The key to healthy blood circulation is healthy veins and arteries. When your arteries are relaxed, then blood can flow into them easily. But if they’re stiff and narrow, then it’s harder for blood to flow, which can lead to complications and a potential cardiovascular event.
Nitric oxide is naturally produced in the body and dilates blood vessels. But there are factors that can reduce nitric oxide production, like eating a poor diet, being older in age, taking certain medications, being inactive, being overweight, stress, and smoking.
The good news is that you can easily increase your body’s production of nitric oxide by eating foods high in nitrates. The food with the highest level of nitrates is dark leafy greens.
Nearly 80 percent of nitrate intake comes from dark leafy greens. Arugula, kale, lettuce, spinach, and rainbow chard are known to have the highest levels of nitrates, with about 250 milligrams of nitrates per 3.5 ounces. Eating dark leafy greens raw will ensure the highest intake of nitrates compared to cooking them.
What Does Nitric Oxide Do in the Body?
Nitric oxide affects every part of your health. Your cardiovascular health, respiratory health, immune system, nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, sexual health, and musculoskeletal system will benefit.
Nitric oxide plays a role in energy levels, endurance, inflammation levels, pain management, digestion, male erection and performance, female excitement and performance, memory, heart function, nutrient exchange, fighting off infection, nutrient absorption, metabolism, oxygenation of muscles, and blood flow.
To properly support all areas of health, you need an adequate supply of nitric oxide. By simply incorporating a wide variety of dark leafy greens into your daily diet, you can achieve that. Whether you make salads or use leafy greens in main dishes, there are a wide variety of ways to consume them.