Nitric oxide is a gas that the body produces naturally, and it plays an important role in many of our bodily functions. Nitric oxide can help with blood pressure, heart function, mood swings, respiratory health and more!
The best way to get nitrates into your diet is by eating high nitrate foods like beets or spinach or in supplemental form.
This blog post will different foods and supplements that are rich in nitrates and how they can improve your life through increased nitric oxide levels.
Dietary nitrates are found in a variety of plant-based foods. They are converted into nitric oxide once they enter the bloodstream, where it provides multiple benefits for your body.
Beets and spinach are high in dietary nitrates and can be eaten raw or cooked to reap their health benefits. Other nitrate rich vegetables include celery, cabbage, green beans, collard greens cucumbers and lettuce.
Nitrates also come from some meats like bacon or sausage which contain sodium nitrate as well as processed luncheon meat that contains no more than 250 mg/serving per day (according to US Department of Agriculture).
Fruits such as watermelon have very low levels of dietary nitrates but may still provide other benefits.
Nitric oxide not only benefits your heart.
It also helps increase blood flow to the brain, which is important in maximizing a person's thinking and memory abilities by delivering oxygen-rich blood cells throughout the body.
Nitrates can help make nitrous oxide that relaxes arteries and veins as well as improve circulation.
This increases vitality and improves overall health related to cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol levels or poor circulation like cold hands or feet (Raynaud's Syndrome).
Dietary nitrate intake may also reduce insulin resistance for people with type II diabetes, helping them keep their glucose levels under control while reducing risk factors associated with developing complications of diabetes such as kidney damage from hypertension or coronary artery disease from atherosclerosis.
Hundreds of thousand of scientific articles have been published about the benefits of nitric oxide.
This research had demonstrated a multitude of health benefits including:
Let's take a closer look at these benefits in addition to a few others.
Nitric oxide is associated with increased production of IGF-I, a protein involved in signaling cells to build new muscles.
Nitrates were also shown to increase nitrous oxide synthase activity which increases natural levels of nitrous oxide that enhances the ability for oxygen delivery throughout your body. This means better circulation for more nutrients delivered to your muscles!
Increasing rest metabolism not only helps you burn calories but will help reduce cardiovascular issues like high cholesterol.
This is because nitrates are converted into nitric oxide which causes vasodilation, widening of blood vessels.
Nitric oxide has been shown to lower inflammation in the body, helping with autoimmune conditions.
Many studies have also indicated nitrates may help protect against heart disease by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels which can cause plaquing of arteries or atherosclerosis. Nitric Oxide is a Key Chemical for Healthy Muscle Growth!
The antioxidants in leafy greens help to protect against high sugar that can cause diabetes and obesity over time! In fact a study has shown the intake of spinach for just four days was able to lower glucose production by up to 25%.
Since nitric oxide acts as a vasodilator, it can help improve brain function by increasing the blood and oxygen supply to the head.
Nitric oxide is also helpful in protecting against cancer because of its ability to lower inflammation in cells.
Athletes who are nitrate deficient may see decreased performance as well as an increase fatigue or soreness after intense training sessions. The nitrates found in leafy greens help replenish levels for improved performance! .
Add these foods into your diet today for an easy way to boost your NO!
Have a hard time eating some of the foods listed above. Try these 5 supplements to help you naturally boost NO levels.
Dosage of supplemental nitrates is 500mg daily taken orally or dissolved under tongue once per day.
Include Nausea, Headache And Dizziness. So Exercising Moderation Is Key Here!
Nitrates and nitric oxide are not just good for your health, but they also can help you feel better about yourself.
About The Author:
Matt Mosman (MS, CISSN, CSCS) is a research scientist, endurance athlete, and the founder of EndurElite. Matt holds his B.S. in Exercise Science from Creighton University and his M.S. in Exercise Physiology from the University of California. Matt and his family reside in Spearfish South Dakota, where they enjoy running, mountain biking, camping, and all the outdoor adventures Spearfish has to offer.