What You Should Know About NO
Nitric Oxide (NO) is a tiny but mighty molecule in our bodies that can make a huge impact on our total health. Read on to find out about its benefits and how to maximize the Nitric Oxide your body produces.
Nitric Oxide. Have you heard of it? No, not nitrous oxide, nitric oxide. For the majority of my patients, their myofunctional evaluation is the first time they have learned of it.
Nitric oxide is a gas molecule found in all organs of the body. It promotes communication between cells and plays a vital role in regulating several of our biological functions. NO is crucial to our cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, nervous, reproductive, digestive and immune systems. Its most vital function is vasodilation. This relaxing of the inner muscles of the blood vessels, causes them to widen, lowering blood pressure and allowing blood, nutrients, and oxygen to travel effectively and efficiently throughout your body. Too little nitric oxide is associated with numerous health problems such as cardiovasular disease, diabetes, alzheimers, pre-eclampsia, and digestive track issues like IBS. A deficiency may initially manifest as fatigue, insomnia, poor memory, erectile dysfunction, high blood pressure, bladder problems, asthma or poor lung function.
So how can we make sure we have adequate NO in our bodies? There are several, but let's keep it simple and focus on just two.
One way is our diet. Some nitric oxide boosting foods to incorporate in our diet are:
-green leafy vegetables (of course, what are they not good for :) )
-nuts and legumes AND my 2 favorites... dark chocolate and red wine. Those two should be easy to incorporate in your diet, right? ;)
Number two is really simple, at least it should be. BREATHE THROUGH YOUR NOSE, all the time, day and night. Enzymes found in the nose, but mainly the paranasal sinuses, produce the majority of our nitric oxide. Let's not bypass the best and most efficient way for our body to get its necessary nitric oxide! If you can't easily breathe through your nose and/ or have a habit of mouth breathing, seek the help of a certified orofacial myologist. They are experts at helping individuals get to the bottom of disordered breathing patterns (such as mouth breathing), and restoring habitual nasal breathing.