Circulation is important for positive blood flow. You can enhance your circulation by ensuring you get enough exercise, stand up and walk around throughout the day, and avoid negative vices (such as smoking) that can have a detrimental effect on your blood vessels. Of course, you can also add foods that improve circulation to your diet. If you're wondering which foods improve blood circulation, we've done a little research to get you on your way.
1. Green Tea
Green tea is packed with antioxidants, which help widen blood vessels. When blood vessels are wide open, the blood is able to flow more easily throughout the body. Two or three cups of green tea each day can make a big impact on the circulatory system.
- Helps lower triglycerides
- Helps lower LDL cholesterol
- Contains a powerful antioxidant called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)
When it comes to the best foods to improve circulation, watermelon always makes its way onto the list. Why? Studies have shown that 1/12 cups of watermelon contain 9 to 13 milligrams of lycopene, an antioxidant that's been linked to reduced risks of heart attacks. Lycopene scavenges the chemicals inside the blood that cause oxidative damage and loss of proper cell function.
Lycopene helps prevent LDL (bad) cholesterol from oxidizing and forming plaque within the arteries. It can also be found in the following foods:
- Tomatoes (including tomato paste, tomato juice, and tomato sauce)
- Apricots (dried or raw)
- Pink grapefruits
- Guava (fruit or juice)
Raw almonds are rich in vitamins A, B, C and E. They also contain high levels of magnesium and iron. Each of these nutrients contributes to improved blood circulation. Not only that, but almonds help stave off hunger pangs, which can keep you from reaching for unhealthier foods that can ultimately lead to clogged arteries and poor circulation.
Almonds help the heart and circulatory system by:
- Increasing the number of antioxidants that get into the bloodstream
- Reducing blood pressure
- Improving blood flow
4. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is spicy because it contains something called capsaicin. This phytochemical has been shown to reduce heart-related risks of several sorts, thereby increasing blood flow and enhancing circulation. Besides stimulating the heart, capsaicin can help strengthen capillaries and arteries.
5. Dark Chocolate
If you're wondering how to improve blood circulation naturally, you don't have to deprive yourself of delicious desserts as long as you know which ones are best for your body. This is when you reach for dark chocolate. Dark chocolate that contains at least 70% cocoa contains an array of flavanols that stimulate the lining of the arteries and produce nitric oxide, which relaxes the arteries. Together, this stimulation-and-relaxation effect enables the blood to travel through the body more freely.
- Certain foods contain ingredients that are heart-healthy, such as lycopene, flavanols, and capsaicin.
- Make sure you're getting the proper ratio of heart-healthy elements to ensure you make the most of our snacks and meals. If your dark chocolate doesn't contain at least 70% cocoa, for example, you're missing out on key benefits.
- Don't forget the value of healthy drinks, such as green tea.
Good circulation is imperative to a healthy heart and body. Getting enough exercise is a great start, but it's also important to pay attention to your diet. With these five foods, drinks, and seasonings, you'll set your body up for heart-healthy success! Are you trying to figure out how to improve blood circulation in the legs? Start with a great pair of compression socks from Dr. Motion!