Blood circulation is literally your life force and this is why it is important to implement natural vasodilators, nitric oxide foods in your diet. Blood deliver oxygen and other substances to your organs, tissues, and cells. You already know that holding your breath to withhold oxygen for just a moment can make you feel hot, bothered, and unwell. Stop breathing for more than a moment or two and serious problems can result.
Now imagine that same lack of oxygen in your internal organs – especially your heart. Bad news, right?
Stress, an unhealthy diet, and being too sedentary can all contribute to reduced blood flow and poor circulation. This means that some of your tissues and cells may be lacking vital oxygen. You may also experience a buildup of toxic substances that your blood would otherwise carry away – carbon dioxide and lactic acid to name just two.
Reduced blood flow to your muscles during a workout will reduce workout performance because you will fatigue sooner than you should. Also, poor circulatory function means that the byproducts and waste products made by your muscles during your workout will take longer to be flushed away. This will delay your recovery and reduce the benefits of your workout. Think of this like trying to run fast while only breathing through your nose.
It’s no wonder than that so many people want to know how to improve blood circulation!
Reduced blood flow can also effect the strength and longevity of your erections – and that’s something no man ever wants to experience. In the same way that lack of blood flow will affect muscular performance, it will effect sexual health and performance too.
In fact, that little blue pill Viagra works predominately by increasing blood flow.
However, whether you want to increase blood flow to penis for enhanced sexual performance or for heart health, there is no need to resort to Viagra – which was originally designed as a heart medication.
Like all medications, Viagra comes with a host of unwanted side effects. Instead, make sure you eat plenty of these foods that increase blood flow.
NATURAL VASODILATORS GROCERY LIST
To easier implement the nutritional changes required for maximum blood flow, we developed this grocery list infographic.
Download it below and print it out, tape it to your fridge, and bring it to the supermarket when you do your weekly grocery shopping.
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Why Natural Vasodilators?
Many of the foods listed below contain substances that increase nitric oxide – a known vasodilator which simply means it relaxes and opens up your blood vessels. The more open your blood vessels are, the more easily blood can flow through them as any opposition to blood flow, called peripheral resistance, is reduced.
Nitric oxide boosters, NO boosters for short, is often used in pre-workout supplements to ensure blood can get to the working muscles easily. These supplements are often best known because they give you a “wicked pump” meaning your muscles become engorged with blood.
Needless to say, it’s not only your biceps and triceps that benefit from increased blood flow and knowing how to increase blood flow is very useful indeed!
Those foods that are not specifically high in NO boosting substances are high in vitamin C and other substances considered beneficial to circulatory health.
Nitric Oxide Foods:
Cayenne Pepper and Chili
Containing capsaicin, both cayenne pepper and chili have been shown to improve circulation by acting as effective vasodilators. Add these spices to your food or use a few drops of Christopher’s Hot Cayenne Extract.
Citrus fruits are very nutritious and are very high in many beneficial substances, not least vitamin C. Vitamin C can help thin your blood which means it can circulate more freely.
Dark Chocolate and Raw Cacao
Chocolate is healthy? You bet! Dark chocolate is packed full of heart-healthy antioxidants and epicatechin. it is truly a renowned NO boosting food. We’re not talking Hershey’s or other high sugar, milk chocolate though; you need the dark stuff that contains 70% or more cocoa solids. This is one of our favorite circulation boosting foods – and this is our favorite brand of dark chocolate.
Tasty and versatile, ginger has a long history of use in Indian medicine where it is frequently used to restore vitality and boost sexual health. Powdered ginger is okay but, for the real deal, buy fresh ginger root and grate it yourself. Grate into hot water to make a ginger circulation-boosting tea.
High in heart-healthy lycopene and the amino acid l-citrulline, watermelon increase NO levels which, as you know, dilate your blood vessels for better circulation. L-citrulline is available in supplement form but you can enjoy the circulation boosting effect of this amino acid by simply eating watermelon.
Garlic is a wonder-substance that has positive links to a wide variety of health benefits, not least boosting circulation. Add freshly crushed garlic to your meals or use a good garlic oil supplement such as this one.
If we could only choose one NO and circulation-boosting food, pomegranate juice would be it! Not only is it super tasty, it’s also packed with loads of essential antioxidants. A proven circulation booster, while you could eat the whole fruit, they’re messy and not that easy to prepare. The juice gives you are far more efficient dose of NO-boosting ingredients without the mess. This is one of our favorite PJ products.
