When we talk about physical health we commonly refer to the state of our body’s organs and tissues such as our skin, stomach, brain etc.
When we feel pain, it’s actually the tissue’s way of saying “I’m not as well as I used to be”. Therefore, to improve one’s health, we first need to understand the different factors influencing our physical health.
While it is actually a multifactorial condition, there is one key factor that sits in the very heart of vitality: blood supply.
The blood’s job is to maintain the tissue’s oxygen levels within normal physiological range, to supply the cells with needed nutrients, remove carbon dioxide from the tissues, and provide our immune system with a path to its desired destination.
This is why high blood pressure is considered problematic because it causes vessel blockages which injures vessel walls, and is associated with higher blood viscosity - all leading to less efficient blood flow.
Our blood has many regulatory factors to enable quick adaptations to different situations. Take this primal situation as an example,, when one runs away from a tiger (sympathetic activation), more blood flow is needed to arrive at the skeletal muscles which enable running. This regulation causes vessel dilation in the body’s periphery, allowing blood to flow easily and quickly to the leg muscles. Central systems like the digestive system get contraction mediating factors to reduce blood flow and channel as much resources as possible to the places it’s more needed.
Not surprisingly, blood flow has a tremendous effect on our sleep as well. In order to allow our alpha brain waves to generate, we need proper blood flow. The pineal gland, responsible for melatonin production and secretion, also requires appropriate blood flow. In fact, every tissue and organ are being refreshed, mended and regenerated while we are asleep, all requiring blood circulation to function efficiently. Lack of blood flow means lack of oxygen and nutrients and excess carbon dioxide in the tissues and organs. This leads to cell damage and even destruction, resulting in a variety of physical and mental issues.
So what is this secret to keeping blood flow at its most optimal state? Meet NO, nitric oxide. This molecule has the ability to cause vasodilation and increase blood flow, reducing blood pressure.
And the best part is that it’s easily available for natural consumption, as high concentrations of NO can be found in beetroot, garlic, leafy greens, nuts and seeds, watermelon and even red wine and dark chocolate.
I don’t know about you, but I kinda wish any healthy choice would be this easy to apply.
Nitric oxide can be also consumed in supplement form, as a pill or powder, yet this is not usually recommended, due to the fact that you can achieve many more benefits from the natural options mentioned above.
Wishing you a good night’s sleep