Human beings have always been looking for the perfect regenerative tonic. In my book theThe Tao of RejuvenationI detail the ancient search and identify some of the great elixirs that have been used to restore health and extend life. Even so, the key understanding is that it is the human body itself that produces the great life restoring chemistry. As it turns out, the long sought elixir of the ancients is actually produced by the body when all of it’s systems are purified and boosted.
When we eat right, when we exercise, when we serve others, when our lives are happy and full of love, the body secretes a powerful regenerative chemistry that protects and extends our days. Over the last several years, research scientists under the direction of Dr. Nathan Bryan at the University of Texas have pointed to nitric oxide as the essential regenerative substance produced by the body. As their research continues to progress they are discovering that nitric oxide deficiency seems to be a culprit in all kinds of imbalances, such as bone loss, diabetes and cancer. Perhaps nitric oxide is the long sought, legendary tonic.
Nitric Oxide (NO) is a fundamental chemical messenger manufactured by the body within the circulatory system and it’s production relaxes and expands the blood pathways. This increases blood flow to all the organs and cells, restoring the health and strength of the cardiovascular tissue. By the age of forty, nitric oxide production begins to decline. This significant decline in NO production appears to be universal. Even so, the cardiovascular system never loses its ability to relax and open. It is the absence of NO that accounts for the fact that a person in their fifties and sixties has about half the circulatory capacity they had in their twenties.
The impact of this finding on our health and well begin is profound: if we boost NO production in the body, we are counteracting the aging process at the fundamental level of the circulatory system.
As it turns out, many of the foods and herbs that have been traditionally used for cardiovascular healing are highly effective nitric oxide precursors. Dr Bryan’s research not only confirms traditional approaches but it also allows us to formulate simple and effective strategies for rejuvenating the body. Through the persistent practice of cultivating nitric oxide production, we may even be able to eliminate cardiovascular disease in the future.
NO Producing Foods (NO precursors):
Kale, Swiss Chard, Arugula, Spinach and Beets top the list. Those wonderful cancer protecting cruciferous vegetables – cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli are also strong NO precursors. Eat liberally from these foods.
Feel free to have some dark chocolate after your veggies. The news on dark chocolate just keeps getting better. Cocoa increases NO production in the body. Recent research demonstrates that regular eaters of dark chocolate have significantly less heart disease. Choose low glycemic dark chocolate rather than the overly sweetened kind.
NO Producing Herbs:
Many of the medicinal herbs which have been used for centuries to heal and rejuvenate the cardiovascular system proved to be powerful NO precursors. Hawthorn, Chinese Salvia, Peony Rubra, Fructus Trichosanthus, Prunella vulgaris and Chinese Ginseng are among the best. Classical heart and blood rejuvenation formulas work very well. Traditional Botanical Medicine’s Heart Protector http://www.traditionalbotanicalmedicine.com/index.php/products/produc… and Cultivation formulas http://www.traditionalbotanicalmedicine.com/index.php/products/produc… contain an abundance of NO producing herbs.
Over time we will see more and more NO rich products entering the market using herbs, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B12 as key ingredients. Recent developments in our ability to measure NO in the body confirms the effectiveness of these supplements.
Foods And Practices Detrimental To NO Production:
Cigarette smoking, lack of exercise, shallow breathing, drinking soda and eating junk food, dehydration, poor sleeping habits. It is no surprise that all of these things decrease NO production in the body.
The biological half life of nitric oxide is very short, so persistence is key. In our own clinical experiments we have found that two doses of NO rich food and herbs daily, one in the morning and one after lunch, dramatically increases circulation and energy. NO levels seem to peak about 30 minutes after consumption of the food and herbs. The beauty of Dr Bryan’s research is that it affirms the virtues of traditional healing approaches, traditional medicines, right and natural living altogether.
Sources: The Nitric Oxide Solution by Bryan, Zand and Gottlie Neogenis, Austin, Texas, 2010