To keep your heart beating strong, it is important to take care of your arteries – all 50,000 miles of them. One way to ensure that your arteries are in tip-top shape is by consuming fruits and vegetables. And one of the best ways to get enough produce in your diet is by whipping up a NutriBullet smoothie!
Your arteries have a lining called endothelium. That lining was once thought to be just a “wallpaper” in the artery, but it’s now understood that the endothelium is the key to living a long and healthy life. In 1988, a group of pharmacologists won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for discovering a key chemical produced in the endothelium: nitric oxide (NO).
What is the big deal about NO? Nitric oxide plays a major role in heart health. Some of its key functions include the following:
- Maintaining normal blood pressure
- Maintaining normal sexual function
- Lowering the risk of heart attack and stroke
We all want a healthy endothelium. Luckily, there are certain foods that boost the production of NO to power our health and fitness. Many of these foods contain rich concentrations of L-arginine, which may help improve blood flow. Aim to add more of these foods to your diet:
- Leafy greens, particularly arugula
- Watermelon, including the rind
These foods are the perfect ingredients for a heart-healthy NutriBullet smoothie! I love making a summertime smoothie using watermelon because it’s both delicious and good for the arteries.
There are countless ways that you can use your NutriBullet to boost your arterial health. Many green vegetables, like kale and spinach, have dietary nitrates. You can’t see these chemicals, but they’re there. Whether you chew them or make them into a smoothie, there are pathways that convert them into even more nitric oxide to help you and your arteries stay healthy.
The next time you take out your NutriBullet, look at it like a little chemistry set for making important contributions to your health! Blend together watermelon, greens, beets, nuts, and other heart-healthy ingredients to create a concoction that your arteries and your heart will love.