Nitric Oxide is an essential molecule your body produces to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. Decreased production of this chemical happens with age, but there are also everyday things that can impact the body’s production of Nitric Oxide. In order to experience all the benefits of this “miracle molecule”, it’s important to consider these 7 things to ensure you’re keeping your body at its full potential.
1) Vitamin Deficiency
Nitric Oxide has a very unstable and short molecular lifespan, but the way to counter this is by consuming antioxidants. These come mostly through foods that originate from plants (fruits, vegetables, nuts, etc.). Vitamins C and E benefit many parts of your body, but can also protect your cells from the damaging effects of age. Without these vitamins, your body may not be able to steadily maintain Nitric Oxide in your bloodstream.
2) Low Nitrate Concentration in your Diet
Food is the body’s primary source of Nitric Oxide. Consuming foods that are high in nitrates (beets, spinach, etc.) are essential for your body to be able to produce Nitric Oxide, so without those foods, your body won’t have its main source of nitrates.
3) Using Mouthwash
While mouthwash is a great way to prevent cavities and kill dangerous bacteria, it actually kills the good bacteria in your mouth as well. Certain types of bacteria in the mouth are responsible for converting nitrates from food into usable Nitric Oxide. Without this bacteria, your body is not able to create the molecule from nitrate rich foods.
4) Prolonged Inactivity
Staying inactive for a long period of time can have a negative effect all across your body, but it can also be detrimental to Nitric Oxide production. In order to improve endothelial cell function (the cells in your blood vessels that produce Nitric Oxide), you have to stay as active as possible, even if it’s just for a few days a week.
While smoking is clearly a bad idea for respiratory health, it actually hinders your body’s overall health in nearly every way. Not only will smoking make you age faster and weaken your immune system, but it also can lead to a sharp decrease in your Nitric Oxide production.
6) Low Protein Consumption in your Diet
All macronutrients (fats, carbs, proteins) are essential for your body to maintain its health. While all are important, proteins in your diet are what allows your body to produce Nitric Oxide. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, but your body also uses them to produce Nitric Oxide.
For nearly all things that the body can do, its ability weakens with age. While this factor may be something out of your control, you can still reduce the number of things that make you age faster. Sleeping well, eating healthy, and lowering stress may be able to help counter the detriments of aging.