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Boosting Nitric Oxide for Heart Health. What is that?

Heart Healthy Lifestyle

To understand cardiovascular health, one must understand the role of nitric oxide (NO). Nitric oxide plays a key role in aiding blood vessel function, blood pressure regulation, and overall heart performance. Erectile dysfunction, hypertension, changes in vision, depression or changes in memory is a sign that this may be an issue for you. Here are ways for you to learn how to shift this back to the positive!

Dietary Nitrate-Rich Foods: Include nitrate-rich foods in your diet, such as leafy greens (spinach, arugula), beets, and celery.These foods are converted into nitric oxide in the body and can contribute to improved blood flow. Do NOT confuse this with nitrates in processed meats! Those are bad for you.

Consume Foods Rich in L-Arginine: L-Arginine is an amino acid that serves as a precursor to nitric oxide. Incorporate foods like nuts, seeds, poultry, dairy, and legumes to boost L-Arginine levels. I prefer to not use L-arginine supplements to do this. Food is best!

Antioxidant-Rich Foods: Oxidative stress can reduce nitric oxide levels. Consume fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants to combat oxidative stress. Berries, citrus fruits, and colorful vegetables are excellent choices.

Regular Exercise: Engage in regular physical activity, as exercise stimulates the production of nitric oxide. Both aerobic exercises (e.g., jogging, cycling) and resistance training can be beneficial.

Sun Exposure: Sunlight exposure triggers the release of nitric oxide from the skin, promoting cardiovascular health. Aim for moderate sunlight exposure, especially during the morning.

Manage Stress: Chronic stress can negatively impact nitric oxide production. Practice stress-reducing techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, or yoga.

Adequate Sleep: Ensure you get enough quality sleep, as sleep deprivation may impair nitric oxide synthesis. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Honor the circadian rhythm!  Go to sleep between 10-11 and up by 6 am.  That truly matters to honor our biological clock.

Moderate Alcohol Consumption: Moderate alcohol intake may have a positive effect on nitric oxide levels. This means 1 daily drink for women and no more than 2 for men. However, excessive alcohol consumption can have adverse effects, so moderation is key.

Quit Smoking: Smoking is known to reduce nitric oxide levels. Quitting smoking can improve overall cardiovascular health.

Stay Hydrated: Proper hydration is essential for cardiovascular health and supports the production of nitric oxide. Add in Celtic Sea salt while hydrating to support your cellular health.  It has three forms of magnesium that is critical for cardiovascular health!

Avoid Mouthwash: Mouthwash kills all the germs in your mouth.  A healthy microbiome supports nitric oxide production.

In conclusion, prioritizing heart health involves making lifestyle choices that promote the production of nitric oxide. By incorporating the above suggestions and adopting other healthy habits, you can contribute to better cardiovascular function. For heart health, we at Benton Integrative Medicine also recommend to practice daily gratitude, prayer, meditation, joy, child’s play, see and feel the sun daily, touch the Earth with your hands and feet, and LOVE yourself and your tribe.


Dr. Benton


Huntersville and Denver Locations


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