What percentage of the body is composed of oxygen?

By mass, 99% of the human body is made up of six elements.  These elements include oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium and phosphorus.  Oxygen represents approximately 65%.


Why does the body require oxygen?

  • Oxygen is required for breathing processes and in every metabolic process in the body.
  • We can survive 3 weeks without food.  3 days without water but, only 3 minutes without air
  • Healthy cells in the body are aerobic, meaning that they require adequate levels of oxygen for cellular respiration and growth.
  • When cells are deprived of oxygen for any reason, decay sets in and cells can mutate or die.  Lower levels of oxygen can often found in individuals with chronic illness.


Every breath we take matters!

Every breath we take can help to enhance or detract from our wellbeing.


What are some of the symptoms/side effects when the body is deprived of oxygen?

  •  tiredness
  • depression
  • irritability
  • poor judgement
  • health problems


What are some of the benefits of increasing the amount of oxygen in the body?

  •  increased alertness
  • improved reflex response time
  • improved memory
  • enhanced intelligence


How can the oxygen balance be increased in the body?

1.  Increasing alkalinity through a plant-based diet will increase the amount of oxygen in our body.

Foods with a high citric acid content have an alkalizing effect and include: tomato, avocado, lemon, lime, grapefruit, apple cider vinegar (all other vinegar are acid-forming).  

Other foods which have an alkalizing effect include: raw honey (processed honey is acid forming), almond milk, whole fruits and vegetables, green juices and beans.


2.  Ensuring optimal hydration by drinking adequate quantities of water will increase the oxygen balance in the body.

With respect to water – only water is water – everything else is food.

Water should be sipped and not gulped.  Gulping can activate the urge to purge or release.

Water should be consumed at room temperature.  When water is too cold or too hot the body uses energy to bring it to temperature.


3.  Including aerobic exercise, like walking, to a daily routine will provide the body with more oxygen.


4.  Proper breathing – deep, down low and slow enhances our oxygen supply.

The practice of square breathing can help to regulate our breath and move the body from the fight or flight response to the rest and digest response.  When the body is in the rest and digest response, oxygen levels increase.

Square breathing consists of breathing in to the count of 4, holding to the count of 4, releasing to the count of 4, holding to the count of 4….repeat as required until chest breathing becomes belly breathing.


Learn More


Stress and Breath:  Stress and the Body