31 Best Oxygen-Rich Foods: Fruits, Drinks, Veggies, And Proteins To Boost O2

Count on your diet to nourish you with this life-saving and health-boosting essential.

Reviewed by Mayuri Aavula, Nutritionist Mayuri Aavula Mayuri AavulaNutritionist facebook_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MSc (Biotechnology), ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist Charushila Biswas MSc (Biotechnology), ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist linkedin_icon Experience: 6 years
Edited by , BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Arshiya Syeda BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma linkedin_icon Experience: 7 years
Fact-checked by , BSc (Life Sciences), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach Himanshi Mahajan BSc (Life Sciences), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 2 years
 • 

Consuming oxygen-rich foods can help in growth and sustaining life (1). It is vital to maintain 94-98% oxygen saturation in the blood to prevent hypoxia and tissue damage (2), (3). Hypoxia or low oxygen saturation may lead to asthma, lung disorders, COVID-19 complications, fibromyalgiai  A disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue and issues with sleep, memory, and mood. , and heart disease or may worsen an existing health problem (4), (5), (6), (7), (8). Checking your oxygen saturation levels regularly with a pulse oximeter, getting medical attention, and adding foods rich in oxygen can be of tremendous help.

This article lists the 31 best foods – including fruits, proteins, vegetables, and drinks – you may consume to boost your blood oxygen levels. Scroll down to take a look.

How Foods Help Boost Oxygen Levels

It is important to understand why certain foods help improve oxygen levels. These foods are not “oxygen-rich” per se. They contain vitamins, minerals, and molecules and have an alkaline pH, essential for maintaining optimal blood flow and oxygen levels in the body.

The foods to look for must be rich in vitamins A, B2, B3, B5, B9, and B12, minerals like iron and copper, and the molecule nitric oxide. Choose alkaline foods that reduce the risk of stroke and hypertension, improve heart and brain function, and activate vitamin D (9).

Let’s get started with the list of foods to consume to boost the oxygen levels in your blood. Scroll down.

30 Best Foods To Improve Oxygen Levels

10 Fruits To Boost Oxygen Levels

1. Avocados

Avocados are rich in vitamins A, B3, B6, B12, choline, folate, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs)i  Fat molecules (containing more than one double bond in their chemical structure) that may have beneficial effects on blood pressure. , and dietary fiber. These nutrients help boost oxygen levels, reduce cholesterol, promote a healthy heart, control blood sugar levels, improve lipid profile, protect DNA, prevent osteoarthritisi  Degeneration of the joint muscles that causes pain and stiffness in the joints eventually leading to mobility issues , improve eye health, and help in weight management (10).

Consume half an avocado every day in smoothies, salads, or delicious tacos to give your oxygen levels a boost and improve your overall health.

2. Pomegranate

Pomegranates contain iron, copper, zinc, vitamins B3 and B6, and choline (11). They improve blood flow by increasing nitric oxide bioavailabilityi  The capacity of a substance, drug, or food to be absorbed and utilized by the body effectively to attain its complete benefit. and boost oxygen delivery (12). Consuming pomegranate kernels or freshly pressed pomegranate juice helps dilate the blood vessels, enabling improved blood flow (13). This reduces the risk of tissue damage due to low oxygen saturation.

Consume a cup of pomegranate kernels, drink 375 ml of pomegranate juice per day, or add it to salads and include this oxygen saturation-improving alkaline food in your diet.

3. Kiwi

Kiwi
Image: Shutterstock

This sweet ’n sour juicy tropical fruit is a good source of dietary fiber, copper, iron, vitamins A, B3, B5, B6, and C, choline, and several antioxidants. Kiwifruit helps prevent DNA damage, boosts the immune system, reduces the severity and duration of upper respiratory infections in the elderly, and lowers inflammation (14).

Consume a large kiwi per day. You can also add it to smoothies, juices, and salads to increase the consumption of vitamins and minerals that help increase oxygen saturation in the blood.

4. Cantaloupe

Cantaloupe is a great source of vitamins A, B3, B5, B6, C, choline, folate, iron, and antioxidants (15). This fruit is low in sugar and can be consumed by people with high blood sugar levels. It also has anti-inflammatory and immunity-boosting properties (16).

Consume a cup of cantaloupe or make a smoothie to improve oxygen levels in the body.

