Deep Breathing and Very Important Nitric Oxide Levels

Today we are talking about the very all-important deep breath in through the nose and out through the mouth.

In about 1985 it was found that nitric oxide gas was the the major player in relaxing smooth muscle fibers in the body, which in turn keep our blood pressure healthy, wealthy and wise.  And it happens to be that our blood vessels are made of smooth muscle fibers, specifically targeting the endothelium, which is the lining of these important vessels to the heart. It was found that our nasal passages have large amounts of nitric oxide when inhaled through and in contrast, our mouth has very little. So, when we take in a nice deep breath through our nose, we load up a large amount of nitric oxide all the way to our heart, therefore relaxing those muscle fibers, and in turn lowing our blood pressure. This is very important to our health and well-being.

Please think about this for one moment, high blood pressure is certainly not for a lack of blood pressure medication. But, likely can come from chronic low levels of the muscle relaxing, nitric oxide gas. It has been shown that most babies are born with very soft, supple arteries, and only as we age after the age of about 40, do our arteries start to become stiff. This is because as we live a more sedentary life, hovering over our desks, tv and the like, we don’t move or breathe more than just bare necessary breaths.

Have you ever woken up in the morning tired and noticing that your breathing might have been so shallow, that it is even hard to take in a nice deep breath in itself? Ever have a sleep mate tell you that you breathe through an open mouth, or snore really loud from your mouth? Ever notice how tired you are? This is very likely because your breathing was so shallow that your nitric oxide levels were crazy low, leaving you tired and minimally functioning.

We all need high levels of nitric oxide levels to feel rested and relaxed, happy and functioning everywhere. It truly is the relaxing mechanism to all our muscles! Even down yonder, men. Yes, it’s true. Viagra is actually a nitric oxide enhancer, opening up those beautiful blood vessels and making them pump. How about that for real truth?!

All you really need to start working on is your awareness of when you are breathing and holding your breath. Then, start to allow yourself to breathe in nicely through your nose and out through your mouth. Notice how good you feel. You are getting oxygen everywhere, through all your tissues in your body, including your brain.

We can talk for just a moment about CPAP machines for those who have sleep apnea and how much more rested they feel in the morning by simply getting more O2 and NO to the whole body.

There are foods that are very high in Nitric Oxide and they include celery, Chinese cabbage, fennel, leek, parsley, lettuce, red beets, spinach, and arugula. All of these can greatly help you increase your NO levels and possibly lower your blood pressure, and help  you have more energy. I know what I am going to make for dinner tonight!

So, why not start your day with breathing in deeply though your nose and out through your mouth and welcome in your morning. Practice this a few times throughout the day and a few times before sleep. You just might be surprised how much better you feel!

Ahhh, I feel better I got that off my chest. Or was that through my nose!

Elinor Silverstein

Deep Breathing


  1. Hello Elinore,
    I have been diagnosed medically as having Emphysema, however in Buteyko breathing it is called Hyperventilation, I have been tapeing my mouth each night and breathing in through my nose, but I am still getting very breathless, I do t know what else To do. CAN YOU HELP ME PLEASE.?
    Kind Regards,

    Carmen Spence

    • You need to do breathing exercises. Never sleep on your back. Do more research on buteyko breathing. Also you need to follow a low calorie lifestyle with ample of fruits and vegetables to help heal. Exercise during nose breathing as well as grounding yourself to reduce inflammation. Go to and explore the website.

  2. Does holding the breath longer upon inhale add to NO benefit ? Makes sense to give NO more time to absorb(?). But then I’ve been told exhale and staying empty longer ishoukd be the focus. Does the exhale through a tiny mouth opening (with pressure) matter? Sorry for the 3-part questions. I have High BP and anxiety so these Breathing Exercies are worth maximizing in case I’ve been shortchanging myself. Thank you!

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