What do you really know about nitric oxide? If you’re like most, you may not know very much. We can help. How? With the Top Nitric Oxide Foods, we give you in this story. Read on to find out more.
When most people hear of nitric oxide, they immediately think of the gas that makes cars go from 0-60 Fast and the Furious style. Not to be confused with nitrous oxide, nitric oxide is a gas made naturally by the body. It helps with many of the functions carried out by the body.
If you’ve been eating right, training hard and still aren’t seeing the results you’re looking for, it may be time to dig a little deeper. Nitric oxide is easily overlooked as a supplement.
Most people are unaware of its many benefits.
Nitric oxide has been known to help increase exercise stamina, improve mental clarity, treat conditions like erectile dysfunction and even help prevent heart disease. It’s also responsible for that amazing pump you feel after a workout. And, there’s nothing better than seeing the immediate results of a killer training session.
But how does a chemical compound act as a wonder supplement of sorts?
Let’s take a closer look to find out how it can help you achieve your best health.
Benefits Of Nitric Oxide
Nitric oxide is considered a vasodilator, meaning it widens blood vessels. This helps more blood and oxygen flow through the body.
What does this mean for your physique and training regimen?
It means a lot more than you might think.
You Can Expect Increased Exercise Stamina
When you’re working out, the increase in heart rate and muscle tension cause your blood vessels to constrict. This is what makes it hard to breathe when you’re exerting maximum effort. Without proper oxygen, your body starts to fatigue and your workout becomes less effective. The vasodilation that occurs in the body is helpful for both bodybuilders and distance athletes alike. The increased oxygen to the muscles also allows distance athletes to continue working out and use their oxygen efficiently.
You Can Expect Improved Mental Clarity
Have you ever felt spacey during a workout and lost count of your reps or, even worse, dropped a weight unexpectedly? By dilating the blood vessels and allowing more blood and oxygen to flood the brain, you can kiss your mental fog goodbye.
It Can Be Used As An Erectile Dysfunction Treatment
Increased blood flow can help other organs in your body as well. With a healthy flow of blood through the body, you can experience longer and stronger erections. This is great news for your sex life! Did you know? Erectile dysfunction is one of the first signs of coronary heart disease. It’s known as the warning bell to a more serious problem in healthy young males.
It Could Be Good For Heart Disease Prevention
Heart attacks are caused when blood cannot flow to and from the heart. Heart disease usually refers to the narrowing of arteries that are responsible for the flow of blood and oxygen.Nitric oxide make veins bigger and works to open these arteries to help blood flow freely.
You Can Expect A Better Muscle Pump
Full and defined muscles are likely at the top of every weightlifter wish list. Strength training naturally increases blood flow and oxygen to the muscles giving you a natural pump. Nitric oxide can help sustain that natural muscle pump longer than just a trip home from the gym.
Nitric Oxide Foods That Help Increase Nitric Oxide Production
Like many vitamins, minerals and chemical compounds in the body, there is a supplement form of nitric oxide that can be found in most health food stores.
But, the question is: What about nitric oxide foods?
The good news is there are many foods that can help increase your nitric oxide production at a much lower cost to your pocket and body.
Some foods contain naturally occurring healthy nitrates and some simply help your body effectively produce nitric oxide on its own. It’s important that you choose foods that not only contain nitrates, but that are good for your body as well. Fruits and veggies contain antioxidants that help fight the free radicals that can be released by added nitrates. You should limit your intake of processed meats since the nitrates contained in them can create other health problems.
Here are some of the top foods that can help increase your body’s nitric oxide production:
Arugula is an often forgotten dark leafy green high in naturally occurring nitrates. It’s a great alternative to the ever-popular spinach and kale. It has a peppery flavor that can add a flavor boost to the traditional plain fitness meal plan. Use it as a base for a salad, use it in place of salad on a sandwich or throw it on top of a pizza if it fits your macros.
There’s a reason kale is on many top food lists. Most people are tired of hearing about kale and all of its healthful benefits. But, like arugula, it contains one of the highest nitric oxide levels of any veggie. This wonder veggie also has high levels of antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin K and a host of other nutrient rich properties.
Beets are another highly underrated veggie with amazing health benefits. They have the highest levels of nitrates of all veggies, while also containing potassium that helps with muscle function.
Fennel has long been known as a heart healthy veggie with high fiber content. Its anti-inflammatory properties combined with its nitric oxide content help keep blood vessels open. While the entire veggie is good for you, the nitric oxide content of fennel seems to be the highest in its seeds. You can brew the seeds in water to make fennel tea or grind it into a fine powder to use as seasoning for cooking.
