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Healthy circulation is imperative for maintaining a healthy body. Our heart, veins, arteries and the blood that runs through them all work together to ensure our bodies receive enough oxygen and nutrients. Having poor circulation can impair energy levels, general alertness and the body’s ability to repair itself. When circulation to a part of the body is not adequate, toxins and disease can quickly get out of hand. Further symptoms of poor circulation include numbness, tingling, cramping and an inability to effectively warm the extremities of the body. Thankfully for our cold footed friends there is much one can do to improve circulation.
There are many possible causes of poor circulation ranging from the not so serious sluggish circulatory system to the more serious such as arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), varicose veins, thrombophlebitis, kidney disease, lung disease and nutritional deficiencies. Alcohol, caffeine and particularly tobacco smoke may also have a negative impact on circulation.
Insuring you meet all of your nutritional daily requirements is a good first step when addressing any health issue. A healthy diet including many vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts & seeds as a foundation with supplementary animal protein (if you are so inclined) will help you do this. Eating a large variety of foods will not only give you the vitamins and minerals needed to maintain healthy circulation but will also ensure you get enough healthy soluble fiber which helps reduce the absorption of cholesterol into the blood.
Further to this there are specific nutrients and foods that have been linked with improving circulation. vitamin B, vitamin C & vitamin E have all been linked in studies to improving circulation. Vitamin B is beneficial to cell metabolism and can be found in leafy greens, dried beans, eggs, dairy & peanuts. Vitamin C helps repair and produce blood vessels. Papayas, broccoli bell peppers and berries are all wonderful sources of vitamin C. Vitamin E widens blood vessels and reduces blood clotting. Good sources of Vitamin E include almonds, hazel nuts, sunflower seeds, leafy greens, swiss chard & avocado.
Decreasing your intake of saturated fats and increasing your intake of polyunsaturated. Saturated fats have been shown to cause a buildup of plaque and cholesterol in the arteries, impeding circulation and arterial health. Omega-3s on the other hand have been shown to help thin the blood, improving overall circulation.
Herbs that help improve blood circulation in include ginger, cayenne, ginkgo, turmeric and garlic. Combined these herbs have been shown to boost circulation, cleanse the blood, reduce cholesterol, reduce inflammation and help prevent heart disease.
Dipsacus root, hops, valerian root, rosemary, blessed thistle, gentian, lovage, angelica, cayenne pepper, guaiacum, garlic, ginkgo biloba, ginger, yarrow, skullcap, caraway
Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do to improve blood circulation. Exercise will not only oxygenate your body, it will also help move around vital nutrients and improve the elasticity of your blood vessels all of which will contribute to better circulation. If you have a sedentary job or lifestyle be sure to include regular breaks to move around and get blood moving.
Massage is another wonderful way to help stimulate both energy and blood flow. Not only the action of rubbing and needing in massage is beneficial to circulation and the health and well being of soft and hard tissue, the simple act of placing hands on a part of the body stimulates blood flow to that area.
Last but not least staying hydrated is important for maintaining good circulation. Water not only makes up a large percentage of our blood is also helps our body deliver nutrients to where they’re needed and flush away unwanted toxins.
|Insufficient physical exercise||Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts & seeds||Saturated fats|
|Sluggish circulatory system||Vitamin B||Immobility|
|Arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)||Vitamin C||Smoking|
|Varicose veins||Vitamin E|
|kidney disease, lung disease and nutritional deficiencies||ginger, cayenne, ginkgo, turmeric and garlic|
|Drink plenty of water|