13 Best Healthy Foods For Blood Circulation
Poor circulation is a common problem faced by many people across the world. That “pins and needles” sensation you feel in your lower extremities isn’t something meant to be ignored. When blood doesn’t flow to your internal organs properly and gets blocked, your organs get starved of nutrients. Proper oxygenation and blood flow are key to ensuring optimal health. That is why you need healthy foods for blood circulation in your daily diet for a healthy tomorrow.
We’ll talk about some of the most common causes of poor blood circulation and what you can eat to prevent and, in some cases, even eliminate them.
What Causes Poor Blood Circulation in Your Body?
Following are some of the most common causes of poor blood circulation in the human body:
- Plaque buildup in your arteries causes them to narrow and block blood flow
- Obesity, which is another epidemic going on around the world is a common cause of poor blood circulation. Obese people have cholesterol buildup in their plaque and arteries mostly.
- Peripheral Artery Disease, or PAD, is a medical condition that causes your blood vessels and veins in the legs to narrow and stiffen blood flow
Best Foods That Increase Blood Flow
Although it’s true that you can take medications to address poor blood circulation, nothing comes as close to natural cures. The best way to fix your poor blood circulation is to start eating right. Here is a list of healthy foods for blood circulation.
1. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne Pepper has a phytochemical compound known as capsaicin that boosts blood flow to your tissues. It expands your blood vessels and lets nutrients pass through easily to your organs via your arteries. Your muscles get relaxed, and plaque buildup is reduced too. Most importantly, it boosts Nitric Oxide (NO) production in your body, which is key to improving your blood circulation.
Did you know that your athletic performance or workouts get better when you eat fresh pomegranates before the activity? This is because eating raw fruit or juice boosts blood flow to your tissues and promotes adequate oxygenation.
There’s even a study that backs this up where people’s exercise performance was tracked before and after ingesting 1,000 mg of pomegranate extract which outlined the results and benefits.
Here’s a fun fact about watermelons – it contains an amino acid called L-Citrulline which releases NO to your organs, thus improving blood circulation. There’s a reason why people who drink a lot of watermelon juice report an improvement in sexual performance and why it’s even touted as a natural viagra by researchers.
Cinnamon is one of the healthy foods for blood circulation. It doesn’t just warm up your body; it opens your blood vessels and arteries. Studies have shown that rats who were fed cinnamon bark extracts over a period of eight weeks exhibited improved cardiovascular health due to increased blood vessel dilation. Research also says that cinnamon may be effective in regulating blood pressure levels since it’s known to relax your blood vessels.
5. Ginkgo Biloba
Ginkgo Biloba is one of the foods that increase blood flow to the brain. It ends up improving memory and overall cognitive functioning as a result. Some studies agree that the herb can protect your eye health and improve blood circulation in the legs. The leaves of the herb, which contain flavonoids and terpenoids, are known to fight against free radicals that build up inside your body, thus reducing ageing and preventing conditions, like heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.
If you’re nuts about nuts – we’ve got good news for you. Raw nuts, when soaked and eaten, will improve blood circulation throughout the body. Soaking activates the nutrients and eliminates the phytic acid content in them. Cooking is not recommended since raw nuts tend to turn acidic when cooked and eaten. Walnuts and almonds are good choices since they boast a dense nutrient profile, containing nutrients like vitamins A, B, C, and E, magnesium, iron, etc.
7. Dark Chocolate
If you’re eating dark chocolate, you’ll be glad to know that it boosts NO fat production in the body. It makes your blood less sticky, opens up the arteries and relaxes your blood vessels. Go for dark chocolate that contains up to 70% cocoa and not below.
8. Green Tea
Drinking two to three cups of green tea every day is known to boost blood circulation. Besides improving circulation throughout the body, it also helps in improving cardiovascular health. Green tea is especially beneficial in weight loss regimes since it increases your metabolism and burns more calories. Add to that the high antioxidant content, and it’s a clear winner.
