The circulation is similar to the water flowing through a garden hose. A small kink in the hose and the water cannot get where it should.
The body is a complex thing – so many parts that are perfectly fitted together that work like a well-oiled machine, day in and day out, 24/7/365.
It’s really amazing when you think about it. Oddly enough, most of us don’t think much, if at all, about it unless something is interfering with the operation of this well-oiled machine.
Although I am a glass-half-full girl, I believe that looking ahead and preventing are not only the keys to avoiding disease, but also the key to a more comfortable life.
- Less diseases
- Better quality of life.
Easy. And one of the things that are critical to good health and longevity is blood circulation.
The circulatory system moves the blood around the body to provide oxygen and nutrients to all cells and then remove carbon dioxide, waste, and toxins.
Think of a garden hose. When it’s plugged into the faucet and you turn it on, water quickly flows through it and goes exactly where you have the end of the hose, and the plants get the water they need to grow, or your car will get washed. etc, you get the point.
Now what happens when you connect the hose, turn on the water, point the nozzle in the right direction and the hose is kinked?
Water will still come through, but it will take longer to water your plants and it will be much harder to wash your car effectively because there is not enough volume to do the job properly. The same in your body.
Depending on what is going on in your body, you may already be familiar with circulatory problems. However, many people might have a little “kink” in some of these tubes and don’t even know it:
- Coldness or numbness in the hands and / or feet
- Swelling of the feet and / or lower legs
- Changes in blood pressure
- Diarrhea, constipation
- Blood in the stool
- Muscle spasms
- Joint pain, purple hue of the skin
- Wounds that don’t heal, especially on the lower extremities
Optimal blood flow is required to maintain health, promote healing, and support immune and cognitive function.
The amount of blood that flows or does not flow through your veins affects blood pressure, digestion, elimination, energy levels, joint, muscle, and vascular health, as well as cognitive function, retention, and memory.
Of course, it’s in everyone’s interest to get the kinks out.
While it is certainly not new to the health scene, nitric oxide (NO) was something only top athletes focused on in order to optimize their performance.
NO occurs naturally and is responsible for regulating healthy blood flow, blood pressure, how our cells communicate with our brain and how the body protects and defends itself against disease.
Nitric oxide is made in two ways, by:
A complicated process in which enzymes convert amino acids (proteins) into NO; and food the food we eat.
The problem with these delivery systems is that our body’s ability to convert enzymes decreases to only about 50% efficiency by around 40 years of age. Second, we are what we eat.
Nitrates are converted into nitrites which can then be converted into nitric oxide, which can provide us with nitric oxide and then provide us with the health benefits mentioned above. The million dollar question then is how do I get more nitrates into my body and optimize the conversion process?
Glad you asked.
Let’s just make it clear that if you just googling nitrates, you’ll likely find that it’s an unhealthy chemical found in fertilizers and even used to kill rodents. These are naturally toxic and should be avoided.
If nitrates are listed on packaged foods, those are the chemical, not-so-healthy options, too.
The ones I am referring to appear naturally in certain foods. Leafy vegetables like:
- Bok Choi
- Chicory leaf
- Chinese cabbage
Other great sources of NO-producing elements are vegetables, such as:
To a lesser extent, watermelon, apples, bananas, grapes, kiwi, nectarines, peaches, pears, oranges, and strawberries are also beneficial.
One fruit that promotes nitric oxide production, the expansion of blood vessels and improved blood circulation in particular is the Morinda citrifolia, better known as the noni fruit, and also the Indian mulberry.
For the past 2,000 years, Polynesians have used noni fruit in herbal remedies to treat various ailments.
As with many superfoods, there are plenty of scientific articles and abstracts on the benefits of noni in terms of NO production, circulation, and its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.
Since it is an exotic and rather little-known fruit, it is unlikely that you will stumble upon it on your local product shelf. It is also not very tasty and is called “vomit fruit” by some because of its unpleasant smell.
For those looking to try noni, I suggest getting a good quality dietary supplement instead. As with all dietary supplements, pay attention to quality and bioavailability – where it comes from, how it was made, and how easily it is absorbed by the body.
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