Several foods have been shown to help improve blood flow and support heart health, including garlic, onions, beets, berries, citrus fruits, and leafy greens. The heart pumps blood rich with nutrients and oxygen throughout the body. Blood flows through a network of vessels called the circulatory system. When blood returns to your heart, it flows to your lungs to receive oxygen. Then, your heart pumps that blood out to the rest of your body, and the process begins again.
However, poor blood flow circulation is a common problem caused by several conditions. Peripheral artery disease (PAD), diabetes, obesity, smoking, and Raynaud’s disease are some causes of poor circulation.
What are the symptoms of reduced blood flow circulation?
- Varicose veins. This happens when veins bulge with blood because valves aren’t working right. The result is spidery lines of purplish blue on the skin, most often in the legs.
- Muscle cramps. Often in the legs, these cramps worsen when walking because the body can’t supply enough oxygenated blood.
- Poor circulation can cause blood clots. Blood can build up behind a clot, even partly blocking a vessel.
- Without enough blood supply, the skin can get sores or ulcers.
- This is the buildup of fluid, usually in the arms and legs. A limb might look swollen and feel tight and hard to move.
- Numbness and tingling. These are common symptoms of poor circulation, especially in the hands and feet.
- Cold hands and feet. You might notice that they’re cold when you compare them to the temperature of the entire body, especially in the fingers and toes.
- Discolored hands and feet. The skin might look splotchy with different colours.
- Erectile dysfunction: Less blood flow can make it more difficult for a man to maintain an erection that’s firm enough to have sex. This is more common in men with diabetes.
Although medications often treat circulatory issues, eating certain foods can improve blood flow.
Which foods can improve blood flow circulation?
- Cayenne pepper. It gets its spicy flavour from a phytochemical called capsaicin, which promotes blood flow to tissues.
- Pomegranates are juicy, sweet fruits exceptionally high in polyphenol antioxidants and nitrates, potent vasodilators.
- Onions have antioxidants, which benefit heart health; they help the arteries and veins widen when blood flow increases.
- It is a warming spice with many health benefits, including increased blood flow.
- Garlic is well known for its beneficial impact on circulation and heart health.
- Fatty fish. They are especially beneficial for circulation because they promote the release of nitric oxide, which dilates the blood vessels and increases blood flow.
- Beets are high in nitrates, which the body converts into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide relaxes blood vessels and increases blood flow to muscle tissue.
- Increased blood flow is one of turmeric’s many health benefits.
- Leafy greens like spinach and collard greens are high in nitrates, which the body converts into nitric oxide, a potent vasodilator.
- Citrus fruits. Decreases inflammation, reducing blood pressure and arterial stiffness while improving blood flow and nitric oxide production.
- Walnuts are loaded with beneficial compounds, such as L-arginine, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), and vitamin E, stimulating nitric oxide production.
- Tomatoes may help reduce the activity of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), which causes blood vessels to constrict to control blood pressure.
- Berries are incredibly healthy, as they have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities, which may positively impact blood flow.
- It lowers blood pressure and improves circulation.
When to consult a doctor for reduced blood circulation?
Circulatory problems can happen for many reasons, and some can lead to life-threatening complications without treatment. Consult an Intercare doctor if you notice tingling, pain, or other circulatory problems.