Perhaps the best way to boost Nitric Oxide levels in the body is to have a diet focused on NO-friendly foods. The basic nutrients required to boost NO levels can be found in many common, delicious, and healthy foods. An NO-boosting diet can be used instead of regular supplementation, but the very best results come from supplementing a diet that is rich in antioxidants and amino acids.
What To Eat
Here are some of the basic types of food that are beneficial and even necessary for boosting Nitric Oxide levels. This is not a comprehensive list, but it should be enough to get on the right track.
Foods Rich in Antioxidants and Polyphenols: Almost all fruit and vegetables such as blueberries, cranberries, carrots, grapefruit, soybeans, apples, and spinach contain high levels of antioxidants. In addition, nuts, tea, seeds, dark chocolate, red wine, and seafood generally contain plenty of antioxidants.
Foods Rich in Arginine and Citrulline: The two most vital nutrients to NO production are these amino acids which can be found in red meat, nuts, soy, salmon, dark chocolate, and watermelon.
Foods Rich in Protein: Eggs, nuts, soybeans, and seafood are great, healthy sources of protein.
Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Oily fish such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel, seeds and nuts, and heart healthy fats all contain Omega-3 Fatty Acids which improve cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Heart-Healthy Fats: Canola oil, sesame oil, and most importantly olive oil. Olive oil is an extremely healthy fat and is an essential part of the highly nutritious Mediterranean Diet.
What To Avoid
It is best to avoid foods containing saturated fats, trans fats, and dietary cholesterol.
Saturated fats: Saturated fats and processed differently from monounsaturates and polyunsaturates. Elevated intake of saturated fats creates an elevated level of the undesirable LDL cholesterol. LDL cholesterol contributes to plaque formation on artery walls, damaging the body’s ability to produce Nitric Oxide. Foods high in saturated fats include fatty meat and dairy products such as whole milk, pork, lamb, and veal.
Trans fats: Trans fats also raise LDL cholesterol. This is a result of a manufacturing process in which hydrogen is added to vegetable oil. Foods high in trans fats include cookies, crackers, pastries, butter, potato chips, and French fries.
Dietary cholesterol: Organ meats such as liver and processed meats like hot dogs and salami have elevated levels of dietary cholesterol which contributes to LDL cholesterol.
Keys to Remember
By reducing your intake of saturated fat, you will protect your endothelium and its ability to manufacture Nitric Oxide.
Fish and other foods with Omega-3 Fatty Acids help to reduce oxidation which facilitates Nitric Oxide production.
Foods rich in antioxidants such as colorful fruits and vegetables prevent the formation of oxygen radicals, reducing oxidative stress and increasing the efficacy of Nitric Oxide.
Junk food and fast food often contains saturated and trans fat which inhibits the formation of Nitric Oxide.
Learn more about foods to seek and foods to avoid for healthy Nitric Oxide production by purchasing the best-selling book, NO More Heart Disease.
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