By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness
June 12, 2015
- Why “just” breathing isn’t good enough
- Need more oxygen?
- Get an instant blast of life
Unless you have asthma, bronchitis or COPD, you probably don’t think much about oxygen. You inhale, and then you exhale…oxygen in, carbon dioxide out.
Life goes on.
However, oxygen isn’t just important to your lung health. It also fuels life in all of the tissue and organs in your body.
It’s absolutely necessary for survival. You simply can’t live without it. And today, we’ve discovered a new piece of the puzzle.
It’s one that may be critically important when it comes to your risk of heart attack, heart failure, stroke and kidney damage.
You see, we’ve known for a long time that nitric oxide is critically important when it comes to your circulation. It helps relax and expand your blood vessels so that blood can flow freely through your body.
But did you know that, without nitric oxide (NO), your red blood cells would never be able to deliver oxygen to any of your vital organs and other life-supporting tissue that sustain your body?
In other words, it’s not just your blood flow that’s important. It’s also how much oxygen in your blood can be released into your cells. And in the absence of nitric oxide, your red blood cells can’t unload oxygen where it’s needed the most.
This makes boosting your NO levels a high priority in your life.
Not just to keep your blood vessels open and relaxed, but also to deliver life-giving oxygen to your lungs, heart, brain and other organs.
So how can you ramp up nitric oxide production in your body?
If you want to get on the express track, hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a quick way to increase the concentration of oxygen in your body. At the same time, it increases nitric oxide synthesis.
This is a treatment that certified divers are familiar with. It’s used to treat decompression sickness – otherwise known as the “bends.”
HBOT involves a chamber that’s pressurized with 100% oxygen at elevated atmospheric pressure. It can be either a single person chamber or one that several people can enter at once. HBOT increases oxygen levels by about 10 times, and stimulates the production of nitric oxide to enhance your body’s healing processes.
Exercise is another way to give your NO levels a shot in the arm. I personally recommend high intensity interval training, or HIIT.
HITT involves a burst of short-term high intensity exercise followed by a recovery period. For example, after warming up for a few minutes, do a 30-second sprint—walking or running as fast as you can—followed by 2 to 4 minutes of easy walking. Repeat 4 to 6 times. The workout ends with a 3 to 4 minute cool-down.
This same tactic also works great for sprinting up stairs and while bicycling, rowing or swimming. Just dedicate time three days a week to start with.
HIIT not only boosts nitric oxide, it also helps maximize your oxygen intake. I’d say you should dedicate between 15 minutes and a half hour toward it each day. Just be sure to check with your doctor before starting any type of exercise program, especially if you’ve been sedentary.
Certain foods can help your body increase production of nitric oxide, too. They’re the ones that 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.
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 nitrate include celery, lettuce, Chinese cabbage, radish and turnips.
For an extra boost, try making an NO 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.
Or, you can look for a plant-based NO enhancer that has beetroot juice as its main ingredient. I worked with UniScience Group to formulate one that gives you the biggest bang for your buck. Click here to check it out.
I guarantee that your oxygen-starved body will thank you for it.
Thom SR, et al. Stem cell mobilization by hyperbaric oxygen. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2006 Apr;290(4):H1378-86.
Bacon AP, et al. VO2max trainability and high intensity interval training in humans: a meta-analysis. PLoS One. 2013 Sep 16;8(9):e73182.
Maeda S, et al. Effects of exercise training of 8 weeks and detraining on plasma levels of endothelium-derived factors, endothelin-1 and nitric oxide, in healthy young humans. Life Sci. 2001 Jul 20;69(9):1005-16.