We have all heard about Nitric Oxide (NO), a simple, gaseous molecule which penetrates every cell, tissue and organ in our body, and is responsible for the following:
· Relaxing and widening our blood vessels for improved circulation and optimum blood pressure.
· Strengthening our bones.
· Improving our immune system.
· Improving functioning of our brain.
· Supporting healthy function of every organ in our body.
Unfortunately, after the age of 40, the supply of NO takes a nosedive and by the time you reach 70s and 80s, you produce and use a staggering 75% less NO than you did when you were in your 20s.
When your body does not have enough NO:
· Your arteries tighten and constrict – causing your blood pressure to skyrocket.
· The lining of your blood vessels weakens and cracks – allowing build up of plaque.
· Dangerous artery – clogging blood clots are more likely to form – increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
· Researchers have found out that most of the nitric oxide is formed in the mouth rather than your gut. The saliva and the beneficial bacteria in your mouth are necessary to create NO. The longer the nutrients are in the mouth, the more NO you produce.
Here are three of nature’s greatest NO – boosters which can help you maintain an evergreen heart:
1. Beets: They are one of the best foods to naturally boost up the nitric oxide levels in our body. Studies have reported significant rise in blood NO levels, within hours of consumption of beet juice.
2. Hawthorn: It is a well known herb which has been extensively used for treating circulatory and heart disorders. Now, recent research shows that mixing hawthorn with beets actually creates nitric oxide.
3. L- Citrulline: It is an amino acid that gets converted into NO in our body much more easily than even l-arginine, especially among the older folks.
Combining all these three together with vitamins such as vitamin C, Vitamin D and B vitamins can provide significant boost to production and utilization of nitric oxide in our body, thus not only improving the heart health, but also our overall health. Vitamin C is known to have a positive effect on nitric oxide synthesis in our body. Vitamin D has also shown to aid in NO production, especially in brain. B complex vitamins, i.e. family of 8 vitamins, also help in supporting NO functions in our body.