Many of you are aware by now that I was born with Sickle Cell Anemia. The National Institute of Health describes Sickle Cell Anemia as “a group of inherited red blood cell disorders. People with SCD have abnormal hemoglobin, called hemoglobin S or sickle hemoglobin, in their red blood cells.” They go further in the definition by stating that “hemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body.” “Inherited” means that the disease is passed by genes from parents to their children. Living with Sickle Cell can be very trying and tumultuous. Staying healthy is challenging whether you have Sickle Cell or not. However, Living with Sickle Cell means that there are greater needs for living as healthy a life as possible.
For many, the ravages of Sickle Cell can cause damage to many of the joints, nerves, and major organs, which include the heart,brain, lungs, liver, gallbladder, kidneys, and even the eyes. It is for this reason that eating and drinking well becomes an essential component for maintaining bodily functions. When I dealt with issues with my lungs developing a disorder known as Pulmonary Hypertension, which in essence is high blood pressure of the lungs, I began looking into ways that I could personally increase oxygen levels in my blood, apart from the home oxygen machine doctors had recommended that I use.
One thing that I learned about while participating in a health study is that boosting nitric oxide was one great way to facilitate increasing the oxygenation of the blood. Nitric oxide is not to be confused with nitrous oxide which some people use to give their cars a boost in speed. By increasing consumption of nitric oxide, you enable your blood to absorb more oxygen into the bloodstream which is a critical component for blood plasma to maintaining it normal shape, as opposed to the sickle shape found in people with Sickle Cell.
There are a great number of food sources that will provide you with the boost you can get nitric oxide from. Ali Kuoppala shares a list of 20 foods that are great sources of nitric oxide and their individual benefits besides increased oxygen. The list includes:
- Dark Chocolate
- Brown Rice
- Black Tea
- Cayenne Pepper
- Animal Organs
- Peanut Butter
The next time you go shopping for food, consider including some or all of these items in your regular diet and give yourself a boost. You may find yourself feeling better as a result.
QUESTION: What are some other things you’ve discovered as a means of boosting your personal health?
- Sickle Cell Disease (dfw.cbslocal.com)
- Pregnant? Find Out About Sickle Cell Risks for Your Baby (massenmedical.com)
- Image of the Week: Red blood cells (wellcome.ac.uk)
- 5 Positive Ways What You Eat Can Affect Your Child During Pregnancy (nigerianbulletin.com)