If you’re wondering, “What to eat for blood circulation every day?” we’d recommend garlic. It’s a natural blood vasodilator, and there are studies that show how diets that include more garlic show improved blood flow efficiency than those that contain none.
Fruits that have a high Vitamin C content, like citrus fruits and oranges, work as natural blood thinners. They also strengthen your capillary walls, while other fruits like watermelons and tomatoes, which contain lycopene, are used for lowering the risk of heart disease and coronary artery disease.
Some of the best fruits for blood circulation include oranges, goji berries, lemons, grapefruit, and pomegranates.
11. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens are your best friends when it comes to consuming vegetables for blood circulation improvement. Greens like arugula, spinach, kale, and cabbage are packed with antioxidants and nitrates. Nitrates turn into nitric oxide inside the body, which ends up boosting your blood circulation. There’s a study that showed how consuming nitrate-rich foods decreased systolic blood pressure in patients, thus reducing their risk of heart disease and stroke.
12. Fatty Fish
Omega-3 fatty acids are known to elevate nitric oxide levels in the blood, thus promoting better blood circulation. Fatty fish like salmon and mackerel are excellent choices in this regard. Not only that, but eating fatty fish prevents the formation of platelets in your arteries, thus preventing unwanted blood clots.
Athletes and sports enthusiasts supplement their diets with beetroot capsules or powder because it boosts NO release in the body. Beets are known to be a rich source of nitrates and relax the blood vessel, thus improving blood flow to the muscle tissues and internal organs. There’s a study that documented the effects of drinking beet juice in adults and how it noted decreased blood pressure, blood clotting time, and reduced inflammation after they drank it.
What Else Can You Do for a Better Blood Flow?
Here are a couple of things you can do to boost your blood flow naturally:
- Get Your Daily Exercise – Start jogging, running, or better yet – brisk walking. If you’ve got injuries or can’t move around a lot, work with a physical therapist and get guidance. Do low-impact workouts which are easy on the joints and gently boost your blood circulation. Just get moving, basically.
- Stop Smoking – There is evidence that shows how smoking impairs your body’s blood circulation, besides being a key cause of chronic diseases like cancer and lung failure.
- Lose Weight – If you’re obese or overweight, you’ve got poor blood circulation. Track your calories, exercise every day, and you’ll lose that plaque buildup in the arteries, thus boosting your blood circulation naturally.
Now that you are aware of how to improve your blood circulation, it’s time to start working your way towards it. Just keep at it, eat the right foods, and be consistent. You have to give it time to improve, and it’s always good to know that changes don’t happen overnight.
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3. Badalzadeh. R, Shaghaghi. M, Mohammadi. M, et al.; The effect of cinnamon extract and long-term aerobic training on heart function, biochemical alterations and lipid profile following exhaustive exercise in male rats; Adv Pharm Bull.; PubMed Central; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4312399/; December 2014
4. Mahdavi-Roshan. M, Mirmiran. P, Arjmand. M, Nasrollahzadeh. J; Effects of garlic on brachial endothelial function and capacity of plasma to mediate cholesterol efflux in patients with coronary artery disease; Anatol J Cardiol.; PubMed Central; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5731260/; August 2017
5. Raubenheimer. K, Hickey. D, Leveritt. M, et al.; Acute Effects of Nitrate-Rich Beetroot Juice on Blood Pressure, Hemostasis and Vascular Inflammation Markers in Healthy Older Adults: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Crossover Study; Nutrients; PubMed Central; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5707742/; November 2017
6. Cohen. MG, Rossi. JS, et al.; Insights into the inhibition of platelet activation by omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids: beyond aspirin and clopidogrel; Thromb Res.; pubMed; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21621252/; May 2018
7. Liu. AH, Bondonno. CP, Croft. KD, et al.; Effects of a nitrate-rich meal on arterial stiffness and blood pressure in healthy volunteers; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24120618/; November 2013
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