In 1998, a team of pharmacologists won the Nobel Prize for their discovery of how nitric oxide can causes dilation of blood vessels and thus regulates blood flow in the body; it is therefore extremely important in reducing blood pressure and heart attack risk.
L-arginine is an amino acid known to cause the human body to produce NO. Apart from heart and circulation benefits, it is used in cases of angina and where people have congestive heart failure and blocked arteries; in America L-arginine has even become popular as a dietary supplements for helping men achieve peak performance in the bedroom.
L-arginine helps improve blood circulation and helps support normal blood pressure levels. L-arginine is converted into NO and this can dilate your blood vessels, so your heart doesn’t have to pump as hard. This has all been confirmed by research. For example: One meta-analysis, of 11 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials involving 387 patients taking from 4 to 24 grams per day of L-arginine showed that L-arginine lowered systolic blood pressure by 5.4 mmHg and diastolic BP by 2.7 mmHg. (American Heart Journal)
Healthy foods high in L-arginine include pulses like lentils and chickpeas, spirulina and chlorella, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, turkey, chicken, pork and soy beans.
Beetroot is also known to increase Nitric oxide levels in the body.
However, one of the biggest producers of Nitric oxide in the body is sunshine. Nothing really beats spending time in the sun.