By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness
December 26, 2014
- Natural compound protects your arteries
- Lower blood pressure in as little as 3 hours
- Best thing you can do to lower your chance of heart attack and stroke
When I talk to my patients about their biggest health fears, heart disease is usually at the top of the list. Many of them have parents who have multiple stents. Others have watched their mom or dad recover from one or more open heart surgeries.
This is a wake-up call to all of us. Our heart health – and specifically our arterial health – needs to be a top priority in our lives.
Well, awhile back we learned that a substance in our own bodies can offer a great deal of protection against arterial dysfunction and damage. It helps relax and expand blood vessels so blood can flow freely through your body. It also protects the telomeres in the inner surface of your blood vessels.
This is huge! Poor blood flow and damaged vessels lead to plaque build-up and arterial blockages, one of the greatest threats to your heart health. These blockages can cause a heart attack. They increase your chances of a stroke. A compromised blood supply also affects your risk of dementia. It can even play a role when it comes to sexual dysfunction.
So, every single thing you can do to prevent damage and improve your circulatory health will go a long way in keeping you active and healthy as you age.
Let me tell you more about this substance and show you exactly how you can naturally kick up levels of it in your own body.
The compound I’m talking about is called nitric oxide (NO). When nitric oxide is plentiful, your arteries and veins are wide open. Blood surges through them exactly the way it should. Once those vessels are open and relaxed…
- Your blood pressure will drop. This can occur in as little as three hours.
- Arterial stiffness and inflammation will start to decline.
- You’ll get protection against thickening of the arteries, which is linked to plaque build-up.
- Blood will flow more freely to the genitals, increasing sexual performance and stamina.
- Blood flow to your brain will increase, reducing your chances of developing amyloid plaques and tangles associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
As a special bonus, NO also increases activity of something called telomerase. This is an enzyme that helps stop telomeres from damage as they replicate. It keeps the telomeres in the endothelium of your blood vessels from shortening which, in turn, helps protect your arterial health.
There are completely natural ways to boost NO production and protect the telomeres in the lining of your blood vessels. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
It might surprise you to learn that many of the foods you eat regularly can help your body produce its own nitric oxide.
Certain foods are rich in natural chemicals called nitrates. When you eat them, they go through a process in your body that results in the production of nitric oxide. (Don’t confuse these natural sources of nitrates with the potentially cancer-causing nitrates and nitrites that are added to deli meats and hot dogs.)
Red beetroot (or beetroot juice) is a great source of nitrates. Leafy greens, like arugula, spinach and kale are also at the top of the list. Other foods that are very high in nitrates include celery, lettuce, Chinese cabbage, radishes and turnips.
While these are, by far, the top sources, you’ll also get plenty of nitrates from green beans, leeks, cucumbers, carrots, garlic, sweet peppers and green peppers.
This dovetails very nicely with my personal recommendation to eat a Mediterranean-style diet that’s rich in vegetables and fruits. When you load up your plate with organic produce, just make sure to include plenty of those that are nitrate-rich.
For an extra boost, try making an NO-boosting smoothie. I like blending a small red beetroot with about a cup of berries. You can also add a banana or apple, if you want. Toss in a little unsweetened almond milk and blend it all together for an instant blast of NO.
Getting more of these foods in your diet isn’t hard. And, if you want to keep your arteries free from damage and plaque build-up, it’s one of the best things you can do. You’ll immediately begin lowering your chances of a heart attack, stroke, dementia and sexual dysfunction.
Webb AJ, et al. “Acute blood pressure lowering, vasoprotective, and antiplatelet properties of dietary nitrate via bioconversion to nitrite.” Hypertension. 2008 Mar;51(3):784-90. Epub 2008 Feb 4.
Lidder S, et al. “Vascular effects of dietary nitrate (as found in green leafy vegetables and beetroot) via the nitrate-nitrite-nitric oxide pathway.” Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2013 Mar;75(3):677-96.
Vasa M, et. al. “Nitric Oxide Activates Telomerase and Delays Endothelial Cell Senescense.” Circulation Research. 2000; 540-542.
de la Torre JC, et al. “Evidence that Alzheimer’s disease is a microvascular disorder: the role of constitutive nitric oxide.” Brain Res Brain Res Rev. 2000 Dec;34(3):119-36.
Hord NG, et al. “Food sources of nitrates and nitrites: the physiologic context for potential health benefits.” Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jul; vol. 90 no. 1 1-10