It’s no secret that nutrition is a big business. In the US alone, tens of billions of dollars are spent each year on supplements such as vitamins and herbs. But what the diet industry doesn’t want you to know is that the most important substance you can consume to boost your metabolism is 100% free, and available to everyone in almost infinite quantities. This crucial element not only helps to regulate appetite and digestion, it also enables the body to burn more calories, and even get a better night’s sleep. Curious? Join Emily Rosen, Director of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, for a fascinating look at Oxygen – Vitamin O. This exciting video from IPEtv is full of practical tips that you can start using right away. These simple yet profound actions have the power to change your metabolism for good.
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Here is a transcript of this week’s video:
One of the best-kept secrets in the nutrition business is this: there’s only one true miracle nutrient, it has a profound metabolic power, it’s freely available and seldom used to the fullest. The nutritional secret is Vitamin O – Oxygen. And we need lots of it. With oxygen, quantity is what counts. Oxygen has always been and always will be your number one nutritional priority.
The bottom line is that if you don’t have breathing, you don’t have a meal. The entire process of digestion is designed to break food down into microscopic morsels that can be sent to your cells and combusted with oxygen for energy release. Without oxygen, your food is literally useless. The two things you need to start a fire in your fireplace are good wood for fuel and the right amount of air circulation. Without oxygen, the fire couldn’t exist and the fuel wouldn’t burn.
The same is true for your body. The body is literally a heat-producing biological machine. Just about every chemical reaction inside us has, as a by-product, heat. At the cellular level, food is the fuel, and oxygen literally serves to fan our metabolic flames. That’s why the most commonly used measurement for our metabolic rate is oxygen utilization.
Metabolism is oxygen. And oxygen comes from breathing.
It’s amazing how the breath is such a vital yet overlooked part of our diet. In junior high biology most of us learned that oxygen combined with carbohydrates (food) yields energy release, measured in a unit called the calorie. Yet few of us took that equation to its logical conclusion: When you breathe more, you burn more.
Try this exercise:
At every meal or snack, ask yourself “Am I about to eat under stress? Is my mind in high gear?” If the answer is yes, pause. Then take 5-10 long, slow, deep breaths.
Follow this sequence:
- Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight, and your feet flat on the floor.
- Your eyes can be open or closed
- Hold your breath for several seconds
- Exhale fully
- Repeat this cycle 5 to 10 times
Mind Body Nutrition teaches us that eating under stress can dramatically reduce our metabolic power, but this simple breathing practice can shortcut the stress response in as little as one minute, depending on the intensity of your stress. When we hold in the breath for several seconds, the carotid bodies – tiny clumps of nerve tissue located along the carotid arteries – are fooled into thinking that blood pressure is rising. The carotid bodies will then signal the blood vessels to dilate, which causes an overall drop in blood pressure and lessens the stress response.
By breathing in to only two-thirds of your lung capacity, you ensure that blood pressure won’t go up from the sheer exertion of forcing the lungs to maximum expansion. By breathing out more fully than you breathe in, you help move stale air out from the lungs. Slow, deep breathing has also been shown to increase endorphin release in the body, producing a sense of relaxation and well-being.
You can also try placing one or both hands on your abdomen. This can help you focus more clearly on your gut and relax more deeply.
Are you starting to grasp the true metabolic power of oxygen when it comes to nutritional metabolism? Are you willing to incorporate this vital nutrient into your meals as a simple yet powerful nutritional experiment? The most important nutritional supplement of all is free, and you can take it as often as you want. Give it a try and see how it transforms your metabolism!
I hope this was helpful.