It’s the holiday season. It’s a time for all sorts of great foods like mashed potatoes and boiled goose and suckling pigs and candied yams and sugar plums. What is a sugar plum? Do modern-day children still have visions of these dancing? I would guess not. They have visions of Pokemon and Xbox Ones. (Xboxes One?) Perhaps, there will one day be a sugar-plum Renaissance. A celebrity, possibly from the east, will emerge and do for sugar plums what Michael Jordan did for sports shoes. But perhaps the time for sugar plums has passed. I actually don’t care. I care about nitric oxide.
With all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, you might forget to tend to your nitric oxide levels. It can happen, A lot of people have thought about nitric oxide about as much as I’ve thought about sugar plums. For those of you who haven’t heard, nitric oxide is a short-lived signaling agent in humans and animals that your body produces through different systems with different materials. (L-arginine, citruline, dietary nitrate). Nitric oxide tells blood vessels to open wide, improving circulation and blood flow. It can improve stamina and temporarily lower blood pressure.
Sadly, a lot of things can negatively impact your body’s ability to produce the “miracle molecule.” Diabetes, for example, is linked to low levels of nitric oxide. And the holiday season can be especially trying on your nitric oxide levels. So here are some pointers on how to protect and bolster your NO levels during this joyous and stressful time of year.
1). Drink Beet Juice.
Oh, yeah! Red Rush brand beet juice contains 500 mg of dietary nitrate. It’s an easy and great-tasting way to get the materials that your body needs to create some nitric oxide this holiday season. Give yourself a little extra endurance while running to your connecting flight, suitcases in hands or when you have to trudge through deep snow with an armful of heavy parcels.
2). Avoid High-Fructose Corn Syrup and Bad Fats
High fructose corn syrup can wreak havoc on your endothelium, the lining of your veins where nitric oxide is produced. Stay away from candy canes and also sugar plums. Also, avoid saturated fats, dairy fats and trans fat.
3). Avoid Stress
Good luck with this. Stress can negatively affect the lining of your veins which can lower your overall nitric oxide levels. Avoiding stress will be next to impossible during the holidays. However, there is good news under the next bullet point.
Research has found that exercise may be able to help repair age-related damage to your endothelium. This is huge. Even if you get stressed out, you can, in theory, repair some of the damage by exercising. Exercising also reduces stress. It’s a win-win. So sneak in a sit-up or two while the kids are opening presents.
5). Sunlight and/or Vitamin D
Vitamin D is essential for venous health. And during the winter you may not get enough of it, especially with the shorter, cloudy days. Exposure to sunlight causes the body to produce nitric oxide, too. So if the sun is shining at any point, try and soak it up.