When it comes to dealing with nerve damage and pain, your body sometimes needs all the help it can get. These six easy strategies will help you naturally increase nitric oxide to help your cardiovascular system get blood, and the healing compounds it contains, to your periphery.
Every nerve ending is attached to a central nerve body, which is responsible for the health and regeneration of nerve endings. Working right alongside these nerve bodies is your blood.
Your blood, full of oxygen, antibodies, and other nutrients is constantly helping your peripheral nervous system stay healthy and in good working order.
This is why problems like diabetes are so closely related to nerve damage — issues that change your blood’s chemical composition create a damaging environment. If this environment is allowed to persist, your nerves are eventually killed off and neuropathy sets in.
Nitric Oxide Helps with Blood Flow
Given the close relationship that exists between your blood and the health of your peripheral nervous system, it probably goes without saying that better blood flow makes for a more nourished nerves.
To encourage a healthy degree of circulation is to encourage healthy nerves, especially in the parts of your body farthest away from the central nerve cells in your brain and spine. The farther away your nerve endings get from these central cells (like in your hands and feet, for example, where neuropathy tends to start), the more your nerves must rely on your cardiovascular system to help bring them nutrients.
Nitric oxide goes a very long way towards helping this effort and is known to be one of the most important molecules of your cardiovascular system.
Keeping Blood Moving
Your blood vessels aren’t exactly rigid structures, running immovably throughout your body like a series of concrete tunnels. Instead, they’re actually designed to be highly reactive, changing their shape as the need arises, in order to make sure your blood gets to where it needs to be going.
This involves two different types of action.
- Constriction is the term that describes a narrowing of the blood vessels, usually with the aim of getting your blood to move faster throughout your body.
- Dilation refers to a widening of the blood vessels, relaxing them and allowing a higher volume of blood to reach a particular area.
Since your body is constantly moving and changing its level of activity, your blood vessels have the ability to dilate or constrict as necessary, to compensate for this.
When you go from a sitting to a standing position, for example, your heart rate and blood vessel contraction will work together to compensate for this sudden positional change and make sure blood stays evenly distributed throughout your entire body.
Nitric oxide, as it turns out, is one of the compounds in your body that is the most directly responsible for allowing this blood vessel contraction to take place.
Insufficient amounts of nitric oxide in the body leads to problems with circulation. Problems with circulation, in addition to an array of other issues, eventually can contribute to peripheral neuropathy — those nerve endings of yours can only be deprived of sufficient oxygen and nutrients supplied by the blood for so long.
By now you’ve caught onto the idea: Making sure your body has plenty of nitric oxide is important to keep your nerve endings in healthy, working order.
Here are six ways you can naturally increase nitric oxide.
1. Focus on Nitrate-Rich Veggies
Lots of leafy green vegetables are rich in nitrates, which your body converts into nitric oxide when you consume them. This works primarily because these vegetables have a compound in them that helps our bodies to more easily digest these nitrates — without that compound these nitrates would be potentially bad for us.
Antioxidants, though, are always there for us, and they help us out in a big way when it comes to processing the nitrates found in leafy green vegetables. The antioxidants in these veggies help to stabilize the nitrates as your body processes them, preventing them from becoming harmful and helping your body convert them into the nitric oxide you need for proper blood flow.
2. Increase Daily Antioxidants
Another great way to boost your nitric oxide levels for neuropathy naturally is by increasing your intake of antioxidants, in general. Antioxidants help to stabilize molecules in your bloodstream known as free radicals, which cause a damaging condition known as oxidative stress.
What are some of the best ways to add more antioxidants to your diet?
One of the more widely-available sources of antioxidants around, Vitamin C is in a variety of different foods that are tasty and healthy in equal measures like your favorite citrus fruits and berries, and it comes along with a handful of health impacts on your body. It helps your skin, bones, and connective tissue to keep in good shape, and goes a long way towards maintaining a working set of nerves, too.
This vitamin plays a big role in your immune strength, which can help when your body has been compromised by invading pathogens. It’s a powerful antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, in addition to helping you produce more nitric oxide.
