How nasal breathing can help us lose weight, a nutritionist explains

Updated on Sep 15, 2021 01:18 PM IST

Are you breathing through your mouth or nose? How we breathe can impact our weight loss journey. A nutritionist explains how.

Nasal breathing is important for overall health(Pixabay)
Nasal breathing is important for overall health(Pixabay)
By | Written by Parmita Uniyal

Do you pay attention to how you breathe or leave it on auto-pilot mode? It may happen that while your nose is blocked due to cough or cold, you may be breathing through your mouth instead of nose. Some people also breathe through mouth while they are asleep without realizing it. While they may not be doing it consciously, it could lead to many health troubles like bad breath, asthma, allergic reactions, tooth decay, etc, as per experts.

We are biologically made to breathe through our nose instead of mouth. Our nose plays a crucial role in filtering foreign particles which also prevents our lungs from infection. It also makes sure to bring the inhaled air to the right temperature that works well for the body.  When we are breathing through mouth, our risk of falling ill goes up.

Apart from all these benefits, nasal breathing also apparently aids in losing weight. Nutritionist Pooja Makhija explains how.

ALSO READ: Feeling stressed? Quick breathing exercises to calm your nerves

"Our autonomic Nervous System has two main branches, Sympathetic and Parasympathetic. The sympathetic branch is responsible for our “fight or flight” the response, whereas the parasympathetic branch is responsible for the “rest and digest, tend and befriend” response,"(sic) says nutritionist Pooja Makhija in an Instagram post.

She adds that the sympathetic branch gets you fired up and primed for movement, while the parasympathetic branch puts the brakes on and chills your body out. 

Here's what happens when you breathe from mouth

"Mouth breathing biases your body towards a sympathetic state, whereas nasal breathing activates the parasympathetic response. If the body is stuck in this state due to chronic stress and breathing dysfunction, it won’t effectively rebuild tissue from all of the HIIT workouts you are doing," (sic) she adds.

But how does it lead to weight loss?

"Since a large portion of this recovery process happens while you sleep, it is especially important to breathe in a way that shifts your nervous system state into “rest and digest” mode. This is why nasal breathing is so important for weight loss!" (sic) the nutritionist says.

ALSO READ: Shilpa Shetty Kundra practises deep breathing to feel centred. Here’s why you should too

Foods to improve nasal breathing

Pooja Makhija says since we start breathing from mouth only when there is a trouble with our nasal passage, consuming certain foods can help improve nasal breathing.

"Good quality Vitamin C supplements (and foods), curcumin (opens up sinus blockages), zinc rich foods and supplements can really help improve nasal breathing (provided of course, that’s the prime reason and not a diviated septum). Speak with your nutritionist for exact doses and duration," (sic) advises Makhija.

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