20 Best Foods to Increase Blood Flow and Circulation

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The smooth flow of blood throughout the body is extremely important as it keeps you away from several chronic diseases. Healthy blood flow also brings nutrients and oxygen to your cells and organs and also helps remove the waste from the body.

Additionally, blood flow or circulation is linked to blood pressure, which is a measure of the force that blood utilizes against the walls as it moves through the vessels. The poor circulation of blood is one of the common problems faced by Americans and to improve your health conditions you must include food that increases blood flow and circulation. Here is a list of 20 foods you can incorporate into your daily diet.

1. Beets

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This bright-looking vegetable contains high levels of dietary nitrate which can improve blood circulation. Nitrate is a compound that is made of nitrogen and oxygen from plant-based foods, when consumed it converts to nitric oxide in the body which consequently expands vessels and increases the flow of blood.

Incorporating beetroot also helps fight inflammation and offers a high source of potassium and fiber. All these benefits better heart health and help you stay healthy and fit for the long run. You can eat beets every day by cooking, steaming, or roasting, or can simply add it to your salad or juice it out according to your taste and preference.

2. Pomegranates

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Similar to beets, pomegranates also consist of high amounts of nitrates and antioxidants which improve your circulation. This super fruit also dilate your blood vessels by lowering your blood pressure which improves blood flow to the brain, heart, organ, muscles, and tissues.

A study done on 19 people, found that adding 1000 milligrams of pomegranate extract thirty minutes before exercise increased blood flow, blood vessel diameter as well and performance. So, you can add pomegranate to your diet by adding it to salads, making pomogranate juice, or adding it to meals and snacks.

3. Leafy green vegetables

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Leafy greens vegetables like spinach, collard greens, and kale are not only loaded with essential nutrients but are also high in nitrates. As discussed earlier, nitrates work wonderfully in our body by widening the blood vessels and promoting healthy blood flow and circulation.

According to a study, those people who consumed high nitrates daily for a week experienced significant improvement in their blood pressure and blood flow compared to people who didn't include leafy vegetables. Green leafy vegetables also combat the risk of heart disease, so feel free to include these vibrant green veggies in your everyday diet.

4. Garlic

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Garlic is one of the powerful herbs that significantly improves blood circulation and lower blood pressure levels. These herbs are loaded with allicin, which contains antibiotic properties that generally fight infection. They are also known for their anti-cancer and antioxidant properties which are essential for overall health.

Moreover, garlic also promotes healthy heart health by lowering bad cholesterol and triglycerides in your body. In the Asian part, people like to incorporate garlic in several types of teas or as a spice in a variety of foods. However, you can add garlic according to your choice.

5. Cinnamon

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Besides giving a delightful aroma to your foods, cinnamon is loaded with antioxidant that helps to protect your blood vessels from oxidative stress. Consuming cinnamon boosts blood vessel dilation and flow in the artery which consistently supplies blood to the heart according to the studies.

As cinnamon improves blood flow, it also helps to prevent varicose veins, spider veins, and hemorrhoids from forming. So, you can include cinnamon by making cinnamon tea or by sprinkling it on your oatmeal, drinks, or coffee, or add this spice to your baked goods for a warm aromatic smell.

6. Berries

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These sweet and tasty berries are rich in antioxidants, fiber, and various other kinds of vitamins and minerals. An antioxidant called anthocyanin gives these berries their purple and red color and helps to protect arteries from harmful cells. Strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are a few types of berries that are loaded with these nutrients.

Berries also promote the release of nitrates, which ultimately lower blood pressure and aid in healthy blood flow. In fact, several studies showcased that people who consume large amounts of berries reduce the risk of developing strokes and heart disease. You can consume a few servings of berries each week for healthy blood flow and circulation.

7. Fatty Fish

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Fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are especially beneficial for healthy circulation as they promote the release of nitric oxide. The presence of omega-3 fatty acids also helps inhibit a process that can lead to blood clot formation.

To add more, you can also consume fish oil supplements as they are linked to reducing high blood pressure and improving blood flow in skeletal muscle. For instance, research in 10 healthy men with high doses of fish oil for four weeks significantly improved blood flow to the legs after exercise. Thus, you can eat fresh fish to reap the benefits or take fish oil supplements for optimal health benefits.

8. Citrus Fruit

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Citrus foods such as oranges, grapefruits, and lemons are loaded with high amounts of antioxidants, including flavonoids. Including flavonoid-rich citrus fruit in your diet also lowers inflammation in your body, which then reduces stiffness and blood pressure while improving nitric oxide production and blood flow.

So, take advantage of the several benefits of these fruits by adding them to your diet. One of the easiest ways to enjoy citrus fruits is by eating them whole or adding them to fruit salads to give that zesty taste. You can also simply juice this citrus fruit and consume it during breakfast time.

9. Cayenne Pepper

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If you love spicy foods, then cayenne pepper is perfect for your taste and health. The pepper contains a special substance called capsaicin which decreases blood pressure by promoting blood flow to the rest of the body. This happens due to the release of a chemical called nitric oxide.

Nitric oxide found in cayenne pepper helps by relaxing all those tiny vessels and improves the overall strength of your blood vessels. This pepper has also been used as an active ingredient in pain-relieving creams as it encourages blood flow in affected areas. Try using this food in a variety of foods such as authentic American dishes, traditional Thai dishes, or Spanish tapas dishes.

10. Turmeric

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Turmeric is one of the most powerful herbal ingredients in traditional medicine and is valued for its therapeutic properties. Among their several health benefits, increasing blood flow and circulation is one of them. Turmeric is popularly used in Asian dishes along with varieties of other herbs and spices.

