Poor circulation is a common problem. Various conditions can lead to this. However, in this article, we would talk about foods that increase blood flow you can consume.
Some of the causes of poor circulation are Diabetes, Obesity, Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), Raynaud’s Disease and Smoking.
Furthermore, poor blood flow can cause unpleasant symptoms like digestive issues, muscle cramps, pain, coldness in the hands or feet and numbness.
Apart from people with poor circulation, athletes and active individuals might want to increase blood flow to boost exercise performance and recovery.
In addition, even though people treat circulatory issues with medications most times, eating foods that increase blood flow can also be very helpful.
What Is Blood Flow?
Foods That Increase Blood Flow
There are some foods that increase blood flow. In this part of the article, we will talk about some of these great foods that optimize your blood flow.
Here are some of these foods that increase blood flow:
Pomegranates are juicy, sweet fruits. They are foods that increase blood flow. Also, they are particularly rich in polyphenol antioxidants and nitrates, which are potent vasodilators.
Also, taking pomegranate as a juice, raw fruit or supplement might help blood flow and oxygenation of muscle tissue. This can help active individuals more especially.
A study was done using 19 active people. They found that taking 1,000 mg of pomegranate extract thirty minutes before working out increased exercise performance, blood flow, and blood vessel diameter.
Furthermore, another study showed that consumption of 17 ounces (500 ml) of pomegranate juice every day during or before weight training reduced soreness, inflammation in elite weightlifters and muscle damage.
Cinnamon is a warming spice. It has a lot of health benefits. Amongst these many benefits is blood flow increase.
Also, in animal studies, Cinnamon improved blood vessel dilation and the flow of blood in the coronary artery, which gives blood to the heart.
Furthermore, some rats were fed 91 mg per pound of bodyweight of Cinnamon Bark Extract daily for eight weeks. Another set of rats were placed in a control group. The rats fed Cinnamon Bark Extract daily showed better heart performance and coronary artery blood flow after exhaustive exercise.
Additionally, research shows that cinnamon can reduce blood pressure in humans effectively. It does this by relaxing your blood vessels which in turn aids circulation and keeps your heart healthy.
Onions are also foods that increase blood flow. They are very good sources of flavonoid antioxidants, which are beneficial to heart health.
Also, this vegetable improves circulation. It does this by helping your arteries and veins widen when blood flow increases.
Furthermore, a study was done for 30 days using 23 men. They took 4.3 grams of onion extract daily and this greatly improved blood flow and artery dilation after meals.
In addition, Onions also have anti-inflammatory properties. This can increase blood flow and heart health by lowering inflammation in the veins and arteries.
#4. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne peppers get their spicy flavor from a phytochemical called Capsaicin.
Capsaicin promotes blood flow to tissues by reducing blood pressure and stimulating the release of nitric oxide and other vasodilators or compounds that help widen blood vessels.
Vasodilators allow blood flow more easily through the veins and arteries. It achieves this by relaxing the tiny muscles in the blood vessel walls.
Furthermore, research shows that taking Cayenne Pepper improves blood vessel strength, increases circulation, and reduces the buildup of plaque in the arteries.
In addition, companies that produce pain-relieving creams add these spicy peppers most of the time. This is because they can promote blood flow to the affected area.
Amongst foods that increase blood flow, we have Beets. A lot of athletes supplement with beet juice or beet powder to boost their performance.
The reason is that Beets are high in nitrates, which the body converts into Nitric Oxide. What Nitric Oxide does is to relax blood vessels and increase blood flow to muscle tissue.
Furthermore, Beet juice supplements stimulate blood flow, improve oxygen flow in muscle tissue, and increase nitric oxide levels. All of these can boost performance.
In addition, apart from helping athletes, beets also improve blood flow in older adults who have circulatory issues.
In a study of 12 older adults, those who took 140 ml (5 ounces) of nitrate-rich beet juice daily had a huge decrease in blood pressure, clotting time, and inflammation of the blood vessels than those who took a placebo.
One of the many health benefits of Tumeric is that they are foods that increase blood flow.
Also, since ancient times, both Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine have used Turmeric to open up blood vessels and improve blood flow.
Furthermore, research says that Curcumin, a compound found in Turmeric, helps to increase the production of nitric oxide, decrease inflammation and reduce oxidative stress.
Additionally, in a study of 39 people, taking 2,000 mg of Curcumin daily for 12 weeks led to a 36% increase in upper arm blood flow and a 37% increase in forearm blood flow.
#7. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish like salmon and mackerel are very good sources of Omega-3 fatty acids.
Also, these fats are very beneficial for circulation. This is because they promote the release of nitric oxide, which in turn dilates your blood vessels and boosts blood flow.
Furthermore, Omega-3 fats also help to inhibit the clumping of platelets in the blood. This process can lead to blood clot formation.
In addition, fish oil supplements reduce high blood pressure and improve blood flow in skeletal muscles during and after exercise.
For instance, in a study of 10 healthy men, high doses of fish oil (4.2 grams daily for four weeks) greatly helped blood flow to the legs after exercise.
Garlic is also among foods that increase blood flow. It is well known for its beneficial impact on blood flow and heart health.
Furthermore, studies say that garlic, it’s sulfur compounds specifically, like allicin can increase tissue blood flow and reduce blood pressure. It does this by relaxing the blood vessels.
In addition, diets rich in garlic are linked with better Flow-Mediated Vasodilation (FMD). This is an indicator of blood flow efficiency.
In a study of 42 people with coronary heart disease, people who ate garlic powder tablets containing 1200 mg of allicin twice a day for three months found a 50% improvement in blood flow through the upper arm artery compared with the placebo group.
Walnuts are loaded with beneficial compounds like l-arginine, Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) and Vitamin E. All these promote nitric oxide production.
Also, eating walnuts may reduce blood pressure, improve blood vessel function and reduce inflammation. This might be particularly helpful for people with diabetes.
Furthermore, those with diabetes usually have circulation issues and high blood pressure. This is because of blood vessel damage caused by uncontrolled blood sugar levels.
In addition, in a study of 24 persons with diabetes, those who ate 2 ounces (56 grams) of walnuts daily for eight weeks saw huge improvements in blood flow compared to a control group.