Health, according to the World Health Organization, is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”. A variety of definitions have been used for different purposes over time. Health can be promoted by encouraging healthful activities, such as regular physical exercise and adequate sleep, and by reducing or avoiding unhealthful activities or situations, such as smoking or excessive stress. Some factors affecting health are due to individual choices, such as whether to engage in a high-risk behavior, while others are due to structural causes, such as whether the society is arranged in a way that makes it easier or harder for people to get necessary healthcare services. Still other factors are beyond both individual and group choices, such as genetic disorders.
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Your oxygen levels play a significant role in your well-being in Covid-19 times. Regular check-ups, healthy foods, and practices can help!
We can’t discount the importance of healthy oxygen levels in the body after the panic we were all witness to in the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in India. People affected by the virus and with low oxygen saturation levels sought oxygen therapy or supplementation. But if you are looking to improve your oxygen levels naturally in your day-to-day life, read on.
Why are oxygen levels important?
The blood circulates the oxygen to every cell of the body. Every part of the body needs an abundance of oxygen which can only be provided if the body’s saturation level is up to the mark. Maintaining the precise oxygen level in the body is vital for health, as it supplies with energy, supports the immune system, and more.
One of the major side effects of Covid-19 is that it affects the respiratory tract of the body. It lowers the oxygen level, triggers pneumonia or other respiratory issues.
Dr Anuja Lakra, Manipal: Consultant – Internal Medicine, HCMCT Manipal Hospitals, Dwarka tells HealthShots, “A person’s blood oxygen level is an indicator of how well the body distributes oxygen from the lungs to the cells. The body closely monitors blood oxygen levels to keep them within a specific range so that there is enough oxygen for the needs of every cell”.
“Oxygen saturation refers to the percentage of oxygen in a person’s blood. A healthy oxygen saturation ranges between 95-100 percent.If a person’s levels drop below this range, they may experience symptoms associated with a lack of oxygen such as trouble breathing and confusion.”
Oxygen plays a significant role in maintaining our overall well-being, including keeping our minds stable. Low oxygen level leads to hallucinations and breathing problems which eventually leads to a state where it gets difficult to perform normal day-to-day tasks. Hence, it becomes crucial to keep our saturation levels healthy.
Dr Shalini Garwin Bliss, Head of Department – Dietitian, Manipal Hospital, Gurugram, suggests a few foods to add to your daily diet to boost your oxygen levels naturally.
Here are a few foods to include in your diet for healthy oxygen level:
As it is rich in vitamin C, lemon helps to soothe ailments like cough and cold. It is one of the richest foods containing electrolytes, though acidic in nature but turns alkaline when consumed. Lemon is rich in vitamin C, which is recommended by many experts to add in one’s daily diet during the Covid-19 era.
2. Consume antioxidant-rich foods
Antioxidant-rich food like spinach, garlic, dates, carrots, berries and lemon. Antioxidants reduce the risk on many diseases, and boosts immunity. Hence, consuming antioxidant-rich foods helps in maintain a healthy oxygen level in the body.
Turmeric has antiseptic properties. It contains nitric oxide levels in the body. It helps to widen the blood vessel and helps to increase the oxygen level in the body.
Tips to maintain healthy oxygen saturation levels in the body, suggests Dr Lakra:
1. Breathing exercises to strengthen the muscles of your chest
2. Muscle strengthening exercises
3. Correct posture – sitting upright, changing position, and walking as much as you can do.
4. Walking during the recovery phase to improve overall conditioning
5. Incentive spirometer exercise.
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