Nitric Oxide is produced by just about every type of cell in our body. It plays a crucial role in the way the cells function, as well as regulating both the immune system and the nervous systems.
A few other things that Nitric Oxide does are:
- Nitric Oxide works in both the central and the peripheral nervous system: its main job here is to transfer nerve signals between neurons. There are three types of enzymes in our body that produce nitric oxide, one of these types is found only in the nervous system.
- Nitric Oxide is vital in normal human reproduction. It is needed in order for the early embryo to attach properly to the uterus. It also helps relax the blood vessels which helps regulate the blood pressure. Angiogenesis – the forming of new blood vessels – would not occur without the help of Nitric Oxide.
- Nitric Oxide also plays an important role in our immune system. During a bacterial infection, our body makes chemicals, known as cytokines, that activates the macrophage cells in the immune system. These macrophages produce high levels of nitric oxide that gets sent to the site of the infection. Nitric oxide is highly toxic to bacteria.
Foods That Contain Nitric Oxide
- Sea food, especially salmon and shrimp, are high in nitric oxide. Soy beans, as well as all soy products also give you a healthy dose of nitric oxide.
- Melons and strawberries produce a ton of nitric oxide; bananas, cherries, raspberries, figs, prunes and raisins all contain some nitric oxide.
- Dark green, leafy vegetables are a wonderful source of nitric oxide.
- Most milk and dairy products will provide your body with nitric oxide.
- Beans of all kinds are an all around great source of many vitamins and minerals, nitric oxide included.
- Lean cuts of meat are much better than fatty cuts.
- Nuts and fruits are a great source of L-Citrulline and L-Arginine Amino Acids, however you can also find these amino acids in lesser amounts in dairy products and lean cuts of meat. Walnuts, Brazil nuts and peanuts are all high in nitric oxide. Other l-arginine rich foods are: chickpeas, cereals, oats, wheat, and chicken.
- It is important that you get an adequate amount of both vitamins C and E in your diet. This is needed to preserve the nitric oxide levels in your body. Vitamin C rich foods include: all citrus fruits, kiwi, strawberries, pineapple, tomatoes, broccoli, peppers, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celery, parsley and spinach. Vitamin E enriched foods include: sunflower seeds, all nuts, wheat germ, olive oil, corn oil, turnip greens, spinach and mustard greens.
A lot of people take nitric oxide supplements, especially bodybuilders. The only problem with this is that nitric oxide can build to unhealthy levels and can damage tissues and cause a variety of health problems. In order to avoid all the nasty side effects of elevated levels of nitric oxide, you should only take supplements under the watchful eye of your doctor.