5. Mango

Ripe mangoes are rich in vitamins A, B3, B5, B6, and C, and iron and copper essential for upping blood oxygen saturation levels. They contain antioxidants like vitamin C, carotenoids, and phenolic compounds that help maintain overall health (17). Mangoes have hypotensive, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, and immunity-boosting properties (18).

Consume half a cup of ripe mangoes, toss them with breakfast fruit bowls, or make a smoothie. People with diabetes must consult their doctor before consuming ripe mangoes as they have high sugar content.

6. Peaches

Peaches are loaded with vitamins A, B3, B5, and B6, iron, zinc, and antioxidants that prevent free radical damage and help maintain proper body functions. These delicious summer fruits are touted as functional foods due to their capacity to promote overall health (19), (20).

Consume a whole large peach a day or every other day. You can also add it to your juices, smoothies, or cold salads.

7. Pineapple

Pineapple
Image: Shutterstock

Pineapples are an excellent source of vitamins A, B3, B5, B6, and C, copper, iron, potassium, zinc, choline, folate, and beta-carotene (21). These sweet and juicy tropical fruits help increase the permeability of the blood vessel walls to oxygen and other nutrients. The active component of pineapple, bromelain, also helps reduce inflammation and prevents blood clot formation (22).

Consume a cup of pineapple as is, or add it to smoothies, juices, and salads.

8. Berries

Blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries are great sources of vitamins A, B3, B5, B6, and C, iron, potassium, copper, zinc, choline, folate, and antioxidants (23), (24), (25). Berries also help reduce inflammation and lipoprotein-cholesterol levels and improve insulin sensitivity (26).

Consume a cup of organic or locally grown mixed berries every day. Include them in fruit bowls, smoothies, and juices.

9. Figs And Dates

Dried figs and dates are loaded with iron, copper, potassium, vitamins A, B3, B5, and folate (27), (28). These nutrients help boost immunity and improve cognitive abilities. Dates and figs are rich in polyphenols with antioxidant properties and help reduce free radical damage and oxidative stressi  The imbalance between the production and accumulation of reactive oxygen species (unstable oxygen molecules) to prevent neurodegenerationi  A condition characterized by the dysfunction and eventual death of brain cells caused due to aging or other factors. and provide therapeutic effects (29), (30).

Consume 1-2 medjool dates and a couple of dried figs with smoothies. People with diabetes must consult their doctor before consuming dried figs and dates as they have high sugar content.

10. Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps develop hemoglobin-based oxygen carriers (HBOCs)i  An artificial blood substitute created using molecules of hemoglobin (Hb), the oxygen-carrying protein found in red blood cells. . Several secondary metabolites, such as alkaloids, coumarins, phenol acids, flavonoids, limonoids, and carotenoids, present in citrus fruits are also highly beneficial for human health. They have anti-inflammatoryi  Any substance that reduces inflammation (redness, swelling, or pain) or the associated symptoms in the body. , and antioxidant properties, and help maintain your cardiovascular health, prevent nerve cell damage, and expand your blood vessels to improve blood flow (31).

Include limes, lemons, tangerines, oranges, and grapefruits in your diet. You can juice them or add them to salads.

Scroll down to learn more about vegetables with similar benefits.

9 Vegetables To Boost Oxygen Levels

1. Beetroot

Beetroot
Image: Shutterstock

Beetroots contain naturally occurring nitric oxide that helps dilate the blood vessels and enables unhindered oxygenated blood flow to the tissues. This is the reason beetroot juice is a hit amongst fitness enthusiasts. Several studies also show that beetroot juice can help reduce hypoxia (32), (33).

Consume half a beetroot every day, either raw or boiled. You can toss a few slices in your soup, add it to salads, or make a beetroot smoothie.

2. Carrot

Carrots are rich in vitamins A, B3, B5, B6, and C, choline, potassium, iron, zinc, and copper (34). They also contain phytochemicals that possess anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, crucial for detoxifying the body and increasing oxygen supply to the tissues (35).

Consume baby carrots as a snack. You can also add them to salads. Make carrot cakes or toss a cup of roughly chopped carrots into your mixer to prepare carrot juice.

3. Spinach

The queen of leafy greens, spinach, is loaded with iron, vitamins A, B3, B5, B6, and C, and many antioxidants (36). Spinach nullifies the reactive oxygen species, reduces oxidative stress and inflammation, and has hypoglycemic (lowers blood sugar levels) and hypolipidemic (lowers blood lipid levels) properties (37).

