Saturday, July 28, 2018

The Importance of Nitric Oxide

I'm not talking about Nitrous Oxide or "laughing gas".
Nitric Oxide is a small molecule which is produced by every cell in our body and helps keeps blood vessels healthy and regulates blood pressure.  It also helps in the immune and nervous systems and lessens diseases such as chronic inflammation, cancer, etc.  Nitric oxide is released from the inner layers of cells (endothelium) of our blood vessels. By relaxing the vessels it  keeps them flexible, allowing them to dilate, which boosts blood flow and controls blood pressure.  As we age, our cells produce less nitric oxide, which contributes to higher risk of chronic diseases.  That's why it is important to consume foods high in nitrates.  Recent lab research has shown that nitric oxide is involved in the respiratory system by helping red blood cells to release the oxygen they carry to the body's tissues.  Because it increases blood flow, it delivers more oxygen to our muscles for increased stamina, improving work production, etc.

Here are some foods to boost Nitric Oxide;
*Arugula, This bitter, peppery green is the highest source of nitrates known!
*Beets, beetroots are loaded with nitrates.
*Spinach, want to be strong like Popeye? eat yours fresh!
*Citrus, containing high amounts of Vitamin C, they protect your nitric oxide molecules from free radicals.
*Pomegranate, the polyphenols boost nitric oxide and as a anti-inflammatory it reduces oxidative stress.
*Walnuts, being high in Vitamin E they keep the blood flowing.
*Watermelon,  loaded with the amino acid L-citrulline,  which is ultimately converted into nitric oxide.  The rind is where you find the most amount of l-citrulline.

This is a great video from Dr. Michael Greger on creating your own "V8" juice smoothie for a daily way to boost your nitric oxide production. See: Dr. Greger In The Kitchen

Have a great week.
Be kind.

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