Say yes to NO! (Nitric Oxide)

Why is Nitric Oxide important for your health?

More than 30 years ago Nitric Oxide (NO), not to be confused with Nitrous oxide (laughing gas), was discovered as a single molecule in the body. It has many health benefits. It was an amazing discovery and Nitric Oxide was named molecule of the year in 1992 by the Journal of Science.

In 1998, Robert F Furchgott, Ferid Murad and Louis J Ignarro, the three scientists behind the discovery of how Nitric Oxide functions, were awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for their research. The three scientists had discovered an entirely new principle, that Nitric Oxide (a gas) produced by one cell in the body, transmits signals which penetrate through the cell membrane (outer border of the cell) and regulates the function of other cells in our body.

With this discovery came the understanding that Nitric Oxide plays a pivotal role in our bodily functions and it is necessary for our health. It is known to help maintain normal blood pressure and reduce the production of blood clots. It helps the smooth muscles in the walls of our arteries and in our lungs. It acts on the nerves in our bodies to aid in stomach and bowel mobility. It is used to maintain brain function and mental alertness. In addition Nitric Oxide is produced in our white blood cells to help us kill bacteria.

So what can we do to make sure we are optimizing the production of Nitric Oxide so that we can maintain a healthy body? There are foods that are known to increase our body’s production of Nitric Oxide. Consuming them will not only increase Nitric Oxide production but will also lead to an increased feeling of wellbeing. Some of the best natural foods for increasing our production of Nitric Oxide are: beets, celery, lettuce, spinach, radishes, chicken, fish, dairy products, onions, garlic, whole grains, legumes, almonds, walnuts and dark chocolate. So don’t hold back on consuming these Nitric Oxide producing foods, you’ll be healthier and happier for it.

Happy eating!

Action Item: Pay attention to nitric oxide. It’s good for you!