Black and green tea are light, refreshing alternatives to coffee and has been shown to be an effective way to boost blood flow and circulation. Whether you have your tea with lemon or a little milk, tea is packed with healthful antioxidants and can help you relax and unwind. We prefer an organic Pu-Erh tea, here is one with chocolate for maximum blood flow benefits.
Red Wine and Grapes
Whether you drink red wine, drink non-alcoholic red grape juice, or just eat grapes, the active ingredients in grapes are very good for your circulation. Red wine has long been associated with something called the French Paradox.
Despite eating lots of high-fat foods and smoking more, French people tend to suffer less heart disease than other nationalities. This is believed to be because of their regular consumption of red wine. Red wine contains polyphenols and resveratrol – both revered for their heart benefits.
Walnuts, Pistachios, Peanuts and Most Other Nuts
Rich in the amino acid l-arginine, most nuts are beneficial to blood flow. L-arginine helps in the production of NO and has been shown in studies to be effective for boosting cardiovascular function by improving blood flow.
Popeye’s favorite vegetable, spinach is high in nitrates which naturally boost NO levels. Spinach is also high in iron which is important to maintaining the oxygen-carrying ability of the blood.
Beetroot contains nitrates which has been revealed to be a excellent exercise performance enhancer because they increases blood flow to working muscles. Either eat the beets themselves or drink their juice to enjoy the NO and circulation boosting effect of this colourful vegetable.
Nitrates are known to improve stamina, but nitrate ingestion can have deleterious effects of its own when consumed from sources other than vegetable.
Beetroot juice is also high in dimethylglycine (DMG), a component in supplements that promotes well-being and aid in drug addiction withdrawal. As a dietary methylator, DMG has the potential to improve metabolism as well as reproductive performance with supplementation.
This leafy green vegetable is high in coenzyme Q10 as well as circulation-boosting nitrates. High in magnesium and with sack loads of vitamins and anti-oxidants, kale also helps keep your blood thin for easier circulation.
Not to be confused with processed honey which is not much better than sugar, raw honey is naturally high in nitrates and studies reveal it can elevate NO levels. This is one of our favorite raw honey brands. Delicious when added to desserts for natural sweetness or used in place of sugar in your favorite beverages, raw honey is an excellent NO and circulation booster.
The humble onion has many of the benefits of garlic but without the vampire-repelling odor! High in vitamin C as well as NO-boosting quercetin, chop and lightly cook onions and add them to your main meals or chop them raw and put them on your salad.
Just like nuts, shrimps are high in l-arginine which is known to be an effective NO-booster. Despite containing high levels of cholesterol, shrimps and other high-cholesterol foods do not significantly increase serum cholesterol levels and your body will simply produce less cholesterol in response.
Your morning coffee has been revealed to be an excellent way to prevent and treat erectile dysfunction. Coffee helps increase circulation by acting as a vasodilator so blood can more easily flow to your extremities. Consume two cups of coffee a day for best results but try to avoid coffee beverages with lots of added sugar and cream as being overweight could undo any benefits. Also, be wary of drinking coffee too near bedtime as the caffeine could interfere with getting a good nights’ sleep.
Salmon & Other Fish
Supplemental coenzyme Q10 can be quite expensive but you can get plenty of it plus some very healthy Omega 3 fatty acids and testosterone-boosting DHA by eating more salmon and other oily fish as well as taking a good quality fish oil supplement. CoQ10 has been shown to increase nitric oxide, relax arteries, increase blood flow, and lower blood pressure.
A couple of stalks of celery can boost your testosterone levels and also your NO levels at the same time. This is a real double whammy worth shouting about. Smear your celery with l-arginine-packed natural peanut butter and drizzle with a little high-nitrate raw honey for a fabulously healthy circulation boosting snack.
Now you know how to increase blood circulation, you need to put this knowledge into action. Try to eat several of these blood flow-boosting foods each and every day. Not only will doing so improve your heart and circulatory health, it will also help to increase blood flow to your penis for better sexual performance and keep it healthy.
Supplements That Increase Nitric Oxide
Luckily, there are many ways to promote vasodilation. Foods and supplements can contribute to improving blood flow, performance, and endurance. In the end this also helps in improving your sexual performance.
How Supplements Work to Improve Your Sexual Performance
To improve blood flow and delivery of nutrients and oxygen to your tissues, you could use supplements that trigger vasodilation.
Vasodilation occurs when the walls of the blood vessels relax. When the walls relax, the lumen (space within where the blood flows) enlarges. This will result in and expansion to accommodate larger volumes of blood to flow through.
Dilated (wider) blood vessels result in lowered blood pressure. Think of a tube with water flowing through it. Squeeze the tube and the water flow will get stronger, with a higher pressure. That is what happens when your blood vessels are constricted, being one of the main reasons for high blood pressure.
