Our favorite way to boost your blood oxygen level is–you guessed it–breathing through your nose. But the next best way? With what you eat. Filling your plate with foods that boost your nitric oxide levels and blood cell count will help increase your blood flow, boost your cardiovascular health, and ensure your body uses oxygen efficiently.
Here are some holiday-ready oxygen-boosting foods you can bring to the Thanksgiving table that your body will really give thanks for (bonus–most of these might be on your grocery list anyway).
DILL & PARSLEY
One of our favorite ways to use these herbs–and all the other herbs we only needed 1.5 tablespoons of–is to chop them up and toss them in a salad (major kudos to Alison Roman’s NYT recipe for the idea). Add a bundle each of these, plus cilantro, mint, and a handful of chives. Toss with a few cups of arugula, a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, and coarse sea salt and you’ll have the perfect oxygenating counter-balance to a spread of rich holiday fare.
CELERY & CELERY ROOT
We love the fresh crunch that celery lends to our stuffing recipe, and celery root is an amazing paleo-friendly substitute for potatoes–mashed, roasted, boiled, you name it.
Beets are a nutritional powerhouse, and the ultimate for boosting your blood oxygen levels, though we know they’re not everyone’s favorite. Luckily, they stand up to loads of preparations. You can bake them and marinate in red wine vinegar, olive oil, shallot, and thyme, or roast them and toss them in a salad with goat cheese and fresh greens.
Roasted fennel root is one of our favorite holiday sides, plus it’s flavorful enough on its own that you don’t need more than olive oil and salt to really make it sing. Just cut the stalks, chop the fennel into wedges, toss with olive oil and salt, and roast at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes, or until crisp and golden. For an added punch, you can also drizzle with balsamic vinegar before throwing them in the oven.
ARUGULA & SPINACH
Like many leafy greens, arugula and spinach are rich in blood-supporting nutrients. Spinach is easy to cook down and sneak into dips and side dishes, and arugula’s sharp peppery flavor makes it an excellent complement to the holiday table (read on for a recipe idea!).
The parts of the turkey you don’t usually roast and bring to the table are still incredibly nutritious–they’re particularly rich in copper, which help boost your body’s ability to build blood cells. If eating turkey guts isn’t your speed, adding them to your gravy recipe can both maximize the flavor and health factor.