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Nitric Oxide: What is It & Why You Need It

Spinach is a great source of natural nitrates, but if you have kidney issues opt for arugula instead!

In this article you will learn:

  • Why nitric oxide is and why it is important for your health

  • Why nitric oxide supplements may be overrated

  • How to support your body's natural production of nitric oxide

The Details:

In the 1992 nitric oxide won the "molecule of the year" award for its role as a signaling molecule in the body (telling your cells to do various important things as a chemical messenger) as well as its role in maintaining healthy circulation by promoting the relaxation of blood vessel walls. This last part is very important, because over time our blood vessels stiffen up and become less flexible. Among other factors, this lack of flexibility eventually leads to micro-lesions (from the blood pumping against the rigid walls and pushing at them to expand), and these micro-lesions end up leading to inflammation, build-up, stroke and heart disease.

This is why probably one of the oldest and simplest principles for good health is circulation. When things move they are healthy, when things are stagnant they rot. You can notice this anywhere in Nature, and your body and its insides are no different. You have to keep things moving if you want them to grow and be abundant. This works with your blood as it does with your cashflow.

So far, so good. There is actually a lot of technical and scientific detail to get through when it comes to understanding nitric oxide's role and effects on the body, and my goal with this article will be to try to sift through all that stuff and give you some of the main points.

Circulation is important, and your body needs to produce sufficient NO (nitric oxide) in order to maintain not only healthy circulation but proper signaling. So now, the real question is: are all of those sexy nitric oxide supplements being marketed today to solve this problem really worth their marketing?

As with everything in nutrition, the answer is: it depends.

First we have to understand that good circulation is a product of many things. Like every other area in health, there is no "just one thing" that causes anything. Every phenomenon, every process, is a product of multiple processes unfolding simultaneously. If you really want to improve anything, you have to account for all of those processes.

When it comes to circulation, having relaxed blood vessels and sufficient NO production is definitely one portion of it - but there are other key ingredients too that many people miss and instead drop their coins on expensive NO supplements thinking they are "done" with optimizing their bloodflow. Below are a few things to consider:

1. Vitamins E and K will determine the clotting action (or lackthereof) of your blood

and help to maintain optimal blood flow (vitamin E thins it, vitamin K helps to clot).