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Which Foods Supply Oxygen?

By Nancy Clarke ; Updated July 18, 2017

Foods that bump up your oxygen levels are those that assist in the synthesis of red blood cells. A healthy blood count allows for maximum oxygen transport to your body cells, which use oxygen to burn energy for metabolic processes. Choose a variety of foods with high amounts of iron, protein and/or one or more of the eight B vitamins. These nutrients coexist in many of the same foods. You may need to supplement some foods with additional choices to get all the amino acids or relevant B vitamins.

Seafood and Meats

You’ll find protein, iron and certain B vitamins in animal-based food sources, which do contain complete amino acid composition for blood cell synthesis, according to MedlinePlus. Get high iron from clams, oysters, and beef, pork and poultry liver. Fish such as salmon and sardines are stronger in protein than iron, while chicken eggs deliver both these nutrients in moderate amounts. All these oxygen-promoting foods provide heme iron, the most easily absorbable form of dietary iron. They will also build your totals in many of the vitamin B categories.


Among plant-based foods, legumes that include dry beans, peas, lentils and soybeans help your body process oxygen. Legumes that make significant contributions to your daily totals of iron, protein and several B vitamins per 1-cup serving include cooked soybeans or lentils; kidney, black or navy beans; split peas; chickpeas; or black-eyed peas.


Grain foods also have a mix of protein, iron and various B vitamins to encourage optimal blood oxygen levels. The ratios are not as high as they are in other plant-based foods, however, so manufacturers of some grain foods increase their products’ iron and vitamin B content. For instance, according to the USDA Nutrient Database, many whole-wheat, corn, oat and rice cereals offer 100 percent of iron daily values per suggested serving. Vitamin B values range from 10 to 100 percent. Check the nutrition facts on cereal and other packages, such as white bread, egg noodles and white rice, to locate foods enriched with iron and vitamin B.


Most vegetables are low in protein, but they do provide a gram or two of protein per 1-cup serving. Choosing iron-rich vegetables will net you low to moderate amounts of protein and various B vitamins as well. Greens have higher concentrations of iron, so while 1 cup of beets provides 1mg of iron, their cooked tops, or beet greens, provide 3mg of iron, notes the USDA. Additional choices to help supply oxygen to your body cells include spinach, broccoli and kale.

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