Oxygen levels are vital for everyone and all of us need oxygen to function. Our cells use oxygen to break down glucose and create molecules of energy capable of moving and accelerating all of the chemical processes we need to live. Whether you need oxygenate your body to train or due to any type of disease, it is good for you to know what does your blood need to carry oxygen appropriately, and what foods are recommended to increase your oxygen levels.
Your blood is the principal transport of oxygen, and relies on hemoglobin to carry this vital atom to all of the tissues in our body. Hemoglobin needs iron to function, and B complex vitamins are important to create new red blood cells. Also, you need to have enough proteins in your body to break them down and create cellular proteins such as hemoglobin. Antioxidants are also important to protect red blood cells and prevent stroke and neurologic diseases. This is a list of foods you should consider if you want to boost the levels of oxygen in your body:
Many different types of meat can provide good amounts of proteins and iron. In the case of beef, it holds 26 grams of protein and 2.47 milligrams of iron per 100 grams. They are both important to create hemoglobin and help this protein transport oxygen.
Fresh tuna is mainly a good source of proteins, but also has decent amounts of iron. Proteins breakdown to amino acids that will be transported to the blood to create hemoglobin. 100 grams of fresh tuna provides 23.3 grams of protein and 1.02 milligrams of iron.
The amount of iron in oysters is fantastic, and it would be a great addition to the diet of people with anemia. It has 4.9 milligrams of iron and 28.81 grams of proteins for each 100 grams.
Shrimps are yet another good and tasty source of proteins and iron. The iron in shrimps takes oxygen from your lungs and transport it to your tissues. 100 grams of shrimp will give you 20.4 grams of proteins and 2.13 milligrams of iron.
- Cashew nuts
They are a fantastic source of iron, maybe the highest among all nuts. Each 100 grams holds 6.68 milligrams of iron and 18.22 grams of proteins.
They do not have a great amount of proteins, and they should be eaten with moderation in some cases, but only a medium baked potato can provide 1.9 mg of iron.
- Kidney beans
The proteins in kidney beans have the amino acids needed by our organism to create hemoglobin, and the amount of iron it provides is one of the best among beans. 100 grams of kidney beans provide 23.5 grams of proteins and 8.2 milligrams of iron.
One of the best grains for iron is lentils. It has also enough protein to keep our system at its best. 100 grams of lentils give us 6.51 milligrams of iron and 24.6 grams of proteins.
Fried tofu is another good source of vegetable proteins and iron. It is also a great source of calcium and manganese. 100 grams of tofu hold 18.82 grams of proteins and 4.87 milligrams of iron.
- Breakfast cereals
Many breakfast cereals are enriched with an extra portion of iron. They are a great addition to boost your stamina, and vary widely between one brand and the other.
A plant food high in proteins, and sometimes called “meat without bones”. It also has one of the greatest amounts of iron. 1 cup with 172 grams of soybeans have 28.6 grams of proteins and 8.84 milligrams of iron.
A spinach salad would be a very good option to increase blood levels of iron. It provides 2.7 milligrams of iron for each 100 grams.
Salmon provides great flavor and nutrition to our foods, and will improve your oxygen levels because it contains high amounts of B vitamins and proteins. 100 grams of salmon has 19.8 grams of proteins and 3.18 mcg of vitamin B12.
The fleshy mollusks with sweet flavor and contain high amounts of vitamin B12 and proteins. The vitamin B12 in scallops aids in the formation of new blood cells to carry oxygen through our body. 100 grams of scallops has 12 grams of proteins and 1.41 mcg of Vitamin B 12.
They are small powerhouses full of nutrients, proteins and vitamin B 12 among them. 100 grams of pasture-raised eggs can provide up to 1 mcg of Vitamin B 12 and 0,5 mcg of Vitamin B2.
The best milk to improve your oxygen level is grass-fed cow milk, which provides 23% of your daily Vitamin B12 requirements, and a good amount of vitamin B2. 100 grams of milk provides 0.5 mcg of Vitamin B12 and 0.2 mcg of vitamin B2.
- Black Beans
They are easy to find, buy, and cook, and provide folate, vitamin B1 and iron in very good quantities. Black beans are also high in fiber and they can be combined with a variety of foods. 100 grams of black beans provide you with 21.6 grams of proteins, 5 milligrams of iron, and 444 mcg of folate.
It is a type of melon that is an excellent source of vitamin C and A, and a very good source of B vitamins. Vitamin A and C have antioxidant properties that protect your red blood cells from oxidative damage. 100 grams of cantaloupe provide up to 65 milligrams of vitamin C, 21 milligrams of folate, and 169 mcg of vitamin A.
It is a nutrient-dense food that is low in calories and rich in vitamins and minerals. 100 grams provide 16 milligrams of folate, 426 mcg of Vitamin A, and a near 1 milligram of iron. These nutrients improve the formation of blood cells and protect them from oxidative stress.
Collard greens are cruciferous vegetables with many nutritious properties. They are an impressive source of vitamin K and vitamin A that would impact coagulation and protect our blood from oxidation. 100 grams of collards provide 35 milligrams of vitamin C, 129 milligrams of folate, and up to 437 mcg of vitamin K.
Oranges eaten raw or in juices are an excellent food source of vitamin C, a vitamin with powerful antioxidant potential. 100 grams of oranges will provide you with no less than 48 milligrams of vitamin C.
It is cheap, easy to find, and tastes fantastic as salad dressing, with fish and soups, or served in the form of juice. 100 grams of lemon provides up to 53 milligrams of vitamin C.
Blueberries have a phytonutrient called resveratrol, with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This molecule will work along with vitamin C to counter any oxygen free radical that would otherwise damage red blood cells and impair oxygenation.
It is another cruciferous vegetable you should consider eating on a regular basis to receive multiple health benefits. It is a great source of vitamin K, C, folate, and many other nutrients. 100 grams of broccoli contains 89 milligrams of vitamin C, 63 milligrams of folate, and 101 mcg of vitamin K.
We recommend to use red cabbage instead of the most common green variety because it has an impressive content of anthocyanin polyphenols, with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. Cabbage is also a great source of vitamin C, providing 36.6 milligrams for each 100 grams.
- All values were taken from the USDA's Food Compsition Database