Foods that are rich in vitamin E include:
- nuts and seeds, like almonds, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, and peanuts
- fibrous veggies like butternut squash, spinach, and sweet potatoes
- fruits like avocados and tomatoes
- and oils like olive oil, wheat germ oil, and palm oil
Polyphenols go a long way towards fighting inflammation and providing nerve health — resveratrol and curcumin are two polyphenols that can be found in a pretty impressive amount of healthy food sources like nuts, grapes, and turmeric.
The medical community has been learning more and more about how polyphenols help to cut down on the oxidative stress caused by free radicals, making them a helpful asset in the fight against nerve damage.
If you’re looking for a heavy-hitting antioxidant, you’ve found one. They call glutathione “the mother of all antioxidants,” as it’s particularly powerful when it comes to neutralizing damaging free radicals.
Foods that contain healthy amounts of glutathione include:
When your body is dealing with excessive free radicals due to anything from junk foods, high blood sugar, lack of exercise, or even stress, it’s hard to get enough antioxidants in diet alone. That’s when supplementing with glutathione can be a good addition to any quest for improved health.
3. Take a Supplement
Food is always the best source of nutrients, the way nature intended. But sometimes, it’s easiest to get the therapeutic quantity needed for a nutrient with use of a dietary supplement.
For the most part, supplements that encourage nitric oxide production are useful for getting a therapeutic level of nitric oxide in the bloodstream. This means that they don’t contain nitric oxide that you’re simply putting into your body. Rather, they contain compounds that encourage your body’s natural production of nitric oxide, so that you produce more of it on your own.
Amino acids are among the very building blocks of the human body, and L-arginine is one your body needs to produce nitric oxide. Typically, your body makes this amino acid, but increasing your intake can help encourage nitric oxide production and circulation.
L-citrulline is another that helps your body convert L-arginine to nitric oxide. This being the case, making sure that your body has a lot of both is a good way to ensure you’re sufficient nitric oxide for good circulation.
4. Use Less Mouthwash
That’s right. Use less mouthwash.
Your body is full of bacteria, but some of it is actually good bacteria. Unfortunately, products like mouthwash don’t really know how to distinguish between the bacteria we want in our bodies and the kinds that we don’t. They just go to town on all of the available bacteria, whether we want them to or not.
This means that your mouthwash is inadvertently also killing off good bacteria that live in our mouth and help produce nitric oxide. In some cases, according to a 2015 study published in the American Journal of Hypertension, this can actually have an impact on your blood pressure.
5. Get Your Body Moving with Exercise
Exercise is essential when it comes to fighting back against nerve damage, for a vast number of reasons. Unsurprisingly, one of those reasons is that it helps your body make more nitric oxide.
Your blood vessels, like your nerves, are made up of a number of different component parts. Each one works together to get the job done, and the endothelial cells are an important part of the team.
These cells line the walls of your blood vessels, and they’re responsible for producing all that nitric oxide that helps to keep your blood vessels in good working order.
Exercise helps to encourage these endothelial cells to more readily do their job in a number of different ways. For one, it encourages more blood to move around your body, meaning those endothelial cells are being kept robust and healthy.
Antioxidant production is also stimulated by exercise, which cuts down on the oxidative stress that can often wind up damaging those endothelial cells.
6. Whole-Body Vibration Therapy
The more we learn about the body’s vascular system, the more we learn about how vibration is a viable way to keep it healthy and functioning well.
An increase in interest for vibration therapy is encouraging studies that are beginning to show that standing on a vibrating platform, which applies a low level of vibration to the whole body at the same time, produces an effect on the blood vessels that is very similar to the one produced by exercise.
You’ve learned that by encouraging blood to flow through your vessels, exercise increases your body’s production of nitric oxide. Applying a low level of vibration to the body has been found to produce some of the same results. While exercise is best, vibration is a lower-impact alternative, which can be safe alternative for those with advanced nerve damage symptoms.
Read More About Vibration Whole Body Vibration Plates for Natural Nerve Damage Home Treatment
Your body works hard to make sure that your nervous system is functioning properly, and anything you can do to give it a defensive boost will go a long way towards helping you calm the symptoms of nerve damage.
Balancing nitric oxide is helpful to your body’s cardiovascular system, encouraging healthy nerve endings in the process. Diet, exercise, and possible supplementation can help you increase your nitric oxide levels naturally and easily.
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