If you’ve ever practiced yoga or taken birthing class or even sat in bumper to bumper traffic, you’ve probably heard and repeated this phrase. The importance of good breathing is understood, well, everywhere by everyone. What else is as important to life as breathing? Nothing. It’s universal. (Hence why breathing exercises are good for pretty much anything, from traffic jams to bringing a new life into the world.)
Breathing is important, especially deep, thoughtful breaths. Breathing helps us get more oxygen to the brain so you can make better decisions and de-stress.
Oh, and breathing, you know, it’s worth mentioning again, keeps us alive. Kind of a big deal.
But beyond basic survival, there’s a lot more that breathing does for us, on a lot of levels. That’s what we’re discussing here, the connection between your microbiome and allergies. And not just any breathing, we’re talking about the importance specifically of nasal breathing. That’s right, today is all about the beauty of breathing through your nose. That's because your nasal passages are your front line of defense from airborne pathogens that can cause all sorts of sinus issues, including allergy flare ups.
Being called a “mouth breather” is considered rude… but breathing through your nose really is better for you, health-wise.
Importance of Proper Breathing
How can breathing impact your health? And how can how you breathe make such a difference?
Well, think about it, unlike food, which comes into your system a few times a day (and with it, the opportunity for environmental toxins to hitch a ride), you’re breathing in and out all the time. And your nasal passages were designed by Mother Nature to make sure you’ve got a good line of defense for this everyday (but critical!) function.
First of all, unlike your mouth, when you use your nasal passages to breathe, the tiny hairs in your nostrils capture larger particles as they come swirling in with your air. So, that’s already a pretty great defensive move from your body. (Also, for anyone reading worried about trimming your nostril hairs, don’t fear, the ones that are helpful are very tiny and the ones people target for trimming are not the same as the ones discussed here–groom away!)
But nostril hairs are only part of it. The other line of defense comes from your nasal mucus–snot. This sticky stuff not only helps trap problematic particles that your nostril hairs don’t grab, it also secretes antimicrobial proteins, peptides, immunoglobulins and opsonins to help your immune function and protect your airways. A runny nose? Not just a reason to reach for tissues, it’s a sign of good immune function and immune function response. A runny nose happens when the cells in your nasal passages secrete proteins into the mucus and propel the “mucus blanket” out of the nose with coordinated ciliary movement.
Removing local irritants and pathogens is an everyday function of your nasal passages, but of course, dust and pollen aren’t the only things our immune system has to defend our bodies against. That’s when bigger defense functions are called upon to help–and that’s where nasal breathing in particular is proving to be super beneficial and important for health.
How Does Nasal Breathing Protect Us?
Nasal breathing protects us beyond breathing in dust. When it comes to your own immune system, activating a massive defensive action doesn’t require pushing a red button, you just need to breathe through your nose.
That’s because of a little thing called nitric oxide.
Nitric oxide is one of the MVPs of your immune system. (That is, most valuable and most versatile). Nitric oxide helps in the pathogenesis and control of infectious diseases, tumors, autoimmune processes and chronic degenerative diseases. Oh, and nitric oxide both triggers the eradication of pathogens and helps regulate immunosuppression while your body is restoring tissue and healing wounds. So yeah, nitric oxide? Great on all fronts of defense.
That’s because nitric oxide is a signaling molecule to the rest of your body to initiate your body’s inflammatory response to viruses. And what produces a high volume of nitric oxide? The respiratory epithelial cells that line your nose and lungs. When you breathe through your nose, not your mouth, that nitric oxide is continuously secreted into the nasal airways.
And if all that started to sound complicated, this is the takeaway: whenever you want to give yourself an immune boost, just take a big breath in through your nose to activate that nitric oxide. You can do it right now, right this second, as you’re reading this sentence.
See? Don’t you feel better already?
But Wait There’s More!
Other Benefits to Nasal Breathing
Beyond the research on the immune response of nasal breathing and nitric oxide formation, there’s even more benefits to breathing through your nose versus your mouth. A big benefit to nasal breathing? Better, more effective exercise.
Studies have shown that when exercising outdoors, nasal breathing is much better than breathing through the mouth. A significant amount better. Studies show that breathing through your nose while exercising outdoors both reduces breathing rates by over 50% and decreases perceived exertion by 60%!
All that to say, simply by breathing through your nose instead of your mouth may allow you to workout harder and longer. How’s that for a health benefit?
Make every breath count with ION* Sinus Support.
So How Do You Make the Most Of Breathing Through Your Nose?
Support your sinuses. We all know how interconnected our bodies are, especially our gut health and immune system. So, it should come as no surprise that your nasal passages are actually your critical frontline defense for your body’s immune function.
That’s where ION* Sinus Support comes in.
ION* Sinus Support helps you breathe freely, clearly, easily and naturally–just the way Mother Nature intended. It works on the cellular level to help tighten the epithelial cells in your nose, which supports overall function for all the jobs we’ve just discussed your nasal passages being responsible for. Supported sinuses = supported immune function and better health.
If you’re ready to make the effort to prioritize nasal breathing for its health benefits (and you should, as far as healthy habits go, it’s probably the easiest thing to do), make sure to make each of those nasal breaths count with ION* Sinus Support.
In addition to supporting your sinuses on the cellular level, ION* Sinus Support rinses away dust, pollen and airborne irritants while also hydrating your nasal passages for comfortable, efficient breathing.
Try ION* Sinus Support today.