One of the compounds that can help is nitric oxide. In the body, nitric oxide helps with enhancing vasodilation. This effect is not just limited to enlarging the space for more blood to flow through. It also helps in regulating blood pressure levels. Hence, increasing nitric oxide (NO) has a one-two punch effect. It relaxes (dilates) the walls for greater flow of blood and because of that, lower blood pressure levels.
This effect can have many positive implications for your health and body functions. It can even affects your testosterone levels, libido, and erections. More blood to the reproductive organs means better nourishment. Healthy cells mean healthy functions, which in the end translates to higher libido and improved sexual function.
More blood flowing to the reproductive organs also means better (by that, we mean harder and longer sustainable) erection.
You see, erection is achieved when blood pours into the cavities within the penile tissues. With poor circulation, you'll have a more difficult time getting and maintaining an erection.
Grape Seed Extract (GSE)
This extract supports testosterone levels. GSE works by blocking the process that converts testosterone into estrogen. In other words blocking the activity of aromatase enzyme, the enzyme responsible for testosterone to estrogen conversion.
This is beneficial because excess aromatase could end up worsening estrogen dominance, a condition that will sure both kill your sex drive, as well as your testosterone levels.
GSE also increases nitric oxide levels in the body. Studies on the effects of GSE found that it helps decrease blood pressure. This is backed by several studies. Studies on animals also showed that GSE activates the body's natural nitric oxide synthase. This lead to an amazing 138% increase in NO levels in lab animals.
Vitamin C + Garlic
Supplementing with Vitamin C and garlic is a potent combination for improving sexual performance.
Vitamin C has been established in the medical field as effective in raising NO levels by boosting the body's NO production. This vitamin also protects the nitric oxide molecules from degradation, extending their effects.
Garlic is one of the most useful natural vasodilators. It helps relax the blood vessels, widening the space for more blood to be able to flow through. It is also abundant in natural nitrate compounds (similar to beetroot).
The compound quercetin present in garlic is also found to have a positive effect on NO levels.
Several studies on garlic revealed that it is more efficient in lowering blood pressure compared to most blood pressure-lowering drugs available on the market.
Vitamin C and garlic is a potent combination. The following results was seen in a study demonstrated how effective this combination is for blood pressure and NO levels:
The use of vitamin C + garlic increased NO levels by as much as 200%! It may also lead to drops in blood pressure by as much as 27 mmHg for systole and 15 mmHg for diastole, greater than most medications for high blood pressure. The lowering of blood pressure is one indication of healthy blood vessel dilation.
These results were obtained by taking 2 grams of vitamin C and four tablets of a garlic supplement (containing 6 mg allicin and 13.2 mg alliin) for at least ten days.
This is an amino acid that the kidneys convert into another amino acid called L-arginine. This is then further transformed into NO through the activity of nitric oxide synthase enzyme or eNOS. Hence, supplementing with L-citrulline will directly influence the production of NO.
Taking L-citrulline is a much more efficient way of boosting NO production than to directly supplement with L-arginine. Both are effective, but studies showed that L-citrulline cause higher increases in arginine (the amino acid that gets converted to NO) compared to L-arginine itself.
How to boost nitric oxide with citrulline? Eat foods that contain this molecule, such as watermelon. For faster results and more noticeable effects, supplements are recommended. Higher bioavailability of this molecule is in the form of citrulline malate.
Citrulline is better at raising arginine amino acid levels in the body but that does not mean supplementing with L-arginine is useless. It may still help boost NO levels. This is also a staple ingredient in most nitric oxide boosting supplements available on the market.
This patented compound is obtained from maritime pine bark extract. The extract has been standardized so that it contains 65 to 75% of procyanidin. This compound is the same active compound found in grape seed extract.
Pycnogenol has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic benefits. Studies have also found that Pycnogenol enhances blood flow. Since grape seed extract is a cheaper source of procyanidin, we recommend using that if you are on a budget.
This is not just any ginseng, but Panax ginseng of the Korean red ginseng kind. The most important compound in Korean ginseng is the ginsenosides. This group of compounds have a similar molecular structure to androgens such as testosterone.
Numerous studies on Korean ginseng showed that their active compounds have many benefits.
These compounds can also act as potent vasodilators, helping improve overall blood circulation.
Ginsenosides relax the blood vessel wall, increasing levels of testosterone and nitric oxide. Ginseng also promotes higher libido and better sleep quality. Pro tip; use red ginseng next time to cure that hangover!