Not only does celery contain high levels of nitrates, it’s also full of water and fiber – two things that keep you full longer. Celery is a diverse veggie. It can be used as a snack, smeared with some nut butter, chopped into a mirepoix for cooking or used as an appetizer in a crudité.
You may get tired of hearing it, but leafy greens are your friend. It’s time to make friends with salad. Raw spinach in a smoothie is a great way to get in healthy nitrates before you even leave the house.
#7 Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds aren’t just for Halloween. Along with their nitric oxide content, these little morsels of nutrition, also known as pepitas, are made up of mainly protein and fat. They’re a great addition to many diet niches including vegan, Paleo, and high fat/low carb.
Spirulina is an algae. It’s most readily found in tablet or powder format with the latter being a great addition to smoothies. It is one of the foods that don’t contain high levels of nitric oxide. Instead, it helps your body produce its own nitric oxide.
Peanuts are a legume that contains an essential amino acid many already own in their supplement stack: Arginine. When you consume arginine, it helps in the production of nitric oxide. One thing to keep in mind about peanuts is that they’re one of most heavily pesticide-laden crops. As a result, it’s important to try and buy organic non-GMO brands where possible.
Watermelon contains a lesser-known amino acid that helps in the production of arginine. Of course, that in turn helps in the production of nitric oxide. It’s also full of water so it serves as a delicious hydrator.
Garlic should be in everyone’s homes. It’s a powerhouse veggie that’s rich in antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and medicinal properties. Garlic helps boost nitric oxide levels in the body. The important thing to note about garlic is that it is most beneficial when it’s chopped, crushed or otherwise opened to release the natural oils. Embrace garlic breath and enjoy a clove a day!
Like watermelon, cucumbers are known for their high water content and mellow but tasty flavor. It also contains citrulline, the same amino acid in watermelon that helps in the production of arginine.
Onions are garlic’s pungent cousins. Like garlic, they help significantly boost nitric oxide levels and are also great sources of vitamin C. It’s been said that onions can also help fight illnesses like colds and fevers by drawing out toxins from the body. Combine onions and garlic for a truly potent boost to your body’s nitric oxide production.
Like peanuts, this legume contains arginine that helps the body produce nitric oxide. Also similar to peanuts, soybeans are heavily sprayed with pesticides and are also highly likely to be genetically modified plant. It’s best to eat soybeans in moderation as they also contain a compound that mimics estrogen, which can be a problem for men.
#15 Garbanzo Beans
Garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas, also contain arginine. These beans are mild tasting and can be used in a number of ways (including salads, soups, and dips). Garbanzo beans are a great source of vegetarian and vegan protein.
Your grandma likely tried to get you to eat liver as a child to no avail. This strong tasting organ meat has been known to help the body carry blood and oxygen throughout its system. It is also high in iron that helps with the production of red blood cells.
Although almonds aren’t considered a legume and are technically considered a nut, they contain the arginine needed to boost nitric oxide levels. They also contain the healthy fats needed to help lower cholesterol levels and are a staple in many healthy diets. Try swapping your white flour for almond flour.
It will help to reduce inflammation in the body. This trick is also great for those following a Paleo or low-carb diet.
#18 Dark Chocolate
Everyone deserves to enjoy food even on a strict training regimen. If you choose to indulge in sweets, try dark chocolate. It has a high antioxidant profile and has also been known to boost nitric oxide levels. With chocolate, aim for cacao instead of cocoa as cacao is the raw unprocessed version of chocolate that contains the most health properties.
Honey is another great addition to your pantry and medicine cabinet alike. In its raw form it contains antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties that can help rid your body of some forms of illness. It’s especially important as it can help your body naturally increase its own levels of nitric oxide and is also a good source of nitrates to add to the body. Don’t forget to choose raw honey, which should come in solid form. Liquid honey has been highly processed and thus loses some of its health properties.
Salmon contains healthy omega-3 fatty acids that also boost testosterone by lowering inflammation. If you’re looking for a food that contains two of the most important molecules in overall men’s health, salmon is your go-to.
Pistachios are not only delicious but like many other nuts, it contains arginine. They have also been known to help with diabetes by lowering blood pressure. As an added benefit, they provide the body with the right amount of protein and fats to balance out a healthy diet.
There are a wide array of foods to choose from that can help your body reach optimal levels of nitric oxide. You don’t always have to add supplements to reach your goals. Simply reach into your fridge for the all-natural boost provided by nitric oxide foods.
Don’t be afraid of the nitrates in veggies. They’re very different than those found in processed meats. By eating veggies, you reap the healthy benefits of nitric oxide with the additional vitamin, mineral and antioxidant benefits of plant-based foods.
By Aly Tyghter
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