Nitric oxide is a molecule that aids in vasodilation. In other words, it relaxes the blood vessel muscles, widening them and increasing circulation.
Adequate nitric oxide production plays a critical role in improving overall health. Find out more about its benefits and how to increase your body’s nitric oxide production below.
Benefits of Nitric Oxide
Increasing nitric oxide production offers various health and wellness benefits, including the following:
- Improved exercise performance: When the blood vessels widen with higher nitric oxide production, nutrient and oxygen delivery to the muscles increases, allowing for better workout performance.
- Decreased post-workout muscle soreness: Increased blood flow allows for faster nutrient delivery and waste removal, meaning the muscles recover faster after a challenging workout.
- Lower blood pressure: Nitric oxide relaxes the blood vessels, improves blood flow, and lowers blood pressure.
- Increased insulin sensitivity: Type 2 diabetes and poor blood sugar balance can impact blood vessel health and increase the risk of high blood pressure; nitric oxide reduces this risk and improves insulin sensitivity, slowing the progression of diabetes.
Because it improves blood flow throughout the body, nitric oxide also benefits those dealing with erectile dysfunction and reduces their need to rely on medications.
Signs of Low Nitric Oxide Production
If someone is dealing with reduced nitric oxide production, they might notice right away. Here are some potential warning signs to watch for:
- Sexual dysfunction
- Memory loss
- Increased fatigue
- Insomnia or poor sleep
- Decreased exercise stamina
You may also notice signs of high blood pressure, such as headaches, shortness of breath, or nosebleeds.
How to Increase Nitric Oxide Production
Even if you aren’t dealing with any of the symptoms listed above, you still might be interested in increasing nitric oxide production. Here are ten highly effective ways to boost nitric oxide levels:
1. Eat More Vegetables
Eating more vegetables, specifically vegetables high in nitrates (which are converted into nitric oxide), is one of the easiest ways to increase nitric oxide production. Some nitrate-rich vegetables to add to your diet include:
Of all these vegetables, beetroot is one of the best, most heavily studied options, particularly for lowering blood pressure.
2. Consume More Antioxidants
Antioxidants neutralize oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Free radicals decrease the lifespan of nitric oxide molecules.
You can get antioxidants from various fruits and vegetables, as well as nuts, seeds, and whole grains. The following are some of the most beneficial antioxidants to include in your diet:
- Vitamin C (found in citrus fruits, bell peppers, broccoli, strawberries, and kiwi)
- Vitamin E (found in peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, and sunflower seeds)
- Polyphenols (found in berries, nuts, olives, coffee, and tea)
- Glutathione (found in spinach, avocados, asparagus, okra, garlic, shallots, and onions)
Nitrate-rich vegetables like those mentioned above are naturally high in antioxidants, too.
3. Take Beetroot Supplements
When you read that beetroots are some of the best sources of nitrates, did you panic a bit at the idea of choking down beets every day?
Beets aren’t the tastiest vegetable, at least to most people. Luckily, you can get the same benefits from beetroot supplements, which provide all the benefits of beets without the intense flavor.
4. Use Less Mouthwash
Mouthwash freshens the breath, but it also destroys bacteria in the mouth — including beneficial bacteria that produce nitric oxide. Consider cutting back if you use mouthwash frequently (or perhaps daily).
5. Exercise Regularly
Regular exercise contributes to increased nitric oxide production, blood vessel dilation, and lower blood pressure levels. If you already have high blood pressure, exercising can bring it down. Regular exercise also reduces your risk of developing high blood pressure in the first place.
6. Spend Time in the Sun
Spending time in the sun can increase nitric oxide production, allowing for better blood vessel dilation, faster wound healing, and a more robust immune system. Just be sure to avoid too much sun exposure, as sunburns increase your risk of developing skin cancer.
7. Consume Less Saturated Fat
Diets high in saturated fat can interfere with the body’s ability to produce nitric oxide. Researchers suspect this may have to do with the fact that saturated fats disturb the endothelial tissue (tissue lining the blood vessels).
Saturated fat is found in butter, oil, fatty meat, sausage, bacon, and many other types of processed meat. You don’t have to eliminate these foods completely, but it does help to consume them less often.
8. Reduce Your Sugar Intake
High blood sugar levels cause an imbalance of nitric oxide and superoxide, a free radical. This imbalance can damage the endothelial tissue and impair blood vessel health.
Limiting your sugar intake will help you avoid health issues associated with low nitric oxide production, such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
9. Quit Smoking
In the same way that health-promoting behaviors like exercise can increase nitric oxide levels, unhealthy behaviors like smoking can interfere with nitric oxide production. To boost nitric oxide, avoid smoking. Talk to your doctor about strategies that will help you quit for good.
10. Drink Less Alcohol
Minimizing your alcohol intake is also beneficial for those who want to boost nitric oxide production, lower blood pressure, and improve their overall health. Excessive alcohol consumption is linked to poor endothelial health and decreased availability of nitric oxide.
The good news is that you don’t have to avoid alcohol altogether. Small amounts may actually increase nitric oxide levels.
Experience the Benefits of Increased Nitric Oxide Today
From changing your diet to getting more exercise, there are lots of ways that you can increase your body’s nitric oxide production and improve your overall health.
Are you looking for a simple solution to jumpstart your wellness? If so, try taking a daily beetroot supplement like Substance’s Beetroot Boost.
Beetroot Boost is vegan-friendly, non-GMO, and made in the USA. It also contains 4500 milligrams of beetroot powder!