Doctors, nutritionists, and sport scientists often recommend enriching the diet with foods with the highest nitrate content. This is due to nitrates being an essential component in your body’s production of nitric oxide (NO), which is the compound responsible for keeping your blood vessels flexible and dilating them when needed to control blood pressure.
From there, the main use of NO might seem to be as simple as keeping your blood flow healthy.
However, nitric oxide production goes well beyond maintaining a healthy blood flow throughout your body. Its importance becomes evident when insufficient production of NO increases your chances for atherosclerosis, hypertension, and chronic inflammation.
Now that we have established the importance of nitric oxide, here's a quick list of the foods with the highest nitrate content to support its production:
This plant also goes by the following names: rucola, rocket, and colewort. Its leaves are known for its fresh, peppery, tart, and bitter flavor. Use it raw in salads, pizza, and as garnish, or chopped and cooked with omelettes, seafood, and boiled potatoes.
100 g of fresh arugula contains up to 480mg of nitrates.
2. Beet Greens
Beet greens contain high levels of inorganic nitrate that can help nitric oxide production in the body. Saute it in olive oil and mix it into your egg, pasta, or rice dishes. Beet greens go well with other nitrate-rich foods like mustard greens and spinach.
Beetroot contains very high levels of nitrates (more than 250 mg per 100 g) according to a scientific review of nitrate-rich foods. It is often juiced and used as a pre-workout or breakfast smoothie. Features an earthy and gritty taste that goes well in salads, soups, sides, and sandwiches.
4. Bok Choy
Bok choy is a cabbage variant popular in Southeast Asia and Southern China. It has a nitrate content of around 102 to 309 mg per 100 g.
Bok choy has a similar appearance to Swiss chard and comes in three variants: light green leaves, white stem with dark green leaves, and moderate green leaves. These are popular ingredients in stir-fry and sautéed vegetable dishes. Goes well with endive, garlic, sesame oil, chicken, eggs, and noodles.
Carrots contain around 92 to 195 mg of nitrates per 100g. It's also high in Vitamin A, C, and K; magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus.
Try roasting, stewing, or stir-frying carrots for a change. Also, they are just delicious in their raw form or paired with a healthy dip.
Celery contains very high amounts of nitrates. It's low in carbohydrates and high in Vitamin K, Vitamin C, choline and folate.
Try celery raw as part of your salad or by itself, with a yogurt or peanut butter dip. You can also stir-fry it or add it as an ingredient to your chicken or tuna salad.
Chervil contains more than 250 mg of nitrates per 100g. It has a sweet and soothing taste with a faint hint similar to that of licorice or aniseed. Best used in soups and other mild-tasting dishes.
8. Chinese Cabbage
Often mistaken for bok choy. Chinese cabbage leaves have a lighter color than any of the bok choy variants. It shares similarities to the appearance of the Swiss chard and Romaine lettuce.
Chinese cabbage has an estimated nitrate content between 43 to 161 mg per 100 g. It goes well in salads, stews, and stir-fry dishes.
Also known as garden cress, this green has a peppery and tangy taste and aroma. Its sprouts, and fresh or dried seed pods are used in soups, sandwiches, and salads. Cress features a nitrate content exceeding 250mg per 100g.
This is another food item exceeding a nitrate content of 250mg per 100g in this list. Endive leaves are crunchy with a slightly bitter taste that becomes mellow when cooked. You can eat it raw as part of your salad or try steaming, grilling, or braising this green.
Leeks have a nitrate content ranging from 100 to 250 mg per 100 g. It has a mild onion taste. You can eat leeks raw or cooked. In general, it's a fabulous ingredient in soups, dips, vinaigrettes, and salads.
13. Mustard Greens
Mustard greens contain 70 to 95 mg of nitrates per 100 g. This food has a strong bitter taste which earned it its other name - “bitter greens”. You can eat mustard greens fresh but their bitter taste might be overpowering. Braise or steam them to tone down the bitterness a bit.
Rhubarb contains around 250 mg of nitrate per 100 grams. Featuring large triangular green leaves with crimson red, pink, or light green stalks, its stalks taste like green apples. Rhubarb has a sour taste when raw and a sweeter flavor when cooked.
Aside from containing more than 250 mg of nitrates per 100 g, spinach is also a good source of Vitamins A, K, and C, iron, and folate. Widely used in Chinese, Mediterranean, and Indian cuisine.
18. Swiss Chard
Swiss chard has a nitrate content of more than 250 mg per 100 grams. It has a similar taste to beet greens and spinach. Goes well in stir-fry, sautéed, and salad dishes.
Turnips contain high amounts of nitrates. Young turnips have a taste similar to carrots but older ones tend to have a slightly bitter taste. They’re often sautéed in butter with garlic and pepper.
What’s great about nitrates is that they do not deteriorate from cooking.
So, you can pair the nitrate-rich foods in this article with any of the items from our testosterone-boosting foods list and get yourself some extra health benefits.
Talk about a fabulous double action for men!