How Can You Improve Blood Circulation?
Do you feel your toes and fingers going numb on a regular basis? This can be a sign of poor blood circulation. And poor circulation of blood can be a much worse medical condition than you think. This disorder may happen because of the blockage of the blood flow to certain body parts like legs, hands, fingers, toes, and even heart. Mild circulation problems commonly deliver only a bit of discomfort. But if left untreated, poor blood circulation may cause more serious health problems like kidney damage and varicose veins.
What factors cause poor blood circulation?
According to the Mayo Clinic staff, blood circulation problems may be triggered by certain lifestyle habits and medical conditions. The most common causes of poor blood circulation are:
- Fatty plaques on the insides of blood capillaries;
- Several diseases like heart diseases, strokes, aneurysms, kidney damage, stroke, Raynaud’s disease, atherosclerosis, and phlebitis;
- Hypertension, especially in middle-aged and elderly people;
- Varicose veins may develop after the veins’ walls have lost their elasticity. Eating junk foods, a lack of activity, and a desk job may poor blood circulation in legs and varicose veins;
- Pregnancy may lead to poor circulation in feet, especially during the second and third trimesters. Regular stretching and daily walks for pregnant women may be helpful in preventing this problem;
- Poor blood circulation in infants and children can also happen. For example, infants may be born with complicated congenital heart defects causing the circulation problems.
Symptoms of poor blood circulation
According to WebMD, these factors may be the signs of poor blood circulation:
- Cold hands, fingers, toes, and feet;
- Regular episodes of numbness in toes, hands, and feet;
- Feeling lethargic and exhausted after doing small activities – for example, when climbing the stairs;
- Lack of stamina;
- Dandruff and hair loss;
- Skin may become dry, with uneven tone and blemishes;
- Loss of memory or poor memory;
- Headaches and cramps;
- Shortness of breath;
- Itchy hands, feet, and legs;
- Loss of appetite;
- Irregular heartbeats;
- Weight loss;
- Swelling of feet and hands.
If you are wondering how to improve blood circulation without visiting a doctor, consider changing your dietary and lifestyle habits.
What foods can improve blood circulation?
Adding certain foods to your daily diet can turn out to be the most effective treatment for poor blood circulation. Potentially helpful foods for blood circulation are:
- Tomatoes – because they contain lycopene that may prevent plaques in the blood flow;
- Pistachio, almonds, cashews and other nuts rich in vitamin B3 can dilate the blood vessels and decrease levels of lipoprotein in the blood;
- Garlic extract may be good for improving leg circulation because its components interact with red blood cells and stimulate the release of hydrogen sulfide;
- Cayenne pepper like chili, red pepper, and paprika may prevent the buildup of plaques and increase blood flow throughout the body. These spices may also warm cold hands and feet;
- Ginger has the components gingerols and zingerone which may prevent the absorption of cholesterol in the liver and blood. This herb may also reduce the risks of getting blood clots.
- Green tea is famous for its antioxidant properties. One of green tea’s antioxidants, called epigallocatechin, may positively affect the health of the blood cells and improve the lining of blood vessels.
Besides, you may add fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C and antioxidants to your diet. A high daily consumption of omega-3 supplements can be also beneficial to support normal blood circulation.
Natural blood circulation supplements and remedies
In addition to a healthy daily diet, you may improve the circulation of blood by means of the following natural remedies:
Turmeric with warm milk
If you are wondering how to increase blood circulation and prevent the possible heart diseases, consider starting your day with a cup of turmeric tea. A 2012 study posted in the journal of Nutrition Research states that curcumin in turmeric may prevent blood plaques and clots. Try making the natural turmeric tea, also known as “Golden Milk,” in this way:
- Mix 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder with a bit of organic honey in a glass of warm milk;
- Drink this mixture twice a day;
- Continue drinking for a period of a few months.
This essential oil can be very effective for the hand and foot circulation in elderly people. The healthy fats in coconut oil may relieve the inflammation of the arteries and improve blood flow. Consider eating 3 tablespoons of extra virgin coconut oil every day. Alternatively, you can massage the hands and feet with warm coconut oil.
According to a 2014 study posted in the Journal of the American Heart Association, the cocoa in pure dark chocolate may improve blood circulation. Try eating a few small pieces of dark chocolate every day. Consider choosing chocolate bars containing at least 70% cacao.
The daily consumption of ginger tea can be helpful in regularizing the blood circulation. You can make the tea in this way:
- At first, boil 1 tablespoon of thinly sliced ginger in 2 cups of water during 10 minutes;
- Then strain and add a bit of honey for taste.
Lifestyle tips for improving blood circulation
- Regular exercises several times per week;
- Try taking regular breaks if you have a desk job. Try not to sit or stand in one position for too long;
- Consider using hydrotherapy by immersing yourself into warm water and then cold water every 30 seconds. This procedure can be successful if repeated daily, at least 5 times a day;
- Consider wearing soft, wide, and comfortable shoes at work;
- The daily massage of hand and feet with coconut, rosemary, and olive oil can be very effective for blood circulation as well;
- Try reducing the intake of alcohol and caffeine;
- Consider quitting smoking;
- The salt consumption is better to be limited;
- Reduce your consumption of foods with high saturated fats;
- Try elevating your legs and hands more often to increase the blood flow in these body parts;
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water daily.
If your hands or feet are frequently numb, you feel exhausted and tired throughout the day, and your skin is pale, consider visiting a health care specialist who may recommend other methods for poor blood circulation treatment.