The human body has an average of 60,000 miles of blood vessels.
Mind-boggling, isn’t it?
Your body’s vast network of blood vessels facilitate the flow of blood, which brings nutrients and oxygen to your cells and organs, and then carries away the waste.
Keeping the blood moving through your vessels is a key to good health. Blood flow, or blood circulation, is linked to blood pressure, which is a measure of the force that blood exerts against the vessel walls as it moves through the vessels.
When blood pressure is high, blood flow becomes constricted. When blood flow is healthy, blood pressure is generally in check. The ability of blood vessels to dilate and constrict in response to blood flow allows your blood pressure to remain within a healthy range.
Blood flow is particularly important to optimal brain function. Although your brain weighs about 3 pounds, making up just 2% of your weight, it requires roughly 20 % of your body’s blood flow and oxygen!
Since your brain is the command and control center of the body, proper blood flow to the brain is essential to overall health.
Improving Blood Flow
Pain, muscle cramps, numbness, digestive issues, and coldness in the hands or feet are all potential signs of poor blood flow. If you have heart health issues, interrupted sleep, low libido, elevated blood pressure, a sedentary lifestyle, or are overweight, you likely have blood flow issues.
Thankfully, there are many natural ways to make a positive impact on your blood flow and blood pressure. Regular exercise, proper hydration, weight management, and not smoking are several examples. You can also incorporate specific foods to ensure healthy blood flow.
And, since blood flow and blood pressure are linked, foods that are good for healthy blood circulation are often good for healthy blood pressure too!
Here are several delicious and healthy foods (and a few spices!) that promote healthy blood flow.
6 Best Foods to Increase Blood Flow & Circulation
Filled with ruby red gems of sweetness, pomegranates are the perfect autumn treat and provide a host of benefits, including blood flow support. Loaded with antioxidants and nitrates, pomegranates have a vasodilating effect. In other words, they have a relaxing influence on vessels that allows for greater blood flow, which eases blood pressure.
2. Beets and Nitrate-Rich Veggies
Like pomegranates, beets are nitrate-rich, which helps your body synthesize nitric oxide. Nitric oxide relaxes blood vessel walls, increases blood flow, and supports healthy blood pressure.
Other nitrate-rich vegetables include: leafy green vegetables (such as spinach and lettuce), fennel, radishes, Chinese cabbage, and parsley.
Berries are rich in antioxidants, fiber, and a host of vitamins and minerals.
The antioxidant anthocyanin, which gives berries their red and purple color, helps to protect arteries from damage and keeps them from becoming too rigid. It also triggers the release of nitric oxide, which aids blood flow and lowers blood pressure. Considered one of the healthiest foods you can consume, berries have anti-inflammatory effects that help increase blood circulation.
4. Fatty Fish
Omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish (such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, sardines, and trout) promote the release of nitric oxide within the lining of blood vessel walls. This creates a vasodilating effect, which increases blood flow and is linked to reduced blood pressure.
Omega-3s are also well-known to have anti-inflammatory properties. If you can’t incorporate fish into your diet, get the benefits of marine omega-3s in supplement form. Vegan, algae-sourced omega-3s are also available.
5. Citrus Fruit
In addition to being rich in vitamin C, citrus fruits (such as grapefruit, oranges, and lemons) are brimming with flavonoids. These flavonoids have a beneficial effect on blood pressure. They also boost nitric oxide production, which aids blood flow. Enjoy fresh citrus every day!
6. Spice Up Your Blood Flow
Aside from foods, the following spices are worth noting because of their well-studied, blood pressure-lowering, and blood flow benefits.
A phytochemical called capsaicin gives cayenne pepper its spicy flavor. Capsaicin, like some of the vegetables and fruits mentioned, supports healthy blood flow to tissues by stimulating the release of nitric oxide, which helps to expand your blood vessels. This spice can help keep you warm during the colder months.
Cinnamon provides a treasure trove of health benefits, including anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, modulating effects on cholesterol levels as well as promoting healthy blood flow and blood pressure. Enjoy this delicious spice in baked goods, on hot cereal, and in warm beverages.
Turmeric has been used traditionally to open blood vessels and boost circulation for thousands of years in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. Research confirms these effects, showing that turmeric’s active compound, curcumin, stimulates nitric oxide production while lessening oxidative stress. Try warm and savory curry dishes to stimulate your blood flow.
An Abundance of Benefits
The foods and spices mentioned above are exceptionally good for you, offering blood flow boosting and healthy blood pressure benefits. Use or combine them and feel the difference improved blood circulation can make!
At BrainMD, we’re dedicated to providing the highest purity nutrients to improve your physical health and overall well-being. For more information about our full list of brain healthy supplements, please visit us at BrainMD.
- 7 of the Best Natural Fertility Foods for Women - May 6, 2021
- 5 Simple Mood-Boosting Acts of Service: Feel Happier by Helping Others - April 22, 2021
- Earth Day Observance: Healthy Foods That Help Save the Rainforest - April 20, 2021