This is among the most researched natural flavonoids of the past decade. Quercetin can help in various health conditions, but it needs to be taken with other bioflavonoids. Alone, quercetin will have a hard time producing any healthy benefits.
Quercetin works in synergy with similar compounds extremely well. Examples are tea catechins, tannins, procyanidins and resveratrol. These combinations can all help in promoting higher levels of NO.
Quercetin can be found naturally in foods such as garlic, grapes, chives, red wine, onions and apples. Even if you prefer to take quercetin as a supplement, eating these quercetin-rich foods will improve its effectiveness.
This molecule is naturally found within the cellular mitochondria. Its primary function is to produce energy to fuel many other processes.
The body naturally produce its CoQ10. Supplementation is not always necessary but can be of great help, especially as you age since CoQ10 production decline with age.
Supplementing with CoQ10 helps prevent many problems associated with low CoQ10 levels. Examples are Parkinson's disease, fibromyalgia, cardiovascular diseases (e.g. coronary artery disease), male infertility and low testosterone.
CoQ10 also influences NO. Its presence helps in regulating the breakdown of NO. This greatly helps extend the presence of NO in the body, resulting in increased effects.
Protecting NO from degradation also helps with vasodilation. It relaxes the vascular smooth muscle of the arteries, leading to a drop in blood pressure levels and an increase in blood flow that lasts longer.
Supplements containing CoQ10 can be quite expensive, but the benefits might be worth the expensive price tag if you have a serious blood flow problem. You may also get CoQ10 naturally by eating more foods such as salmon, egg yolks, spinach, red meat and organ meats (from grass-fed animals), and Brazil nuts.
Also called vitamin B3, niacin is among the essential nutrients needed for normal body function. Niacin plays a central role in gene expression, hormone synthesis and energy production. Normal heart functioning requires niacin. Without this essential vitamin, human survival is nil.
Research found that niacin is more effective in reducing stroke-related deaths than statins (drugs). This is mainly because of the effect that niacin has on the enzyme nitric oxide synthase. This affects baseline NO levels and improves cholesterol profile, raising HDL (good) cholesterol and lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. Niacin can also help in reducing the risk of having an heart attack.
An excellent natural source of niacin is red meat. You may also cover your daily needs from consuming a high-quality whole food multivitamin supplement.
This is another flavonoid that can greatly help increasing your NO levels, contributing to improved vasodilation.
Icariin is a plant flavonoid found in horny goat weed. This herb is originally known for its aphrodisiac effect in traditional Chinese medicine.
Research on animals found that the herb may also help raise testosterone levels.
Icariin supports the body's NO production. It has a mild inhibitory effect on the PDE-5 enzyme. This action is similar to most of the ED (erectile dysfunction) drugs on the market today.
It might be safe to say that this flavonoid works similarly as the popular ED drugs Viagra and Cialis, only much safer and milder in its effects. It raises NO and testosterone levels, as well enhances overall blood circulation.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
These type of fatty acids act like anti-inflammatory drugs, and also come with a whole host of other benefits.
The anti-inflammatory action promotes an increase in NO levels and improves blood circulation. Research also found that omega-3 fatty acids may help lower risk of heart disease, blood clot formation, and stroke.
However, to get the maximum benefits of omega-3s, you have to balance your overall intake of other omega fatty acids. Your omega-3 intake should be larger than your intake of omega-6. Otherwise, you won't experience all what omega-3s has to offer.
The problem is that the standard western diet contain more omega-6 than omega-3. What you can do is reduce your intake of omega-6 sources such as nuts (especially peanuts) and vegetables oils. Then, increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon and other cold-water fish.
This polyphenol flavonoid is found in grapes, raisins and red wine. Resveratrol has many benefits. Included in this list is balancing hormones. It helps in lowering estrogen levels and increase testosterone.
Resveratrol also helps in naturally increasing production of NO. It stimulates the action of the enzyme nitric oxide synthase (NOS).
You can choose to eat more grapes and drink red wine to get the benefits. However, experts say that even if red wine has numerous health benefits, non-drinkers should not start drinking now simply for its health benefits. Also, drinking more red wine does not mean more benefits. Problems are likely to develop from excess drinking because red wine also contains alcohol.
People can have different responses to red wine. Some people may take advantage of a glass or two per day. Some may not feel well from consuming it daily and may even develop some palpitations and other unwanted side effects.
One good way to get the benefits without drinking red wine is by taking resveratrol supplements. The extracts has low bioavailability so make sure you choose supplements that also contain piperine for greater effect.
Another natural source of resveratrol is Japanese knotweed. This is an excellent cheaper alternative for those who want to get resveratrol naturally but should not or are not keen on drinking red wine.
