Why is blood circulation important?
Circulation is the movement of blood throughout the body, and is an essential part of our health. Oxygen, nutrients and minerals (needed for cell growth and healthy organ function) are carried through the arteries from the lungs to the other organs in our blood. As our blood circulates deoxygenated blood and waste is carried through the veins to the areas in the body where it can be broken down. Good circulation can prevent varicose veins, headaches, muscle cramps, and blood clots.
8 natural ways to boost your blood circulation
1) Stand up and go for a walk
Exercising is perhaps the most obvious way to boost your circulation and probably the easiest way too! You don’t need to go for an intense workout session – a simple walk will do the trick. Crossing our legs is not only bad for your posture, it is also bad for your circulation. If we spend our entire time sitting down and putting the pressure of one leg on top of the other the blood flow can become restricted. Regularly changing your position, standing up and going for a walk will help keep blood circulating throughout the body.
2) Eat iron-rich foods
Iron is an essential part of haemoglobin, the blood’s oxygen transporter, increasing your iron intake will help to prevent anaemia (iron deficiency). Try eating foods that are naturally rich in iron such as seafood, peas, spinach, and dried fruit. Monitoring your diet in general can have a good impact on your circulation; eating foods such as ginger will help to increase the blood flow to the organs, and garlic will help to thin the blood which will increase blood circulation and help prevent blood clots. Check out our blog on 10 superfoods to boost circulation for more ideas and some tasty recipes!
3) Dry skin brushing
Dry skin brushing helps stimulate circulation by removing dead skin cells. Exfoliating the skin helps to get rid of excess waste stuck in the pores and helps to improve the overall skin appearance. Our blog on the benefits of dry brushing for your skin circulation shares steps on how to start skin brushing daily.
4) Drink green, white, or black tea
Studies have shown that teas rich in antioxidants, such as black, white, or green can help dilation of the arteries and help prevent heart disease too.1 If tea isn’t for you, beetroot juice is a nice alternative and has been shown to have similar effects to drinking black tea. An experiment that compared the effects of drinking black tea with beet juice found that black tea gave better results lowering insulin as well as vascular resistance.2 That being said, beetroot juice can make blood vessels more flexible, improve blood flow, and lower blood pressure. I’d recommend Biotta’s organic beetroot juice which is high in potassium and full of gut-friendly L+ lactic acid.
Doing some deep breathing exercises, meditating, or taking part in a yoga class have been shown to help relax the body, bring down blood pressure, and improve circulation. Deep breathing improves lung function as well as blood and lymph fluid flow. Research found that deep breathing accompanied with ankle exercises resulted in an increased flow in a vein found in the thigh and pelvic region.3
6) Stay hydrated!
When we are dehydrated we experience a reduction in blood flow to the body. Caffeine can dehydrate the body so reducing your intake will make it easier to improve your blood circulation.
7) Hawthorn-Garlic complex
Hawthorn-garlic complex helps maintain a normal heart function and supports blood pressure and circulation.
8) Ginkgo biloba A herbal remedy that reduces spasms in the arteries and stabilises the permeability of the capillaries, allowing blood to flow more effectively into the extremities. It helps to maintain and benefit the blood flow to the brain as well as maintaining an overall healthy circulation. Ginkgo also helps to stimulate circulation around the eyes and supports optimal energy levels.
Originally written on 28/07/2017, updated on 03/10/2018.