Posted on Feb 20, 2023, 11 a.m.
Having good blood circulation in your legs is key for so many reasons. Whether you are someone who exercises a lot and is looking for better recovery through good blood flow or you are someone who is at risk for blood clots. In both scenarios having good blood flow is equally important.
There are many different ways to approach getting better blood flow. But some people don’t know that you can eat an overall healthier diet and incorporate specific foods to promote blood circulation in your legs.
Why We Need Good Blood Circulation?
Having good circulation ensures that a number of optimal health functions are occurring. Let’s take a look at them.
- Good circulation helps ensure that enough oxygen is reaching the organs throughout the body so they can function properly.
- It also helps maintain optimal heart health. Without good circulation, blood clots can form, causing heart disease or stroke.
- Proper blood oxygen levels help wounds recover faster. This includes scar tissue that is developed when working out. This is why it promotes faster recovery for sports.
Why Do I Have Poor Blood Circulation?
There can be a number of reasons why someone may have poor blood circulation. You may have diabetes, are overweight, or have existing heart health issues. Common symptoms usually include tingling, cold extremities, thinning or loss of hair, and more. Some of these symptoms can start out milk but increase to more severe issues.
What Can We Eat to Promote Blood Circulation?
A healthy diet can make a huge difference in our health. But it can be particularly helpful when trying to help promote good blood circulation in our legs. Let’s look at what we can eat and why it helps.
- Including anything with cayenne pepper in your diet can make a big difference. Cayenne pepper has a phytochemical called Capsaicin which helps lower your blood pressure and release nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps expand your blood vessels to let blood flow.
- Pomegranate juice, or pomegranate in general, is an amazing source of antioxidants and nitrates. This also helps expand your blood vessels. If you opt for the juice, then try to get one that doesn’t have a lot of additives in it, such as unnatural or processed sugars.
- Beets act similarly to pomegranates in that they have great levels of nitrate, opening up your blood vessels. Beet juice is an easy way to incorporate this into your diet.
- Onions make the cut because they make a positive impact on our overall heart health. It’s high in flavonoid antioxidants and helps open our vessels for blood flow. You can chop them up on a salad or sautee them for dinner.
- Cinnamon is a nice spice to add to your diet because studies have shown that vessels in the coronary artery respond well by opening up after consumption. It’s great for breakfast foods and works well in shakes or oatmeal.
- Garlic can play a major role in relaxing your blood vessels thanks to allicin or other known as it’s sulfur compounds. Garlic works to increase blood flow and lower your overall blood pressure.
- Dark Leafy Greens are easy to add to a salad or in a shake. They also are a great blood thinner which makes it easy for blood flow to move smoothly through the vessels.
- Fatty fish are great for how many Omega 3’s they provide. A great source of this is salmon. These types of fish help prevent blood clots by preventing clumping platelets in your vessels.
- Turmeric has a compound called curcumin that is responsible for producing nitric oxide. It’s commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine island is known for its heart health benefits.
By incorporating all of these spices and food groups into your daily diet, you can make a significant impact on your heart health and improve your blood flow and circulation.
Are There Alternatives?
But having a healthy diet is not the only thing that you can control o help improve blood flow. In fact, there are a number of approaches worth taking a look at.
Compression socks are one of the best ways to improve blood circulation in your legs directly. That’s because compression reduces fluid retention in the legs and helps get rid of any lactic build-up. This is why we often see athletes wearing them for recovery or general patrons who are traveling by plane.
But compression socks are also medically prescribed by doctors for those who have a higher risk of blood clots or varicose veins. There are different levels of pressure, so consulting a specialist is the best way to find out what will work for you.
Dry Body Brushing
Using a bristled brush (preferably one that is soft,) get your blood flowing by brushing up and down your body to improve circulation. Professionals recommend doing longer strokes that go upward towards your heart rather than downward and away. This is better done dry but can also be done as an exfoliating process in the shower.
Along with healthy eating, of course, is exercise. Increasing your cardiovascular and aerobic exercise is a great way to work on heart health and blood flow. It’s important to push yourself within your own capabilities and boundaries. Starting out too hard can lead to health complications. This is also a great time to consider wearing your compression socks.
Healthy Habits for a Healthy Lifestyle
There are a lot of different ways to approach blood circulation and heart health. Eating is an often overlooked approach that is easy to manage and control. Knowing what to eat is half the battle. Luckily, there are a lot of different food groups and spices to choose from if you are a picky eater.
Garlic, turmeric, cinnamon, and many other great herbs and spices are easy to add to other food groups on this list for some extra flavor. When you combine good food with exercise and some body maintenance, the results go a long way.
This article was written for WHN by Nicole McCray who is a free-spirited creative content word ninja, who has been obsessed with beauty and fashion since she was a young girl. She’s a former wedding makeup artist who still loves spending her free time testing products and staying up to date on new fashion trends. On top of that, she’s a self-proclaimed health nut who loves to explore and write about holistic, healthy living.
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement.
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