You’ve heard it time and time again: a well-balanced diet is a key contributor to good health. But above and beyond general health, a healthy vascular system, with your blood serving as the delivery mechanism, helps nutrients reach all your cells.
When it comes to our cells, blood is to nutrients what Purolator is to Amazon.com. If all the roads are blocked or blood flow has slowed to a crawl, the deliveries aren’t carried out effectively or on time. The analogy is so telling that we even use similar terms to describe blood flow and traffic: transport, arteries, etc. And in both cases, it’s best when things keep moving!
10 superfoods to improve your circulation
One way to improve your circulation is to add the following 10 superfoods to your diet: they promote blood flow while helping you maintain a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables (five to eight portions a day).
Garlic naturally thins the blood, thereby promoting blood flow to the limbs and helping avoid the formation of plaque on the artery walls. Some even say that garlic purifies the blood. It’s best eaten raw on a daily basis, but go easy given the effects it has on your breath and subsequently your social life...
Berries and berry-like fruits like blueberries, blackberries, pomegranate and açai. Antioxidants protect the body against damage caused by free radicals, which are linked to the development of certain diseases of the blood vessels. These berries can be eaten in many forms: fresh, frozen or as high-quality juice.
3. Cayenne pepper
Cayenne pepper boosts your metabolism and blood flow. It helps strengthen veins and arteries and helps keep your toes from swelling while improving circulation to your feet. It is considered especially effective when eaten raw, such as in salads or juices.
Despite their diminutive size, sprouts contain all the nutritional potential of the herbs and vegetables they eventually become. Their high iron content is particularly beneficial for the formation of red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the every cell in your body. Alfalfa is the best known of the sprouts, but there are in fact many others, including soy, sunflower, broccoli, radish, mung bean and red clover. You can buy them ready-made or grow them yourself at home. Add them to your salads, sandwiches... go crazy!
5. Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found naturally in fatty (cold-water) fishes like salmon, trout, herring, mackerel and anchovies, boost cardiovascular health and slow the progression of atherosclerosis, better known as hardening of the arteries. Given its benefits, you should make sure to get some regularly.
Ginger does more than make nausea go away, it also promotes blood flow to the organs and boosts the immune system. Use it in the dishes you prepare, in smoothies or on its own as a kind of herbal tea.
Thanks to their high vitamin C and bioflavonoid content, oranges strengthen the walls of your capillaries, which are the body’s smallest blood vessels. Oranges also thin the blood and promote blood flow to even the tiniest nooks and crannies of your cardiovascular system.
8. Pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds are a good source of vitamin E, which is known to help blood flow freely and keep blood clots from forming.
Not only is it delicious and refreshing, but it’s also packed with benefits which are due in part to its high lycopene content. Lycopene helps prevent plaque formation and promotes blood flow.
10. Dark chocolate! Yay!
Dark chocolate is good for the heart and the flavonoids it contains promote blood flow. Yet one more reason to indulge!
These circulation-promoting superfoods are easy to include in your diet without having to make any drastic changes. But because they don’t constitute a miracle cure, you should ideally eat them regularly.
Eating dark-chocolate-covered blueberries won’t make your varicose veins disappear overnight, but it will have a positive effect on your blood flow!