Have you ever wondered about what is that molecule that keeps your heart healthy?
The answer is nitric oxide- the signaling molecule that keeps the pumping of blood in your heart normal.
Although some medications and supplements can fill your body with nitric oxide, getting this nitric oxide through diet is also possible!
In this article, you will learn about the best nitric oxide foods you can consume to boost and preserve nitric oxide naturally in your body.
10 Must-Try Nitrate Rich Foods…
Take note that when you eat nitric oxide foods, you do not consume the actual NO inorganic compounds.
Instead, you consume what we call nitrates.
These dietary nitrates, then, are converted to nitric oxide.
a) Beetroot Juice
According to a study by medical doctors from Texas, consuming beet juice is a perfect way to boost nitric oxide levels.
In this study, it was reported that, in less than one hour, with the use of beet juice or supplement, nitric oxide levels can be increased by up to 21.3%.
Additionally, aside from keeping your immune system healthy, beetroot juice can also prevent respiratory infections.
One recommended beetroot product is the brand SuperBeets by HumanN.
Garlic is widely available in your kitchen, and did you know that, aside from enhancing your sex drive, this common spice is a dietary nitrate that can help you improve not just your blood pressure but also your athletic performance?
When you consume garlic, you increase your body’s natural ability to synthesize nitric oxide.
How does this happen?
Take note that the amino acid L-arginine is converted to nitric oxide.
Thus, when you consume garlic, you speed up this conversion time.
a) Garlic Extract
According to a study, consuming garlic extract can help in increasing nitric oxide levels in your body by up to 40% in just one hour.
Although this might be useful temporarily, adding it to your regular diet can help prevent the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure as it helps in relaxing blood vessels.
3) Poultry, Meat, and Seafood
Who wouldn’t love these three? I guess, none!
Aside from giving you the feeling of fullness, poultry, meat, including processed meats, and seafood are dietary nitrates that can also improve how your muscle works!
How does this happen?
Poultry, meat, and seafood help in the preservation of nitric oxide in the body.
a) Meat and Poultry
According to a clinical review in Slovenia, an average diet of meat and poultry contains 64% of the coenzymes called coenzyme Q10 responsible for nitric oxide preservation.
In another clinical trial, it was reported that dietary nitrate intake using seafood can also help in the management of migraines.
So, if you want to avoid those migraine medications, you can consider these actual nitrate-rich foods.
4) Dark Chocolate
Personally speaking, I am a lover of dark chocolates and I always make sure I have some in the fridge!
Dark chocolates are dietary nitrates that can help me reduce my chronic stress after a long day of work.
Scientifically speaking, dark chocolates contain flavonols, and these molecules provide lots of benefits such as improving your heart health and providing energy before and after physical activity.
But, how are they related to nitric oxide?
According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition, the main ingredient of dark chocolate, cocoa, can help your body’s ability to optimize the nitric oxide levels you have.
Eventually, when you have optimal levels of nitric oxide, there would be cardiovascular health improvement and prevention of damages to nerve cells due to oxidative stress.
5) Leafy Vegetables
Green leafy vegetables are also widely available in your humble kitchen!
According to a study in Africa, leafy greens are filled with nitrates that can help in relaxing blood vessels, lower blood pressure, and prevent bowel cancer.
Again, these sodium nitrates, when consumed, are converted to nitric oxide which can help in promoting overall health!
In a clinical review in Wisconsin, vegetable consumption of leafy vegetables is most important for regulating the blood flow in your blood and tissue, preventing the occurrence of cardiovascular disease, and promoting better brain function.
Some of these leafy vegetables include spinach, kale, and cabbage.
As we all know, citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C, which are perfect for immunity support during this time of the pandemic as they protect cells from free radicals.
Vitamin c can help in increasing nitric oxide bioavailability and nitric oxide absorption in the body.
In another study conducted in the USA, it was reported that citrus fruits can also boost nitric oxide synthase levels in the body, leading to increased blood flow.
This enzyme, nitric oxide synthase, is responsible for helping your body produce nitric oxide levels, thus improving your systolic blood pressure.
Some of these citrus fruits include oranges, lemon, limes, and grapefruits.
Who would’ve thought that this antioxidant fruit is dietary nitrate and an effective nitric oxide level enhancer?
According to a study, pomegranate juice can protect nitric oxide from oxidative damage from free radicals.
In another study in Italy, pomegranate extract can help in boosting your blood nitrate levels, normalizing blood flow, and relaxing blood vessels.
Lastly, according to a study published in the Journal of Urology, pomegranates can also help in preventing and managing erectile dysfunction by reducing the oxidative stress of smooth muscles.
8) Nuts and Seeds
Just like garlic, nuts and seeds are also rich in the amino acid L-arginine.
A high nitric oxide intake using arginine-rich foods such as nuts and seeds is associated with high nitric oxide levels.
In another report, using healthy adults as subjects, amino acid l-arginine supplementation can increase NO levels in just 2 weeks!
Lastly, according to a study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, aside from lowering your blood pressure, improving your brain function, and supporting your heart health, nuts and seeds can also enhance your exercise performance.
Watermelon contains the amino acid citrulline.
Eventually, this amino acid citrulline is then converted to arginine, and arginine is converted to nitric oxide.
a) Citrulline Supplementation
According to a study published in the American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology, and Metabolism, it was reported that citrulline supplements can enhance the levels of nitric oxide in the body within a few hours.
However, in the same report, it was stated that it may take some time for you to see its positive effects on your health.
In another study in the UK, it was reported that a 2-week watermelon supplementation can boost NO levels in the body.
In this report, it was stated that consuming 300 ml of watermelon juice is enough to increase the bioavailability of nitric oxide.
10) Red Wine
On to the last food on the list, red wine, we all know that this beverage promotes lots of health benefits, especially to the heart as it can help in relaxing blood vessels and normalizing blood flow.
Furthermore, this beverage is also associated with more nitric oxide levels!
According to a study published in the Journal of American College of Cardiology, red wine can enhance the levels of NO in the body by increasing the nitric oxide synthase levels.
As said, this NO synthase is an enzyme involved in the production of nitric oxide.
If you are looking for the best-tasting wines that offer lots of health benefits, you can consider reading this article about red wine vinegar substitutes.
Indeed, many foods are rich in nitric oxide levels but the ones listed above are topnotch and easy to find at home.
Additionally, take note that consuming nitric oxide is not just all about promoting cardiovascular health.
Instead, a dietary intake of nitric oxide is also responsible for promoting cognitive health, improving athletic performance, and muscle support.
For those who do not want to consume these actual foods, there are also nitric oxide supplements that are filled with amino acids you can consider.
However, before taking one, it is recommended to consult a medical professional who can provide medical advice about the best supplement for your health condition.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are the nitric oxide foods for muscle growth?
Eating nitrate-rich foods rich in arginine and citrulline is the best way for you to increase your muscle growth. Some of these foods include nuts and seeds, watermelon, and garlic.
What foods can increase nitric oxide synthase levels?
Citrus fruits and red wine are the top 2 nitric oxide foods that can increase the levels of your nitric oxide synthase. When you have enough nitric oxide synthase levels, you can help your body produce nitric oxide levels.
Where does nitric oxide production happen in the body?
Generally, nitric oxide production occurs in the skin. Moreover, this can be in the dermal or epidermal cells.
What is the fastest way to increase nitric oxide levels?
There are a lot of ways to increase NO levels in no time. The first and easiest way is by consuming nitric oxide foods. Since NO is associated with antioxidants, consuming foods rich in antioxidants is also a smart choice.