Diet and circulation
We all know that eating a nutritious, balanced diet is vital for maintaining good health (no surprises there!), but did you know that food also plays an important role in supporting a healthy circulation?
Poor blood circulation can lead to a number of health problems, so caring for your circulatory system is essential. One way to improve circulation is by adding to your diet those foods that are renowned for their circulation-boosting properties, known as superfoods or super nutritional foods.
The circulatory system is an organ system driven by the heart, to provide a constant supply of blood to the body through the blood vessels and is important because:
- It supplies oxygen and nutrients to all body cells.
- It removes any waste products or toxins from the body.
- The flow of blood helps to heal any wounds or injuries in the body.
- It also regulates the temperature and pH level in the body.
It is recommended that you should eat a variety of foods, to ensure you get enough of the nutrients your body needs. Focusing on getting your five portions of fruit and vegetables a day is a perfect way to start.
However, there are some foods that are better than others for boosting your circulation and maintaining healthy blood flow. Take a look at the list below for foods that can help improve your circulatory system.
10 superfoods that can improve circulation
1. Blackberries are known to promote new blood cell formation and purify the blood. They are high in nutrients, including phenolic compounds with an antioxidant capacity significantly higher than vitamins C or E. Add them to breakfast cereals or mix them in yogurts for a tasty snack.
2. Cayenne pepper is a great way to increase blood circulation and metabolic rate. It will also help strengthen arteries and blood vessels, and can prevent toe numbness and poor circulation in feet. Cayenne pepper helps tackle inflammation, and because spicy foods are rich in vitamins A and C, it is most effective in getting the blood flowing. They can also be used in juices or salads.
3. Fish such as salmon and herring can benefit the heart as they contain omega 3 fats, a nutrient that is very good for improving blood circulation.
4. Ginger simulates the blood flow to all organs; it also boosts a sluggish immune system and clears congestion. It can be found in a tincture form, in herbal tea and can be simply added to food when cooking.
5. Garlic is a natural blood thinner. It is fantastic for increasing blood circulation in feet/hands, and will also clear up clogged arteries if eaten raw daily, in moderation.
6. Gingko Biloba is a fresh herb tincture, made from the leaves of the amazing Ginkgo tree, also known as Memory Tree. Ginkgo is thought to stabilise the blood vessels allowing the blood to flow more smoothly. It improves poor circulation in hands and feet, and increases blood flow to the brain.
7. Oranges contain high levels of vitamin C and bioflavonoids in oranges help the flow of blood through the body by strengthening the capillary walls.
8. Nuts contain niacin, or vitamin B3 which essentially gives our blood a boost and therefore can prevent circulation problems.
9. Pumpkin seeds are a food source of vitamin E, which is proven to keep blood flowing freely and preventing blood clots.
10. Watermelons are rich in lycopene which can help prevent a build up of plaque (the substance that can interfere with blood flow in the arteries). Lycopene can aid healthy blood circulation.
Add these circulation-boosting foods to your favourite recipes
Here are a few tasty recipes for you to try:
Liked these recipes? Explore A.Vogel Talks Food for more tasty, easy to make and healthy recipes.
What else can you do to help improve your circulation?
- Simple daily exercise – from heel and toe raises to getting out for a walk or a swim
- Dry skin brushing
- Giving up smoking
- Avoiding wearing restrictive clothing
- Going for a massage
Originally written on 14/07/2015, updated on 05/12/2018.