8 Foods That Naturally Boost Nitric Oxide
The key to boosting nitric oxide is to eat plenty of foods high in plant-based nitrates. These foods convert to nitric oxide, which is high in antioxidants, and the antioxidants help stabilize nitric oxide, preventing it from breaking down too quickly.
All kinds of food can help boost nitric oxide production, but here are eight foods you can start eating today that will lead to improved blood flow for healthier erections and help you get back to enjoying a healthy, robust sex life.
You would have to consume a lot of these foods to do any damage to your body, but you should consult with your doctor about any significant changes to your diet. It is possible that as increased nitric oxide increases blood flow and alters blood pressure, there may be interactions with medications you may already be taking.
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Dark leafy greens
High amounts of nitrates can be found in nearly all leafy greens, particularly arugula, which contains 480 milligrams of nitrates for every 100 grams of leaves. Kale, spinach, Swiss chard, bok choy and cabbage are other leafy greens high in nitrates. Add these vegetables to salads. You can also include leafy greens in your soup and stir-fry recipes, but add them toward the end of cooking to prevent them from wilting too much before you eat them.
Beetroot ranks second in nitrates after dark leafy greens. One of the best ways to use beetroot is to juice it with apples, carrots and beet greens. If you prefer eating beetroot, try boiling it in water or roasting it in the oven, then adding it to a salad or serving it as a side dish with your main protein.
Walnuts contain high amounts of an amino acid called L-arginine, which increases blood flow and converts to nitric oxide. Walnuts are also high in vitamin E and healthy fats that contribute to good heart health. Snack on walnuts between meals or add them to salads and trail mix.
Citrus fruits are loaded with vitamin C, which is one of the main antioxidants that helps your body use and absorb nitric oxide. Get the most out of citrus fruits by juicing them or eating them whole, or add both the zest and juice to marinades and teas. Lime zest and juice go great in Thai curry dishes.
If you’re using any medications, check with your doctor before consuming grapefruit, as it is known to interact with a wide range of medications, including statins, anti-anxiety drugs, antihistamines and corticosteroids.
Pomegranates are rich in both nitrates and antioxidants that boost and preserve nitric oxide in the body. This "superfood" also reduces oxidative stress and inflammation to ward off serious diseases.
Eating pomegranate’s signature jewel-like seeds can be messy until you get the hang of it. Quick tip: cut the fruit in half, scoop the seeds into a bowl and eat it plain or in yogurt, salads or oatmeal. If you prefer to buy pomegranate juice from the store, make sure you read the ingredients label and buy only 100 percent juice that has no added sugar or preservatives.
Watermelon contains high amounts of L-citrulline, another amino acid that contributes to high nitric oxide. In addition to boosting nitric oxide, watermelon is shown to improve athletic performance as it regulates blood flow and blood pressure. Eat watermelon when it’s in season, usually in the summer, or drink watermelon fruit juices, although you should avoid juices that contain added sugar or preservatives.
Garlic indirectly boosts nitric oxide by activating an enzyme that helps convert L-arginine into nitric oxide. The best source of garlic is fresh garlic cloves that are minced or crushed and added to meals. You can also take garlic supplements if you don’t like eating fresh garlic or just aren’t a fan of cooking with it.
Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants that contribute to good heart health and higher nitric oxide levels. The higher the percentage of cacao, the more health benefits you’ll get from the chocolate, thanks to the flavanols.
However, let’s be real about this: Chocolate is not a "health food." Binge-eating chocolate, no matter how high the percentage of cacao, is not recommended and is not good for you.
However, thinking about the maxim, "All things in moderation," look for brands of dark chocolate that contain between 70 and 80 percent cacao and lack high amounts of sugar and other additives. Keep in mind that chocolate with high cacao content often is more bitter than other types of chocolate, and you may need to pair it with honey or fruits to balance the bitterness.
And you’ll lose weight, too...
Changing your diet to boost nitric oxide is a good idea to consider. But that’s not all: Some of these eight foods may also contribute to weight loss, higher energy and healthy hormonal balance.
You should always discuss any substantial changes in your diet with your doctor. You may also want to discuss your dietary needs with your partner and other family members so they understand and sympathize with your strategies.