Consume a cup of baby spinach in the salad. You can also toss it in the blender to make a smoothie (check out the recipe of a delicious spinach and kiwi smoothie in the “drinks to boost oxygen levels” section).

4. Garlic

Garlic is known to promote heart health. It has lipid-lowering, antimicrobial, and antiplatelet properties (38). A study found that garlic consumption could improve baseline arterial oxygen levels and reduce hypoxemia in people with hepatopulmonary syndrome (HPS), a condition affecting the lungs of patients with liver disease (39).

Consume at least one clove of garlic every day with food. You can add it to marinades or curries or even chew it raw.

Note: Avoid consuming garlic if you are on anticoagulants.

5. Sweet Potato

Sweet Potato
Image: Shutterstock

Sweet potatoes with orange or purple flesh contain vitamins A, B3, B5, and B6, iron, copper, anthocyanin, and beta carotene (40). Consuming sweet potatoes help reduce arterial oxidative stress (a disorder caused by oxidative damage of proteins, lipids, and DNA) and arterial stiffness (stiffening of large arteries that increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases) (41).

Consume mashed, baked, or air-fried sweet potatoes as a snack, in salads, or side dish.

6. Beans

Beans are legumes that contain a high amount of iron, which is crucial for oxygen transport, DNA synthesis, and other metabolic processes (42). They are loaded with potassium, calcium, and dietary fiber (43).

Consume blanched or boiled green, black, and dried beans in salads and curries to enrich your meal with iron and other important nutrients to increase oxygen levels in your body.

7. Broccoli

Broccoli is loaded with antioxidants and has phytochemicals that help inhibit inflammation (44). An experiment confirmed a proof-of-concept that broccoli helps prevent severe COVID-19 (45). However, further studies are required to solidify this proof-of-concept.

Consume half a cup of blanched broccoli florets every day or every other day in salads to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the body.

8. Lettuce

Lettuce is a great source of vitamins A, B3, B5, B6, and C, folate, iron, potassium, and zinc (46). It is rich in antioxidants, such as carotenoids and vitamins E and C. An animal study has shown that lettuce consumption prevents tissue damage caused by oxidative stress(tissue oxidation), improves synthesis of lipids (lipid metabolism) and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases (47).

Consume fresh romaine or iceberg lettuce with salads to add crunch to your food and protect your health.

protip_icon Did You Know?
Nutrients such as vitamin B12 and folic acid are responsible for the complete absorption of iron into the blood. In addition, both these nutrients increase red blood cell production and the body’s oxygen-carrying capacity (48).

9. Swiss Chard

Swiss chard contains high levels of nitrates (49). These nitrates actively convert into nitric oxide in the body, which helps the blood vessels expand to allow more blood to flow through and lower blood pressure. Nitrates from dietary sources also may potentially treat cardiovascular disease by generating nitric oxide in areas where oxygen is deficient (50).

You can add raw Swiss chard to salads. You also may saute its leaves in olive oil and herbs for 5 to 7 minutes and enjoy it as a side dish. You may even use it in soups and stews or add it to your green smoothies for an extra boost of nutrients.

Apart from consuming fruits and vegetables, adding protein to your diet is important. The next section lists out 7 protein sources that also help in improving oxygen levels in the body. Scroll down.

7 Protein-Rich Foods To Boost Oxygen Levels

1. Eggs

Hard-boiled eggs are excellent sources of iron, zinc, potassium, protein, selenium, vitamins A, D, B5, B6, B12, E, and K, folate, and beta-carotene (51). While egg yolks are infamous for their high cholesterol content, a study showed they have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties (52).

Consume 3-5 whole eggs per week. If you have high cholesterol levels, avoid or limit consuming egg yolks.

2. Legumes

Legumes, such as lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans, pinto beans, navy beans, fava beans, and bean sprouts, are rich in iron, potassium, zinc, and B vitamins. They are great sources of plant-based protein and fat-free. Consuming legumes helps lower hypertension, control blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes, improve lipid profile, and aids weight management (53).

Consume half a cup of legumes of your choice every day to improve blood flow and oxygen supply to all body parts.

3. Mushrooms

Mushrooms
Image: Shutterstock

Mushrooms are one of the best sources of dietary protein and contain iron, zinc, calcium, potassium, copper, magnesium, selenium, and vitamins B3, B5, and B6, C, and D (54). The beta-glucans present in mushrooms have antioxidant and anticholesterolemic (lowers plasma cholesterol levels) properties and prevent nerve damage. Mushrooms also dilate the blood vessels, prevent blood clot and formation of fatty deposits in arteries, and have anti-inflammatory effects (55).

