low levels of oxygen in blood cells would also prevent the absorption of glucose.
A deficiency of oxygen can lead to more than a hundred chronic diseases. The ones listed above are just the most common ones plaguing our society today.
Oxygen relieves depression and cures hangover
Depression is a mental problem and sufficient levels of oxygen in the brain can prevent this. Oxygen uplifts mood and help neurotransmitters function well.
Oxygen can help your body recover after a hangover. It helps the liver break down alcohol into water. This would be exhaled through exhaling and urine.
Studies have revealed that it takes three molecules of oxygen to break down one molecule of alcohol. When experiencing a hangover, breathe deeply.
Oxygen supports a healthy digestive system
A sufficiency of oxygen boosts a healthy digestive system. Without oxygen, your digestion won’t go well or it would even stop completely.
The walls of the intestines need oxygen for contraction. The digestive muscles contract to process foods into liquid forms which can easily be used by the body.
Symptoms of Oxygen Deficiency
When there are low levels of oxygen in your body, you would notice the following symptoms:
- Body weaknesses and pains
- Chronic diseases like cancer
- Circulation problems
- Muscle pains
- Difficulty concentrating and focusing
- Digestion problems
- Acidic stomach
- Lung problems
- Weak immune system
The Benefits of Deep Breathing
Most times we don’t even remember that we are breathing. Breathing is so natural that we don’t learn it. Due to this, many don’t know that this simple act of breathing play a great role in their overall health and general well-being.
One of the ways to increase the levels of oxygen in our bodies is to practice deep breathing. When you sit down at a place for a long time, you start to breath shallowly.
This can make your cells unable to get enough oxygen. Deep breathing should be done with caution. Don’t overdo it to prevent hyperventilation. Listen to your body and don’t cross your limits.
- Look for a comfortable place to sit
- Exhale and completely empty your lungs of air
- Take in a slow and deep breath. Make sure your chest expands
- Hold your breath and count to three
- Exhale after the count of three
Do this regularly daily. You can gradually increase the count to 5, 6, 7 etc. However, care should be taken not to overdo it. Too much of a good thing can be bad as well.