Nitric oxide is a naturally occurring molecule in the human body. It is vital in maintaining a normal blood pressure and heart function. It also helps fight inflammations and regulate brain and digestive functions. The production of nitric oxide takes place in various tissues and organs. However, its production by vascular endothelium is considered particularly important in the proper regulation of blood vessels.
Unfortunately, not everyone experiences a healthy production of nitric oxide because of several factors, such as poor nutrition. If you’re living a couch potato lifestyle and you mostly rely on fast foods, you are likely to suffer from nitric oxide deficiency which can result to certain diseases, such as hypertension, chronic kidney disease, and congenital abnormalities. To promote a good amount of nitric oxide in your body, you will have to make some changes in terms of the kinds of food you eat.
Vegetables and Fruits
Many of the richest sources of nitric oxide are easily accessible in your local supermarket, if not in your kitchen. Among the vegetables that can help boost your nitric oxide production include celery, cauliflower, lettuce, parsley, spinach, artichokes, asparagus, eggplants, potatoes, cilantro, green beans, pumpkins, mustard greens, arugula, broccoli, cucumber, carrots, lentils, and legumes.
If you love fruits, watermelon and cantaloupe are good sources of Citrulline – an amino acid that increases the production of nitric oxide. You may also try some of the fruits rich in Vitamin C, D, and E, such as strawberry, orange, and grapes, as they are equally helpful in improving your nitric oxide levels. Other fruits to include in your diet are kiwi, blueberries, raspberries, lemons, apples, blackberries, and grapefruit.
Nuts and Seeds
You’d probably prefer munching chips over nuts, but the latter make better alternative for snacking. Pistachio nuts are great source of Arginine – a semi-essential amino acid that also increases production of nitric oxide. Other available options include chestnuts, macadamia, walnuts, peanuts, pine nuts, almonds, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, pignolias, and pecans. Sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds, and pumpkin seeds are also good for increasing your nitric oxide.
Meats, Seafood, and Dairy Products
Arginine is also found in some animal products including pork, chicken, turkey, and beef. If you’re not too fond of meats, there are several seafood products that can help boost your nitric oxide production, such as fish, tuna, salmon, prawns, and mackerel. In addition, olive oil, eggs, soy, and whole grains have positive effect in increasing your nitric oxide production.
Some people also take nitric oxide supplements and engage in moderate exercise to improve their nitric oxide levels. The foods listed above are not only beneficial to your cells and tissues that manufacture and produce nitric oxide, but also for your overall health and wellbeing.
One way to know if you are producing enough nitric oxide, though, is to perform a nitric oxide test. There are nitric oxide test strips that are commercially available to measure the amount of nitric oxide your body is producing. The results are useful in guiding you when it comes to changing your diet and lifestyle.