Blood circulation is a vital function that is controlled by the heart, which pumps blood through the arteries that feed the tissues. It is the process by which oxygen, nutrients, and minerals are supplied to the brain and other organs to ensure the smooth functioning of the body. It removes waste from throughout the body and carries it to where it can be broken down, which in turn promotes healthier skin and stimulates cell growth.
Now that we know the importance of blood circulation, let’s talk about some important food items that are known to promote the healthy circulation of blood in our body.
Beets are rich in nitrate. When we consume them, the nitrate gets converted to nitric oxide, which loosens the blood vessels, thereby improving blood flow to the tissues and organs of our body. According to some researchers, beetroot juice can also reduce systolic blood pressure levels.
Pomegranates are filled with juicy, little, red seeds that are packed with essential nutrients like antioxidants and nitrates, which boost circulation and lower blood pressure by dilating the blood vessels. Increased blood flow also boosts physical performance and fitness.
Oranges contain vitamins for circulation improvement. Their rich vitamin C content makes oranges natural blood thinners that strengthen capillary walls, improving overall circulation. The antioxidants found in this citrus fruit lower inflammation and prevent the clotting of blood.
This bright-red, spicy pepper contains capsaicin, which stimulates the flow of blood by strengthening the capillaries and arteries. It helps the muscles in blood vessels to relax and keeps blood pressure in check.
5. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, trout, herring, and halibut are full of omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for healthy blood circulation. Eating fish will not only lower your resting blood pressure, but it will keep your arteries clear and free of clogs.
6. Dark Chocolate
Cocoa is known to improve blood circulation. The flavonols present in dark chocolate stimulate the arterial wall lining, producing nitric oxide, which in turn relaxes the arteries. To derive these benefits, be sure to consume chocolate that contains at least 70% cocoa.
7. Ginkgo Biloba
This herb is yet another powerful antioxidant that improves circulation by dilating the blood vessels. It is used both as a preventive or a treatment to reverse the effects of poor circulation. It is also known to improve the flow of blood to the brain, resulting in a significant improvement in memory.
Spinach is rich in nitrate, which is known to improve blood circulation by dilating blood vessels. In addition, a study revealed that a diet that’s rich in spinach helps the arteries regain flexibility and lowers blood pressure.
Berries are rich in antioxidants, including anthocyanin, which is good for your blood vessels. This compound is responsible for the deep hues found in purple and red berries. Anthocyanin helps to protect arterial walls from damage and prevents them from becoming stiff. Additionally, anthocyanin catalyzes the release of nitric oxide, which lowers blood pressure.
Garlic contains a sulfur-rich compound called allicin that helps blood vessels relax, ensuring a smooth flow of blood. Including garlic in your diet means the heart doesn’t have to work very hard to move blood throughout the body, thereby keeping overall blood pressure down.
It’s ideal to eat raw nuts because cooked nuts might be more acidic. Dry fruits like walnuts and almonds are rich in vitamins A, B, C, and E, essential nutrients like iron and magnesium, all of which play an important role in improving the circulation of blood.
Walnuts are also rich in an omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid, which helps enable uninhibited blood flow. One study showed that eating walnuts regularly for eight weeks yielded improved blood vessel health and helped the vessels stay elastic, which brought down blood pressure significantly.
Also known as the golden spice of India, turmeric is famous for its anti-inflammatory properties due to the presence of a yellow bioactive substance called curcumin. Studies show that curcumin is responsible for boosting the production of nitric oxide, which helps make blood vessels wider. This enables the smooth passage of blood toward the muscles and other tissues.
Grapes contain vitamin A, which helps keep arteries healthy and improves blood flow. According to researchers, the antioxidants present in grapes cause blood vessels to relax, promoting efficient blood flow. Grapes are also known to curb inflammatory molecules in the blood, which can make it sticky, a condition that hinders smooth circulation.
Watermelon contains lycopene, a plant nutrient that is rich in antioxidant properties and is responsible for the red coloration of the fruit. Lycopene is commonly taken for the prevention of heart-related diseases and is known to improve circulation.
15. Green Tea
Green tea is another rich source of antioxidants. These widen the blood vessels in the body, thereby increasing blood flow. The regular intake of green tea has a positive effect on the cardiovascular system. Ideally, you should not drink more than three cups of green tea per day. You’ll still enjoy improved, more efficient circulation.
By incorporating the above-mentioned foods into your diet, you can improve your blood circulation to a great extent, but that doesn’t mean that other important things like physical fitness – exercising, yoga, jogging, etc. – should be neglected. You can also take vitamins for circulation improvement in the form of supplements. Make sure to limit your intake of salt, caffeine, and alcohol in order to make the most of your diet and workout routine.