Foods that are high in nitric oxide, or the amino acid L-Arginine, help to relax the blood vessels and are very beneficial to heart patients and people at risk for heart disease. Men with erectile dysfunction may also benefit from these foods. Eating a diet rich in nitric oxide can improve blood circulation, especially to the extremities.
Beans are high in nitric oxide and are full of fibre and protein as well. Peanuts, chickpeas and soya beans are other legumes that will up your daily quotient. Beans are easy to add to soups, salads and other dishes. If you don't like the taste of beans, try peanut butter on whole wheat toast for breakfast. Or make chickpeas into a quick snack by cooking them in a dry skillet until they're crisp and adding a salt-free seasoning.
Oats and wheat are good sources of nitric oxide as well. These grains are more nutritious with less processing, so consider eating steel-cut oats and whole wheat products. These products are also full of fibre. Oatmeal is a popular breakfast choice, but also makes an excellent snack. You can combine nitric oxide-rich foods by eating oats with walnuts or a peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread.
Nitric acid is available nutritionally in walnuts, almonds and Brazil nuts. These nuts are good on their own as a snack and also work well in many recipes. Try keeping a small bag of these nuts with you for a quick bite when you might otherwise head through the drive-through for something less heart-healthy. Avoid salted nuts if you have high blood-pressure and learn to appreciate the flavour of unseasoned varieties.
Fish and Animal Products
Cold water fish are an excellent source of heart-healthy nitric oxide. Mackerel, salmon and tuna are the most popular choices. These fish are also high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for heart health. Other protein-rich animal products, such as dairy and meat, offer nitric oxide into your diet as well. Introduce more lean proteins into your diet by adding two or three servings of fish weekly and replacing high-fat meats and dairy products for lower-fat choices and leaner cuts. Eat these with other foods high in nitric oxide for the best results.