Problems with blood circulation are very common in modern men and women of all ages. Without adequate blood circulation, continued good health is simply not possible.
This is because adequate blood flow is required to transport nutrients and oxygen to every cell of the body and to remove waste and eliminate it through the liver and kidneys. Also, it is important for regulating the body’s pH balance and other important processes.
When blood flow to specific parts of the body is reduced, you may experience the symptoms of poor circulation. Poor circulation is most common in the extremities, such as the legs and hands.
Certain medical conditions and lifestyle factors can contribute to poor blood circulation. The most common include weakened blood vessels, too much sitting, plaque build-up inside the blood vessels, smoking, diabetes, and more.
Some of the most common symptoms of poor blood circulation include:
- Ulcers. These ulcers can first appear like a red or irritated rash that will not go away (even with treatment), often forming near the feet or on the legs. They can sometimes be painful.
- Swelling. Swelling in hands or feet can signal that poor circulation is interfering with kidneys and the body cannot get rid of excess fluid.
- Discolored skin. Poor circulation can mean that oxygen is insufficient in the legs and this can lead to a discolored skin.
- Varicose veins. These swollen, twisted blood vessels beneath the skin can be caused by the buildup of blood or fluid in vessels if circulation is sluggish.
- Thin hair and nails. If circulation is poor, hair and nails can become thin or brittle due to lack of nutrients.
- Cold hands and feets. Reduced blood flow can lead to feelings of coldness in hands and feet.
- Fatigue. Poor circulation means that the muscles, too, are not getting enough oxygen and nutrients and this can cause feelings of tiredness or fatigue.
- Erectile dysfunction. In men, poor circulation can also present as the inability to achieve or hold an erection.
- Mental fogginess. Reduced oxygen to the brain can cause poor mental function and make it harder to concentrate or think.
However, it is possible to improve blood circulation throughout the body, and the following are some great tips:
Drink more water
Adequate water intake is essential for proper body function. It hydrates your entire body, stimulates digestion, and improves nutrient supply to the cells. Water also alleviates elimination. You should drink at least eight glasses of water daily, but if you work out, then you need to drink even more.
The active ingredient in cayenne pepper is capsaicin. It stimulates the heart, regulating the blood flow and strengthening the arteries and capillaries. It will not only get the blood pumped around your body, but it will strengthen your heart, and clear your arteries. Also, capsaicin relieves symptoms linked to poor blood circulation including cold feet and hands, pain, headaches, and tingling sensations in the legs.
Ginger is a common kitchen ingredient which is highly beneficial for stimulating blood circulation. The regular consumption of ginger prevents the formation of blood clots in the body, thus reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. This root is loaded with gingerols and zingerone, which have a warming effect on the body, and consequently, improves blood circulation.
Ginkgo biloba is another all-round circulation booster. It is most widely know for its ability to improve memory, due to its ability to increase blood flow to the brain. In Germany, ginkgo is used by physicians to treat varicose veins and poor circulation. It can be found a form of capsules or pills.
Garlic improves blood circulation and reduces blood pressure. Also, garlic prevents the formation of plaque buildup in the arteries thus reducing the risk of atherosclerosis. A 2006 study published in the Journal of Nutrition discovered that garlic is extremely beneficial for cardiovascular health.
Horse chestnut herb is widely used, especially for treatment of poor circulation and varicose veins. The active compound in horse chestnut is called escin, which not only reduce inflammation but also strengthens the capillary walls.
Fish oil is another healthy and natural way to solve your circulation problems. It can be of great help as it removes fat deposits from the arterial walls, which leads to proper blood circulation. Moreover, fish oil raises HDL or good cholesterol in the body. You can consume it by eating fish at least once a week, or you can take dietary supplements.
- Do not sit or stand in the same position for too long. Take regular breaks every couple of hours.
- Reduce your intake of caffeine and alcohol.
- If you smoke, it is essential to quit.
- Avoid eating foods that are high in saturated fats.
- Limit your salt consumption.
- Elevate your legs and hands to increase circulation in these body parts.
- Eat fruits rich in vitamin C as it helps keep the lining of the arteries strong.
- Eat fresh fruits and leafy vegetables that have high levels of antioxidants in them.
- Do dry-skin brushing to remove dead skin cells and improve circulation.
- Acupressure and acupuncture also facilitate smooth circulation.