This is a derivative of L-arginine. It is also called 4-aminobutyl guanidine. Agmatine is stored naturally within neurons. It assists in various functions of the central nervous system (CNS), in particular functions of neurotransmitters and neuromodulators.
Agmatine is primarily used in the treatment of neuropathic pain and drug addiction. Research also found that agmatine can assist in regulating NO synthesis. It exerts a positive influence on NOS, leading to extended NO activity. This results in better blood vessel dilation and enhanced activity for stronger muscle pumps. It is a very popular ingredient in pre-workout supplements for increasing muscle endurance.
Agmatine supplements are safe for use, according to certain studies.
Other Foods That Can Help Cure Erectile Dysfunction
Casanova, the illustrious Italian adventurer and lover, was said to eat 50 oysters for breakfast. Maybe that was his "secret" for his legendary amorous adventurers. Maybe not.
What is sure though is that oysters are packed with minerals and vitamins that help raise testosterone levels. In turn, higher testosterone can help increase libido and improve erections. Libido (sex drive) is a vital factor for an erection to be able to happen, it kickstarts vasodilation. If you have low desire for sex, expect great difficulty getting your manhood up and running.
Oysters are excellent sources of zinc. Zinc is needed for healthy testosterone and sperm production. Other vitamin and minerals found in large amounts in oysters are vitamin D, copper, selenium and magnesium, all very beneficial for male sexual health.
Try to eat more of this tasty seafood and increase those testosterone levels. You may not want to be as amorous as Casanova, but still, oysters can help you perform better in bed.
These small berries come loaded with plenty of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. They help protect your cells from free radical damage. This nutrient-dense fruit may also help in naturally improving erections.
Blueberries contain an excellent array of phenols and flavonoids that boost blood flow. These include resveratrol, quercetin and proanthocyanidin. Of course, blueberries are also high in vitamin C that does a lot in improving erections.
Aside from that, blueberries also help improve arterial stiffness and lower blood pressure. Contractile activity of the smooth muscle tissues lining the blood vessel is also improved. The active compounds in blueberries help lower risk for coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, heart failure and similar conditions. Blueberries are also known for helping reduce the risk of Alzheimer disease. For a healthy testosterone boosting desert, mix blueberries with whipped cream and a natural sweetener such as Erythritol.
6 thoughts on “30 Best Natural Vasodilators Foods and Supplements”
Thanks for letting me know that brand of garlic, Kyolic original formula, that you recommend. The study that says that vitamin C and garlic help erectile dysfunction mention a specific amount of vitamin C, 2 grams per day, that would be difficult to get with the powder exactly. Can you please recommend a vitamin C other than Thorne Buffered C powder? The participants in the study took 2 – 1gm tablets of an ester C. What do you suggest?
Glad to be of help. Actually, I selected the Thorne product because I think it is a great Vitamin C product as well as can be used to replicate the study results.
Thorne Buffered C contains: 2.35 grams of Vitamin C per serving. Which is even more than what is used in the study. You can split the dose and take it 2 times per day also.
The great thing about this Thorne product is it also contains calcium, magnesium, and potassium. All of them have benefits of their own and especially magnesium can help the arteries to relax (better blood flow) and can also be beneficial for your testosterone levels if you are deficient: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20352370
Let me know if you have any more questions, thanks!
Please remove tea and coffee from the vasodilators list as they are vasoconstrictors.
Did you bother to check the research studies?
Black tea consumption dose-dependently improves flow-mediated dilation in healthy males:
Caffeine intake associated with reduced levels of erectile dysfunction:
Just because isolated nutrients or when presented in excess can be vasoconstrictors, does not make tea or coffee consumption the same. That is reductionist science and as you can see does not hold true to the real world.
Hello. New to the site and love everything about it so far! Do you have an article or can you comment about treatment and/or removal of penile fibrosis. I believe the Priapus Shot and parallel recommended treatments which seem to involve literally battering the fibrosis loose (!) are rather expensive. The Priapus Shot is also reputed to increase penis size, but I would be interested in finding a suitable low-cost method or protocol for removing penile fibrosis safely. Thank for your information and/or feedback. Ron
Thanks for the feedback!
Sorry we do not have that yet but I found these:
I would say that it is about improving all aspects of your health. Making sure you have healthy testosterone levels and healthy endothelial function.
If it is quite progressed already maybe surgery is the best option. But I would look into Tongkat Ali, Black Ginger and Cocoa Flavanols as well, some of our favourites.
In general, I think penile fibrosis is just a sign of a bigger problem.