7 ways to increase nitric oxide naturally

The body produces a Nitric Oxide (NO) essential for various physiological functions. This substance can widen blood vessels, enhance blood flow, and deliver oxygen to organs and tissues.

It works as a powerful vasodilator that promotes relaxation. Nitric oxide is also involved in immune system regulation, neurotransmission, and cell signaling.

Several natural ways, including dietary and lifestyle modifications, can boost nitric oxide production in the body. This article will explore seven natural ways to increase nitric oxide levels to enhance general health.

Why is it essential to increase nitric oxide levels?

The value of NO is found in its capacity to control blood flow, boost immunological response, and promote brain function, among other advantages.

Here are some reasons why increasing nitric oxide levels is important:

1. Better blood flow

Potent vasodilators like NO enable greater blood flow by enlarging blood arteries. This enhanced blood flow benefits the heart, brain, and muscles.

Improved circulation, achieved through NO consumption, can help lower blood pressure and increase the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the body’s tissues.

2. Decreased inflammation

When the body experiences injury or infection, it naturally triggers inflammation. Chronic inflammation has been linked to several diseases, including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

By preventing the synthesis of pro-inflammatory cytokines and boosting the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines, NO can aid in reducing inflammation.

Improved cognitive function
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3. Improved cognitive function

The regulation of neurotransmitter activity, which influences brain function, is greatly influenced by NO [1].

NO may improve memory, learning, and cognitive function by enhancing blood flow and lowering inflammation.

4. Better exercise results

NO can also improve exercise performance by enhancing muscle oxygen supply and blood flow. Increasing cell energy production can also lessen fatigue.

5. Enhancing immune response

By boosting the synthesis and activity of white blood cells, NO can improve immunological performance. This boosted immune response can aid in the defense against illnesses and infections.

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7 natural ways to increase nitric oxide

1. Eat nitrate-rich foods

Numerous fruits and vegetables, like spinach, beets, radishes, arugula, and leafy greens, contain nitrate [2].

Nitrites are created when bacteria eat nitrates in the mouth and digestive system. The subsequent conversion of nitrites produces nitric oxide, which is crucial for many physiological functions.

Studies have shown that consuming meals rich in nitrates can lower blood pressure, improve blood flow, and prevent blood clots from forming. Nitrate-rich meals can also improve exercise performance by boosting stamina and reducing oxygen needs.

Beets are an exceptionally excellent source of nitrates. Studies have shown that consuming beet juice or powder can significantly increase nitric oxide levels and improve exercise performance.

According to one research, athletes who drank beet juice before working out could work out for 16% longer than those who did not.

Also, leafy greens like spinach and arugula are a great source of nitrates. According to research, eating leafy greens can lower blood pressure and improve blood flow in people with hypertension.

Furthermore, food preparation is crucial in adding nitrate-rich foods to your diet. While juicing or blending can increase the bioavailability of nitrates, boiling or cooking nitrate-rich foods can decrease their nitrate content.

2. Get your daily dose of antioxidants 

Taking your recommended daily amount of antioxidants is another natural strategy to increase NO levels.

Unstable chemicals called free radicals can damage cells and increase the risk of chronic health conditions like heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s. Antioxidants are molecules that help stop cellular damage produced by free radicals.

Free radicals can inhibit the generation of nitric oxide and decrease blood flow by harming the lining of blood vessels [3]. By minimizing free radical damage, antioxidants like vitamin C and polyphenols can help raise nitric oxide levels.

Avoiding meals high in saturated fats, trans fats, and processed sugars is as essential as eating foods rich in antioxidants. These meals can potentially worsen free radical damage and reduce nitric oxide synthesis.

Consuming these antioxidant-rich foods moderately and as part of a balanced diet is crucial. However, too much may result in weight gain and other health problems, even though it has many positive health effects.

3. Exercise regularly 

A healthy lifestyle must include regular exercise, which can also help the body produce more nitric oxide.

Exercise raises nitric oxide levels by boosting blood flow, nitric oxide synthase synthesis (the enzyme that turns L-arginine into nitric oxide), and inflammation reduction [4].

Regular exercise can have various health benefits, including reducing your chances of developing diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Additionally, it can elevate mood, lessen stress, and improve cognitive function.

It’s crucial to pick workouts you can do regularly and like. It’s recommended to aim for either 75 minutes of high-intensity activity or a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.

Before beginning any workout regimen, you must speak with your doctor, especially if you have any underlying medical issues.

4. Catch some sun 

Another all-natural method to raise nitric oxide levels in the body is sun exposure. Nitric oxide is produced more quickly when skin is exposed to sunshine, which benefits cardiovascular health and general well-being [5].

Sunlight’s UVB rays encourage the skin’s creation of nitric oxide. When UVB light enters the skin, an internal type of cholesterol is transformed into nitric oxide. Once in circulation, this nitric oxide can assist in controlling blood pressure and enhance cardiovascular health.

