Foods rich in nitric oxide

Updated April 17, 2017

Nitric oxide is a free radical gas that optimises blood flow circulation in humans. Among the benefits of this gas is a normalisation of blood pressure, increased blood flow to aid brain functions and increased blood flow to the penis, staving off erectile dysfunction. As humans age, we do not always get the appropriate amount of this gas, so it is important to eat foods rich in L-arginine, an amino acid that increases nitric oxide levels.

Fruits and Vegetables High in L-arginine

Vegetables high in L-arginine include dark red and purple root vegetables, especially beets. Green leafy vegetables like spinach and celery also contain high levels of the amino acid. Along with fruits like pomegranate, another good source of L-arginine, these vegetables can all be made into juices or consumed raw to ensure the most potent amount of nutrients is ingested.

Meats High in L-arginine

Lean cuts of meat, especially poultry, contain high amounts of L-arginine, as do fish and eggs. To ensure you reap the nutritional benefits from these foods, without increasing fat or sodium levels, they should be cooked simply, without oversalting or over-seasoning, and cooked medium or medium-well. Combining these meats with green leafy vegetables combines the nutritional benefits and increases your intake of L-arginine.

Other Foods High in L-arginine

Other foods that contain high L-arginine levels include beans and soy products, artichokes and raw whole buckwheat groats. As with vegetables high in the amino acid, eating these foods raw ensures the maximum intake of L-arginine, increasing the benefits of higher nitric oxide levels and increased blood flow.

About L-arginine

L-arginine is an amino acid that has been shown to have certain beneficial effects on the human body. For example, once L-arginine enters the body, it becomes nitric oxide, which helps to increase blood flow by relaxing blood vessels. L-arginine has been used to treat angina in the heart and erectile dysfunction. It has also been shown to aid kidney function, immune system stability, and the healing of wounds. However, L-arginine is still in early stages of study, and too much of this amino acid and nitric oxide in the body has been shown to react poorly with blood circulation and some erectile dysfunction drugs.

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About the Author

Adam Johnson has been writing for online publications since 2008 and in his capacity as a Freedom of Information Act professional since 2002. Johnson holds a Bachelor of Arts in foreign affairs from the University of Virginia and a Master of Arts in international commerce and policy from George Mason University.