Have Poor Circulation? Try These Foods to Increase Blood Flow
Foods to Improve Circulation – Part 2
Welcome Back! Let’s continue our previous discussion about how you can make simple diet hacks to help increase blood flow and improve your circulation. Her are six more foods that you can incorporate into your daily routine to help do just that:
1. Leafy greens
Spinach, collard greens, kale, and other leafy greens contain nitrates, which your body converts to nitric oxide. This conversion opens blood vessels through vasodilation which increases blood flow. Kale is exceptional at replenishing red blood cells and increasing the blood’s ability to transport more oxygen around the body. Additionally, Kale is rich in folate, which may help lower high blood pressure.
2. Citrus Fruits (containing Vitamin C)
These are usually packed with antioxidants including flavonoids. Flavonoids are compounds that help keep the arteries flexible so blood can move more freely. Consuming flavonoid-rich citrus fruits can reduce blood pressure and increase blood flow according to this study. Vitamin C specifically, acts as an antioxidant on the lining cells of our arteries to assist in dilation and therefore blood flow.
There are two nutrients in nuts that make them a great one-two punch for improving circulation: magnesium and L-arginine. Magnesium helps arteries relax so they can expand and contract, and L-arginine is used to produce nitric oxide, a compound that also helps arteries dilate. In addition to L-arginine, walnuts contain the beneficial compounds alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) and vitamin E, both of which stimulate the production of nitric oxide. Eating walnuts can reduce blood pressure, improve blood vessel function, and decrease inflammation, which may be particularly helpful for those with diabetes.
Berries are another great source full of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities, which may have a positive impact on blood flow. This study suggests that berry fruit consumption has significant potential in the prevention and treatment of most risk factors associated with cardiovascular complications. Acai berries in particular have powerful “plant sterols” that relax blood vessels and improve circulation. They’re also rich in vitamin A and potassium.
Tomatoes are among the best foods to help increase blood flow since they’re packed with nutrients such as beta carotene, potassium, vitamin A, C and E, lutein, and lycopene. They may help reduce the activity of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), which causes blood vessels to constrict. This double-blind published study showed that taking an antioxidant-rich tomato extract can in fact reduce blood pressure.
Each half cup of sliced radishes contains 135 mg of blood pressure-lowering potassium. Potassium helps normalize blood pressure and increase blood circulation. Radishes also represent an important source of anthocyanins and flavonoids, which have been positively linked to the decrease of some cardiovascular disease’s onset.
So in addition to drinking plenty of water, getting moving as much as possible (even if it’s low impact like walking), you can try to incorporate some of the above delicious (and healthy) foods to help increase blood flow and get your cardiovascular system running at its best!
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The first part of this series – Have Poor Circulation? Try Adding These 11 Foods into Your Diet – Part 1