But it’s crucial to balance sun exposure and sun protection. The dangers of skin cancer, early aging, and other skin damage are increased by excessive sun exposure.

To protect yourself from the sun’s harmful effects, it’s recommended that you avoid sun exposure from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., wear protective clothing, and apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.

Besides encouraging NO formation, sunlight exposure offers additional health advantages, including elevating mood, improving sleep quality, and boosting vitamin D synthesis.

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5. Try L-arginine and L-citrulline supplements 

L-citrulline can help the body produce more L-arginine, which is needed as a precursor to creating nitric oxide. Supplementing these amino acids can help increase levels of nitric oxide naturally.

L-arginine and L-citrulline supplements can raise NO levels in the following ways:

  • L-Arginine

Nitric oxide generation is one of the physiological processes in which L-arginine has a role. L-arginine supplements can increase nitric oxide production by giving the body the required precursor for nitric oxide production.

Studies have demonstrated that L-arginine supplements increase blood flow, lower blood pressure, and improve exercise performance [6].

L-arginine supplements can interfere with several drugs, including blood thinners and blood pressure meds, so it’s vital to be aware of this. Before using L-arginine supplements, you must speak with a healthcare professional.

L-Citrulline
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  • L-Citrulline

L-citrulline is another amino acid that can help the body produce more nitric oxide. The body transforms L-citrulline into L-arginine, which can increase nitric oxide synthesis. L-citrulline supplements have increased cardiovascular health, decreased muscular soreness, and improved exercise performance [7].

L-citrulline supplements are typically well-accepted and safe, with few documented adverse effects. drugs, such as blood pressure and blood thinners. Before using L-arginine supplements, you must speak with a healthcare professional.

6. Practice stress management techniques 

Stress is a prevalent issue that can negatively affect one’s health and well-being in general. Heart disease, diabetes, and depression are some disorders that can be worsened by long-term stress. 

It may also hinder nitric oxide synthesis, decreasing blood flow and raising blood pressure. Stress management strategies may naturally increase nitric oxide levels and reduce tension [8].

Including stress-reduction strategies in your daily routine can help you feel less stressed and naturally raise your levels of nitric oxide. It’s critical to identify strategies that suit your needs for the best outcomes and constantly put them into practice.

7. Get enough sleep

It’s critical to get adequate sleep for general health and well-being. Nitric Oxide levels and production can both be significantly impacted by sleep deprivation. 

Nitric oxide levels are usually highest in the early morning and lowest at night. This indicates that enough sleep is crucial for maximizing nitric oxide generation and preserving cardiovascular health.

Lack of sleep lowers nitric oxide synthesis and raises stress levels. Heart disease, diabetes, and depression are a few of the disorders that can be exacerbated by long-term stress. Getting adequate sleep might naturally raise nitric oxide levels and lower stress.

What vitamin increases nitric oxide?

An often-overlooked aspect of increasing nitric oxide levels naturally revolves around the intake of specific vitamins that play a crucial role in NO synthesis. Vitamin C is a potent enhancer of nitric oxide production due to its multifaceted actions within the body’s biochemical pathways.

Scientifically known as ascorbic acid, Vitamin C enhances nitric oxide’s bioavailability and contributes to preserving it. It works synergistically with nitrate-rich foods and supplements to increase NO levels.

Vitamin C helps convert nitrates to nitric oxide and protects NO molecules from oxidative damage, thus prolonging their effectiveness within the vascular system.

The endothelium, the inner lining of blood vessels, regulates blood flow and pressure. Vitamin C aids in strengthening endothelial function by encouraging the production of nitric oxide, leading to improved vasodilation and blood flow.

Incorporating a variety of fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C into your diet is essential to harnessing its nitric oxide-boosting benefits. Excellent sources include citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, grapefruits), berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries), kiwifruit, bell peppers, and dark green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, and broccoli).

Incorporating Vitamin C-rich foods into your meals not only boosts your nitric oxide levels but also provides many other health benefits, including enhanced immune function and protection against oxidative stress.

Consider adding citrus fruit to your breakfast, snacking on berries, or including a side salad with leafy greens and bell peppers to your meals.

For individuals considering supplementation, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional to tailor the dosage to their specific health needs.

Final thoughts

Nitric oxide is an essential ingredient for maintaining optimal health and wellness. Deficient levels can lead to cardiovascular diseases and other health problems. 

Fortunately, several natural ways to increase NO levels are available, including regular exercise, adequate sleep, sun exposure, stress management, and dietary modifications. These natural methods are safe, effective, and easily incorporated into your daily routine.

It is important to note that while nitric oxide supplements are available on the market, their safety and efficacy are still being debated, and caution should be exercised when using them.

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[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4610750/
[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5412236/
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2617738/
[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5463976/
[5] https://www.tricitymed.org/2018/08/5-ways-the-sun-impacts-your-mental-and-physical-health/
[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5510020/
[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10005484/
[8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2953417/

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