Consume half a cup of mushrooms 2-3 times a week. Saute it before adding to salads or soups. If you have arthritis, talk to your doctor before consuming mushrooms.

4. Meat And Fish

Meat and fish are good sources of vitamins B12 and B3, iron, zinc, selenium, calcium, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids (56), (57). Consuming lean meat such as chicken breast or skinless chicken, limiting the consumption of red meat, such as beef, pork, lamb, and including fatty fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, carp, and sardines in the diet can help improve vascular health, bone strength, and oxygen transport (58), (59).

Consume grilled or baked skinless chicken breast (3 oz), fat-free meat, or fatty fish of your choice with a cup of green veggies to improve oxygen levels and overall health. Avoid processed meats, such as salami and sausages.

5. Organ Meat

Organ meat such as the liver, heart, tongue, and brain have high nutrition content. It contains vitamins B3, B6, B12, and D, copper, iron, zinc, proteins, monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs)i  Fat molecules (with one double bond in their chemical structure) that help reduce the risk of cancer, inflammation, and insulin resistance. , and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) (60).

Consume organ meat once a week or once in two weeks to get the required nutrients to improve your oxygen levels. Avoid organ meat if you have high cholesterol or arthritis.

6. Dairy

Milk, yogurt, and clarified butter (ghee) are loaded with calcium, zinc, B vitamins, vitamin D, probiotics, proteins, and healthy fats (61). Low-fat dairy products can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes (62).

Consume half a cup of yogurt or frozen yogurt, a glass of milk (375 ml), and one teaspoon of ghee to get the essential nutrients from these dairy products required for improved oxygen levels.

7. Nuts And Sunflower Seeds

Nuts and sunflower seeds are great sources of iron, copper, zinc, calcium, vitamins B3, B5, B6, and E, proteins, dietary fiber, and polyunsaturated fatty acids (63), (64). These nutrients help improve oxygen flow and transport oxygenated blood to the other body parts from the heart. They also help control blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of metabolic syndromes, and boost vascular activity. They have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-hypertensive properties (65) (66).

Consume 2-4 soaked almonds, two walnuts, 3-4 pecans, and a handful of ground sunflower seeds with breakfast or in salads. You can also eat cashew nuts. However, avoid them if you have high cholesterol.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Apart from adding these foods to your diet, you can also start breathing fresh air, doing breathing exercises, and practicing yoga to help improve the oxygen levels in your body.

Apart from the above-mentioned ingredients, superfoods like quinoa also may help improve oxygen levels in the body (67).

These are the fruits, vegetables, and protein sources that help improve oxygen levels in the blood. You can also consume drinks made with a few foods mentioned above. Scroll down to learn the recipes of the five best drinks to boost oxygen levels.

5 Drinks To Boost Oxygen Levels

5 Drinks To Boost Oxygen Levels
Image: Shutterstock

1. Beetroot And Lime Juice

How To Prepare

  • Blitz half a large, peeled beetroot into a blender and strain the juice.
  • Add the juice of half a lime and a pinch of black salt.
  • Stir well and drink in the morning.

Avoid this drink at night as it may cause throat discomfort.

2. Pomegranate And Peach Smoothie

How To Prepare

  • Toss a cup of pomegranate kernels into a blender.
  • Blitz and strain the juice into a glass.
  • Blitz half a cup of roughly chopped peach and mix with the juice.
  • Add a pinch of black pepper and Himalayan pink salt.
  • Stir well and sip!

3. Pineapple, Dates, And Seeds Smoothie

How To Prepare

  • Blitz a cup of pineapple cubes, a date, and a tablespoon of sunflower seed powder in the blender.
  • Pour it into a glass. Enjoy!

4. Carrot And Orange Smoothie

How To Prepare

  • Peel and roughly chop one large carrot.
  • Toss it into a blender.
  • Add in a large, whole, peeled orange.
  • Blend well and pour it into a glass.
  • Add a hint of lemon juice and a pinch of black salt to it.
  • Stir well, and drink.

5. Spinach And Kiwi Smoothie

How To Prepare

  • Toss a cup of washed baby spinach into the blender.
  • Roughly chop two large kiwis (with or without the peel).
  • Add it to the blender and blitz.
  • Pour the juice into a glass, add the juice of half a lime, and a pinch of black salt.
  • Mix well and enjoy!

