Our circulation is vital to our overall health, yet many people struggle to maintain healthy circulation.
Circulation is the movement of blood through the vessels of your body induced by the pumping action of your heart.
If you are experiencing good circulation it means that your tissues are being optimally nourished. Consequently, your nerves are healthier, your muscles are stronger, and your overall energy level is higher.
What type of food is in your diet is one of the best tools you have for improving your circulation. Here are some of the best foods to improve your circulation:
1. Foods high in vitamin C
Citrus fruits that are high in vitamin C, especially oranges, are natural blood thinners and strengthen capillary walls preventing plaque build-up which leads to poor circulation. Bell peppers, broccoli, pineapple, brussel sprouts, guava and strawberries all have vitamin C and will give you the same benefits.
2. Cayenne pepper
Cayenne pepper is a great way to increase blood circulation and your metabolic rate. It also strengthens your arteries and blood vessels and prevents poor circulation in feet. Cayenne pepper also helps tackle inflammation by helping your blood to flow better.
3. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate has flavonoids that are potent antioxidants, which means they help stop free radical activity and prevent inflammation thus improving circulation. You should eat dark chocolate with at least 60% or higher cacao and limit yourself to a small treat of 1-2 pieces per day.
There are two nutrients in nuts that improve circulation: magnesium and L-arginine. Magnesium helps arteries relax so they can expand and contract, and L-arginine is used to produce nitric oxide, which helps arteries dilate. Be sure to avoid salted nuts as too much sodium intake increases blood pressure.
5. Ginger root
Ginger is known for increasing blood circulation and stimulates blood flow to all of your organs.
Garlic is a natural blood thinner and clears up clogged arteries. By cleansing your blood and preventing plaque build-up, garlic helps improve circulation as well as lowers your blood pressure. It is especially beneficial for increasing blood circulation in your feet and hands. It is most effective when eaten raw every day.
7. Ginkgo biloba
Ginkgo biloba dilates blood vessels and increases blood flow.
8. Goji berries
Goji berries help to both boost your immune system as well as increase blood circulation.
9. Watermelon/various fruits
Watermelons are rich in lycopene which is a natural antioxidant linked to improving circulation. Cooked tomatoes, pink grapefruit and apricots also contain lycopene.
10. Omega-3 rich fish
Salmon, cod, mackerel and other cold-water fish that are rich in omega-3 fats not only help reduce inflammation, but aid in thinning the blood so it flows more easily.
Beets help improve circulation because they’re rich in nitrate which is converted into nitric oxide helping your arteries to dilate for optimal circulation. “Some studies have shown that consuming one to two cups of beet juice per day reduced blood pressure in persons with high blood pressure” says Steven Hertzler, PhD, RD, chief scientific officer at Abbott’s EAS Sports Nutrition.
12. Pumpkin/sunflower seeds
Pumpkin and sunflower seeds are great sources of vitamin E, which aids in blood flowing freely and prevents blood clots from forming.
Studies show that turmeric keeps arteries unclogged and improves circulation However, it’s actually poorly absorbed on its own unless it is mixed with bioperin, which is found in black pepper.
“Radishes are rich in minerals, including potassium that helps to normalize blood pressure and increase blood circulation,” says Jacqueline Arnett Elnahar, a registered dietitian at teladietian.com.
“Kale is exceptional at replenishing red blood cells and increases the blood’s ability to transport more oxygen around the body,” says Arnett Elnahar.
16. Acai berries
Acai berries are another superfood to improve circulation. These little berries have powerful plant sterols that relax blood vessels and improve blood circulation.
So add some or all of the above to your next grocery list to improve your circulation. Then invite a family member or friend to go on a walk because cardio exercise is also great to improve your circulation.