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The best foods for circulation of the blood are primarily healthy fats, vegetables, berries and other fruits.
In addition, water is the most essential nutrient because without proper hydration, blood flow will be restricted.
In fact, the University of Michigan’s “Healing Foods Pyramid” (see Resource) lists water at the base of the pyramid as the most essential nutrient.
Poor blood circulation is usually a symptom of other conditions such as high blood pressure or atherosclerosis.
The best way to ensure a healthy circulatory system, according to The China Study, is to eat primarily a plant-based diet of whole fresh foods and to eliminate unhealthy fats and refined sugars.
Some of the most effective foods for circulation of the blood include the following.
According to Water for Health, for Healing, for Life, our blood is normally about 94 percent water when the body is fully hydrated. If we suffer from chronic dehydration, our blood will tend to be thick and “sticky,” which significantly restricts blood flow.
The best way to stay hydrated each day is to drink ½ oz. of water for every pound of body weight. Thus, for example, if you weight 200 pounds, you would need to drink about 100 oz. of water daily (about 3 quarts or liters).
Healthy fats and oils are beneficial foods for circulation primarily because they can help reduce inflammation throughout the entire blood circulatory system.
A few of the best choices for healthy fats include salmon, avocados, nuts, nut butters, and seeds, especially sunflower and pumpkin. The best cooking oils include olive oil and coconut oil.
Fresh vegetables and their juices offer a large array of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and bioflavonoids that can improve blood circulation, strengthen blood vessels, and reduce bad cholesterol.
Some of the best vegetables for circulation include beet, carrot, kale, spinach, endive, celery, onions, as well as sea vegetables such as kelp, wakame, kombu and dulse.
Berries are the most beneficial fruits for blood circulation, primarily because they are high in antioxidants that can neutralize free radical damage in the arteries and veins.
The best berries for increasing circulation include hawthorn berries, bilberries, blueberries, goji berries, raspberries, and huckleberries.
Fruits that are high in vitamin C, including acerola cherries, oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes, are also beneficial for their antioxidant properties.
Watermelons are high in lycopene, which can help ensure healthy blood circulation by preventing plaque buildup.
Eating spicy foods is a quick way to increase blood flow. Cayenne and jalapeno peppers are the most effective.
Cayenne pepper has long been used for promoting healthy circulation and cardiovascular health.
Adding just 1/16 teaspoon of cayenne in a full glass of water or lemon water and drinking it can improve circulation. As always, check with your doctor first if you have a health condition.
The China Study; T. Colin Campbell, PhD; 2006.
Water for Health, for Healing, for Life; F. Batmanghelidj; 2003.
Prescription for Nutritional Healing; Phyllis A. Balch, CNC; 2000
University of Michigan Health System: Healing Foods Pyramid (PDF)
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