Are you feeling older than you really are? Do you feel like you don’t have the physical and mental energy to enjoy life with your loved ones? The reason you feel fatigued could be due to weak blood flow, which causes your cells to be starved of oxygen. And the reason your cells lack oxygen is because your body is deficient in nitric oxide.
(Nitric oxide is a molecule made by your cells, that is vital for heart, brain, immune and sexual health.
It acts as a vasodilator, meaning it relaxes your blood vessels and causes them to widen. In this way, nitric oxide increases blood flow, lowers blood pressure, improves exercise performance, and boosts brain function.
Unfortunately, your body makes less nitric oxide as you age. Studies show that by the time you reach 40, your cells are making 50% less nitric oxide than it did when you were a teenager.
So unless you do certain things to boost your body’s ability to make nitric oxide, it’s likely you’re deficient in this important molecule.
And the resulting poor blood circulation, may increase your risk of health problems such as high blood pressure, atherosclerosis or clogged arteries, erectile dysfunction, heart attack and stroke.
In today’s video, we’re going to explore the top 11 foods to strengthen blood flow by boosting your nitric oxide levels.
Keep watching until number 1, because some of these best foods may come as a real surprise to you! So, if you’re ready, let’s get into it.
As always, this video is educational and does not construe medical advice, we are not doctors.
Number 11. Beets.
It’s common for athletes to drink beet juice before training and competition to boost blood and oxygen flow to muscles. Beet juice is high in natural nitrates, which your body converts into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps loosen your blood vessels, so your heart doesn’t have to work as hard.
One study found that drinking one cup of beet juice a day is as good as taking medicine for high blood pressure. And since high blood pressure is a cause of erectile dysfunction, drinking beet juice is known as a natural remedy for ED!
Another red vegetable loaded with natural nitrates is red spinach also known as red amaranth or Chinese spinach. Research suggests that red spinach extract contains more nitrates than beets, so you might want to try this veggie in food form.
Number 10. Red Wine.
Studies have shown that drinking red wine in moderation can be good for your heart because it raises HDL cholesterol. Red wine is also rich in antioxidants called polyphenols, that protect the lining of your blood vessels. Researchers found that a polyphenol, called resveratrol, is especially good at increasing nitric oxide, widening the blood vessels, and improving blood flow in the brain.
Number 9. Leafy and Cruciferous Greens.
Leafy and cruciferous vegetables are a true superfood for good blood circulation. This is because they are rich in nitrates, which our body is efficient at turning into nitric oxide. It’s estimated that 80% of the nitrates we eat come from vegetables, and you should try to include these in your diet. Spinach, arugula, kale, lettuce, mustard greens, bok choy, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower all have good amounts of this important nutrient. Carrots are also a great source of nitrates!
Number 8. Watermelon.
Watermelon is good for your blood circulation, and has long been recommended as a natural remedy for ED. This popular fruit is a natural source of the amino acid L-citrulline, which our body changes into L-arginine and then nitric oxide. Recent studies show that eating more watermelon can help exercise performance, decrease blood pressure and improve blood flow.
Number 7. Garlic.
Eating garlic can make nitric oxide levels shoot up fast! Garlic can make nitric oxide substantially more available in your body, as well as increase the amount of the enzyme that turns L-arginine into nitric oxide. Garlic is proven to increase blood flow and lower your blood pressure through the compound allicin, which is released when you crush or chop garlic. Onions are also great for quickly boosting nitric oxide and blood flow due to a compound called quercetin.
Number 6. Nuts and Seeds.
Nuts and seeds are high in L-arginine – the amino acid involved in making nitric oxide, as well as omega-3 fats, which are good for your brain and health. Some studies show that regularly eating nuts and seeds has been associated with lower blood pressure, better cognition and more endurance.
Pumpkin seeds have one of the highest concentrations of L-arginine among seeds. Other seeds high in L-arginine include watermelon, sesame, and sunflower seeds.
Walnuts have one of the highest concentrations of L-arginine among nuts. Other nuts high in L-arginine include hazelnuts, pecans, peanuts, almonds, cashews and brazil nuts.
Number 5. Pomegranate.
Pomegranate is not only super tasty but scientifically proven to increase blood flow. How exactly? Well, it’s not only abundant in nitrates but also polyphenol antioxidants. Both of these are vasodilators – meaning they open blood vessels, and enhance the free-flow of nutrient-rich, oxygenated blood to the tissues that need them.
Number 4. Citruses.
The citrus fruits we enjoy like oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruit are excellent sources of vitamin C, which increase the absorption and bioavailability of nitric oxide. Studies show that when you eat citrus fruits, your blood pressure goes down, you think better, and there is a lower chance of you getting heart disease – which may be due to their ability to make nitric oxides levels go up.
Number 3. Meat.
Taking coenzyme Q10 in the form of meat can safeguard and increase your body’s nitric oxide levels. CoQ10 also widens the blood vessels and has been linked to improved athletic performance and migraine prevention.
Good sources of CoQ10 include pasture-raised meats, and especially organ meats, including liver, kidneys, and heart, and fatty fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel, and herring are all excellent sources of CoQ10. Meats like turkey, pork loin and chicken are also high in L-arginine.
Number 2. Dark Chocolate.
Dark chocolate is rich in health-boosting flavanols. Research shows that the flavanols in cocoa can help your body maintain good levels of nitric oxide, which promote good heart health and protect your cells from damage.
In one study, people who ate dark chocolate every day for 15 days had higher levels of nitric oxide. They also had lower blood pressure numbers. Eating dark chocolate has been associated with improved blood flow, enhanced brain function and a lower risk of heart disease.
Number 1. Clams.
Clams are one of the richest food sources of B12 you can find. These bivalves are also high in the amino acid L-arginine, which converts to nitric oxide. Eating clams causes blood vessels to relax and facilitate blood flow.
You can get L-arginine from seafood such as oysters, mussels, scallops, abalone, octopus, salmon and herring but the highest amounts of L-arginine in shellfish is found in shrimp, lobster and crab.
There you have it! The top 11 foods that strengthen blood flow by boosting nitric oxide production in your body.
To get the most from these foods, and stimulate blood flow, get enough exercise that you enjoy, stay well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water, reduce salt in your diet, limit the use of mouth wash, which kills the bacteria that produce nitric oxide in your mouth, and avoid taking antacids if you can.
Lastly, what are the symptoms that may indicate low nitric oxide? These include cold hands and feet, high blood pressure, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, insomnia, loss of libido, and declining stamina.
In case you’re wondering, you can test your nitric oxide levels by using saliva test strips.
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And now over to you: What foods do you take, or plan to take, to increase nitric oxide levels and improve blood flow?
Leave your comment below. We’d love to hear from you!
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