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[4 min read] How to naturally boost nitric oxide levels
Similar to other deficiencies, particular food consumption for low nitric oxide levels can be one of the best – and most effective – ways to naturally make a difference.
Nitric oxide plays a vital role in the body as it helps blood vessels dilate to promote proper blood flow. It is also said there are additional health benefits associated with the molecule including lower blood pressure, and improved brain function and exercise performance.
This is why it is important for medical professionals to ensure nitric oxide levels are balanced and, if they need to be boosted or lowered, a health plan is in place.
If you have a patient needing to boost their nitric oxide levels, the following foods may be suggested:
- Beetroot: As beetroot is rich in dietary nitrates, your body can convert this to nitric oxide. In fact, several studies show drinking beetroot juice or consuming a beetroot juice supplement have significantly increased nitric oxide levels in both men and women.
- Garlic: Garlic can act as a booster as it activates nitric oxide synthase, the enzyme that assists in the conversion of nitric oxide from the amino acid L-arginine.
- Meat: Although meat, including poultry and seafood, do not contain high levels of nitric oxide directly, they are sources of coenzyme Q10, a compound which plays an important role in preserving nitric oxide in the body.
- Dark chocolate: It is proven that dark chocolate, particularly cocoa, contains flavanols that can establish sufficient levels of nitric oxide in the body. Cocoa can also promote heart health and protect against oxidative damage.
- Spinach, kale, and cabbage: Leafy green vegetables including spinach, kale and cabbage are loaded with nitrates that convert to nitric oxide. In particular, these vegetables can help maintain optimum levels of nitric oxide in the tissues and blood.
- Citrus fruit: Not only are oranges, limes, and lemons a great source of vitamin C, this vitamin can also help boost levels of nitric oxide. This is because vitamin C increases the bioavailability of nitric oxide and maximises its absorption in the body.
- Nuts and seeds: Arginine is a type of amino acid involved in the production of nitric oxide, and one that is high in nuts and seeds. Although adding nuts and seeds to a diet plan may not increase nitric oxide levels as substantially as some of the foods listed above, it will still have an impact.
Learn more in the Professional Diploma program in Medical Nutrition Management