Infographic: Health Benefits Of Consuming Oxygen-Rich Foods

Including the foods mentioned above in your diet may help improve your overall body functioning and offer various health benefits.

The following infographic provides a snapshot of how these foods may help you stay healthy. Check it out!

health benefits of consuming oxygen rich foods (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

There are no oxygen-rich foods per se, but the foods listed above have an alkaline pH and contain minerals, vitamins, and molecules that play a key role in ensuring optimal blood flow and oxygen levels in the body. These foods, like avocado, pomegranate, mango, beetroot, carrot, spinach, eggs, legumes, whole grains, mushrooms, meat, and fish, help maintain oxygen saturation levels and prevent tissue damage. If your blood oxygen levels are less than the recommended levels, seek medical help immediately to prevent complications like asthma and lung and heart diseases. Any delay could also lead to the worsening of existing complications, if any.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does a low-salt diet help to increase oxygen?

Amy Fox, Master Nutritionist and Certified Functional Food Professional, says, “A diet high in salt can increase water retention in the tissues, reducing the body’s oxygen level. A low-sodium diet is not only heart-healthy and good for lowering blood pressure, but also it can lead to increased oxygenation via the kidneys and blood. Having extra oxygen does wonders for the body. Think of oxygen as a detoxifier.”

Does oxygen improve the body’s absorption of nutrients?

Amy says, “When fully oxygenated, your blood carries and absorbs nutrients and vitamins more efficiently. Increased oxygen also helps with improving immunity and many other functions.”

Do breathing exercises increase oxygen levels?

According to Amy Fox, “Breathing exercises can increase the amount of oxygen your body brings in, increasing your overall blood oxygen level. To increase oxygen levels, I suggest also focusing on high-value actions or habits like staying away from smoking and consistently eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.”

Does turmeric increase oxygen levels?

Yes. Turmeric improves blood circulation in the body, and hemoglobin in red blood cells carries oxygen from the lungs to other body parts (68), (69).

What herbs increase oxygen?

Herbs like ginkgo biloba, motherwort, and ginger are known to improve blood circulation in the body, thereby increasing blood-oxygen levels.

Does drinking water increase oxygen in the body?

Yes. Drinking plenty of water ensures that your lungs are hydrated and function properly to oxygenate the blood and dispel carbon dioxide from the body.

Is 92 a good oxygen level?

It is not good but is considered safe. The average normal oxygen saturation levels are between 95-100%. While 92% do not indicate critical status yet, doctors advise that an oxygen level of 92-94% is a buffer period for patients to make it to a healthcare facility in time. An oxygen level of 90% or lower should be treated as an emergency.


Discover eight delicious and nutritious foods that can help you breathe better and increase the oxygen levels in your body. Check out the video below to learn about these foods that you can include in your diet.

Key Takeaways

  • Foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals and have an alkaline pH help maintain optimal blood flow and oxygen levels in the body.
  • Fruits like avocados, kiwi, mango, and pineapple and vegetables like sweet potato and broccoli are the best for improving oxygen levels.
  • Consuming protein-rich foods like eggs, legumes, meat, fish, mushroom, nuts, and dairy also helps boost the oxygen level in your body.
oxygen rich foods_illustration

Image: Dall·E/StyleCraze Design Team

References

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

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  58. Vitamin B12 in Health and Disease
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  59. Dietary Iron
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  60. Meat Meat Products and Seafood as Sources of Energy and Nutrients in the Average Polish Diet
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  61. Yogurt: role in healthy and active aging
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  62. Milk and dairy products: good or bad for human health? An assessment of the totality of scientific evidence
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  63. Nuts pecans
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  64. Seeds sunflower seed kernels dried
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  65. Health benefits of nut consumption
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  66. A review of phytochemistry metabolite changes and medicinal uses of the common sunflower seed and sprouts (Helianthus annuus L.)
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  67. Whole Grains and Phenolic Acids: A Review on Bioactivity, Functionality, Health Benefits and Bioavailability
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  68. Chapter 13 Turmeric the Golden Spice
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  69. Chapter 2 The Circulatory System and Oxygen Transport
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Mayuri Aavula

Mayuri AavulaNutritionist

Mayuri Aavula is one of the top nutritionists in Hyderabad, India, and has won several awards and accolades. She has 6 years of experience and started TruDiet in 2016 to provide diet care services to popular film and TV personalities. She has also featured in many nutrition awareness campaigns in print media, All India Radio, and other television channels, including...read full bio

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