Nitric oxide is made in the body by the enzyme nitric oxide synthase (NOS) from the amino acid arginine. Arginine is an element in the protein you eat. Why, you ask, am I focusing on nitric oxide?
When you eat nuts and seeds, lean meats, yoghurt, and dairy, your body gets L-Arginine. The body then, in a series of steps, breaks this down to produce nitric oxide.
Nitric oxide plays a host of roles in the body. It reduces blood pressure by improving the muscles tone or relaxation of your muscles in your arteries, allowing your blood to flow more freely.
Not only does it improve the tone of your artery muscles, but it also improves the contraction of muscles elsewhere in your body.
Your muscles are able to contract better, allowing more oxygen and blood to enter, improving your strength.
It increases the uptake of blood in your brain, a process known as perfusion. The brain is hungry for oxygen and energy. An increase in the uptake of blood ensures that the brain is meeting its needs.
Nitric oxide helps your body produce more energy in a unit known as ATP. Mitonchondria, the so-called batteries in your cells, produce ATP, or units of energy. More energy means your body can function better.
Nitric oxide helps your bone marrow produce more cells through a process known as angiogenesis. Your bone marrow is the source of new cells in your body.
So how can you improve the production of nitric oxide? Some simple tricks include having beetroot juice. Beet root juice is famously drunk by many athletes before a game to improve performance.
You can increase your intake of foods that are rich in L-arginine. Obviously, if all else fails, you can take a supplement, though personally, I am in favour of natural food.
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