Poor blood circulation is a common problem. If left untreated, it can lead to more serious health consequences.
Blood brings nutrients to each body’s organ, including the brain. When nutrients are restricted from getting where they are needed, your body can’t function at its best.
That’s why it’s so important to consume foods that increase blood flow.
What Increases Blood Flow?
Symptoms of bad circulation include drowsiness, poor focus, feeling cold, issues with memory, and even numbness or stinging in certain body parts.
When your blood vessels are congested or restricted, circulation becomes poor.
Blood flow is increased when the blood vessels are relaxed, warmed up, or dilated. Foods and spices, when used regularly in your diet, can help increase your blood flow and brainpower.
What Foods Are Good for Increasing Blood Flow?
Have you ever eaten a chilly pepper and experienced a flush in your cheeks and ears? This is because capsaicin, which is found in chili peppers, dilates the blood vessels and the blood rushes in.
Here are some foods that increase blood flow:
Besides increasing blood flow, cinnamon also has a warming effect, which expands and relaxes blood vessels and affects blood pressure. This is why it is often used in winter snacks like Christmas cookies.
The substances found in garlic are beneficial to the overall health of your cardiovascular system and help to decrease bad cholesterol.
Citrus fruits reduce inflammation, relax the blood vessels, and thereby reduce the possibility of a stroke.
These are found especially useful in patients with diabetes as they keep blood sugar level in a normal range. Diabetes patients have high blood pressure which sometimes causes a drastic decrease in blood flow resulting in something called the ‘diabetic foot’.
How Do You Fix Poor Circulation?
Besides eating foods that increase blood flow, what’s the best way to fix poor circulation?
Here are a few things you can do:
- Quit smoking. If you are a smoker, quit smoking. Smoking increases blood pressure and causes bad circulation.
- Exercise. Physical activity warms up your body and keeps your cardiovascular system healthy. When your body is warm, the blood vessels expand, which allows for better blood flow. Even mild exercises or a walk can improve your circulation, especially if you do it daily.
- Visit a spa. Every now and then treat yourself to a massage or a sauna. These have beneficial effects on your overall health, improve circulation, remove toxins, and so on. A neck massage (even if you are doing it yourself) increases blood flow to the brain, which makes you more alert and improves your focus.
- Elevate your legs. A simple thing like elevating your legs can ease poor circulation after a long day at work. Also, if you have a sedentary job, try not to cross your legs, and get up and stretch every 20-30 minutes.
Overall, for good circulation, you should maintain a balanced lifestyle. Avoid foods that cause your body to retain fluids (excess salt), drink a lot of water, be active, and add some of the foods we mentioned to your diet.
Are Bananas Good For Blood Flow?
As it turns out, the answer is yes. Bananas are rich in potassium which keeps the heart-healthy. They lower blood pressure which helps improve blood flow.
Pectin, which is also found in bananas, has blood-thinning effects and makes the bloodless susceptible to forming clots. It also prevents bad cholesterol from attaching to the walls of the blood vessels and restricting the blood flow.