The active ingredient called curcumin found in turmeric contains strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that open blood vessels and enhance healthy blood circulation. Several studies have also revealed that curcumin in turmeric triggers nitric oxide secretion reduces oxidative stress and decreases inflammation.

11. Almonds

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An excellent source of vitamin E, almonds are important for strengthening your body's arteries and veins. This in turn helps improve the healthy flood of blood throughout your body. Also, consuming almonds regularly will provide you higher levels of a chemical called HDL(high-density lipoprotein).

High-density lipoprotein carries cholesterol through the bloodstream and extracts it from the body, so having an ample amount of HDL is good for better health. Along with increasing blood flow, almonds also provide fiber, protein, and healthy fats. So, start adding almonds along with different types of nuts regularly to get all the benefits.

12. Dates

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People generally consume dates because they are sweet and delicious, but most of them don't know that dates actually magic fruit that contains fabulous health properties. Dates positively affects our vascular system in various ways, they benefit our blood vessels, and heart and increases hemoglobin level.

Dates are also loaded with fiber, so they will make you fuller for longer period of time. Potassium found in dates is also good for heart health and the amount of chromium lowers blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity. So, consuming dates moderately improves overall health and significantly improves blood flow.

13. Onions

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Onions are a great source of flavonoid antioxidants, that benefits the heart health. This particular vegetable promotes healthy circulation of blood by helping your arteries and veins widen when blood flow increases.

Onions also contain anti-inflammatory properties which promote heart health and blood flow by reducing inflammation in veins and arteries. In a month of study, 23 men who took almost 4.3 grams of onion extract daily significantly improved blood flow and artery dilation after meals. If you are not already using onions, you can experiment by adding on salads, soups, and protein-rich dinner recipes.

14. Grapes

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Another great fruit that helps to improve blood flow is grapes. Grapes are rich in phytonutrients called proanthocyanidins, this compound has been shown to promote vasodilation and lower inflammation by increasing blood flow and circulation.

Purple types of grapes are high in polyphenols, which prevent blood platelets from forming blood clots. Another important polyphenol found in grapes named resveratrol is also equally beneficial as it can decrease blood pressure and reduce inflammation. Try adding grapes to your high-fiber breakfast or smoothies to start your day right.

15. Kiwi Fruit

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Kiwi fruit is not only delicious but also packed with nutrients that regulate healthy blood flow. A few essential nutrients found in kiwi fruits include a high level of potassium and vitamin C. Potassium found in kiwi fruit helps remove excess fluid from your body and reduce bloating and blood circulation.

Also, eating two to three kiwifruits a day can combat the risk of blood clotting and reduce fat in the blood according to the research. So, if you are looking for a healthy option for a healthy heart then consider kiwi fruit to include in your daily diet.

16. Bananas

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Similar to kiwi fruit, bananas are also rich in potassium which helps lower blood pressure. They are also rich in magnesium, which widens and relaxes blood vessels to increase blood circulation. The folate found in bananas prevents the hardening of arteries and vitamin C keeps artery walls flexible.

Various research claims that consuming frozen bananas allows for even more nutrients to reach into your bloodstream. For the best circulation of blood, make sure to eat raw bananas rather than cooked or baked bananas. You can also try adding this fruit to your regular fruit salad bowl or protein breakfast bowl.

17. Ginger

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Ginger is another spice in the list of foods best for blood flow and circulation. This spice is a staple of Indian and Chinese cuisines as it contains some important health benefits. Its positive impact on blood circulation is one of ginger's most notable benefits.

When it comes to aiding blood circulation and reducing tiredness, ginger is a great supplement for the body. It contains properties that improve blood flow and clear your skin as well. If you are a regular tea drinker then try adding ginger to your black tea or masala milk tea and see the result in just a few days.

18. Walnuts

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Walnuts are filled with various beneficial compounds such as alpha-lipoic acid(ALA), L-arginine, and vitamin E. All these compounds improve and stimulate the production of nitrate oxide in the body and benefit heart health.

Eating walnuts may significantly reduce blood pressure, improve blood vessels, and reduce inflammation, which helps people with diabetes. Patients with diabetes often have circulation problems and high blood pressure due to damaged blood vessels caused by high sugar. Thus, including a moderate amount of walnuts is highly encouraged by health experts.

19. Tomatoes

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Tomatoes are one of nature's most nutritious foods that help reduce the activity of angiotensin-converting enzyme(ACE). ACE causes blood vessels to constrict and control blood pressure levels. Studies found that tomato extract can slow down ACE, lower inflammation, and disrupt platelet aggregation which is healthy for blood flow.

Similarly, the lycopene found in tomatoes can prevent against cardiovascular disease. Vitamin K in tomatoes controls the bleeding and blood clotting which ultimately improves circulation. These versatile vegetables are ideal for fresh vegetable salads, cooked vegetables, or for making delicious sauces.

20. Dark Chocolate

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Dark chocolate is often considered one of the healthier food options due to its antioxidant properties. It contains flavonoids which reduce inflammatory molecules in the blood, increase good cholesterol, and lower bad cholesterol by improving blood flow throughout the body.

According to the research, the polyphenols found in dark chocolate can help lower oxidative stress and promote more nitric oxide, a compound that causes blood vessels to dilate. When blood vessels open up in the body, blood pressure simultaneously goes down benefiting the overall health of the individual. But, this does not mean you should eat lots of chocolate every day as it's still loaded with high calories.

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