Most people don’t give blood circulation much thought. Even when they have common symptoms of poor blood circulation like numbness in the legs and hands, cold hands and feet, fatigue and swollen feet or fingers.
Ignoring these symptoms can lead to more serious problems like cardiovascular disease and stroke. Luckily, there are things you can start doing today to improve circulation. But making these changes may not help much if you don’t avoid habits that cause poor blood circulation. These habits include: Heavy alcohol drinking, tobacco smoking, poor diet, inactivity, high caffeine intake.
Get a good massage
Massage creates pressure which forces blood in congested areas to flow. This pressure also allows easy flow of new blood to different body parts. Get a good massage several times a week if you experience the symptoms of poor blood circulation I mentioned above.
Add herbs into your diet
Some herbs are good for blood circulation. They strengthen the blood vessels and help unclog the arteries.
Research shows that gingko biloba and cayenne pepper improve circulation. Cayenne pepper strengthens the blood vessels and stimulates the heart while gingko biloba improves blood flow which consequently improves memory.
Other helpful herbs include garlic, ginger, bilberry and parsley.
Keep your legs elevated
It’s hard for blood to flow from the feet to the heart since it has to flow uphill. In fact, this is the main reason poor blood circulation largely affects the legs. Elevating your legs will make it easier for blood to flow. Lift the legs above heart level and keep them elevated for 20 minutes.
Exercise every day
There’s a lot of research showing that exercise improves blood circulation. Even simple exercises like walking, climbing stairs can help. You may want to start with low intensity exercises if you’re out of shape and then increase intensity as you get fitter.
Reduce salt intake
Research shows that high salt intake can cause poor blood circulation. This is alarming because most people consume an average of 3.4 grammes of salt a day. That’s higher than the recommended 2.3 grammes per day.
Avoiding canned food and reading food labels can help reduce sodium in your diet.
Don’t wear tight clothes for long
Those skinny jeans can cut off blood circulation to the legs, research shows. In fact, one woman had to be hospitalised for four days because of squatting while wearing skinny jeans. On the other hand, clothes like the compression socks are said to improve blood circulation in the legs.
Drink more water
I don’t think you need any convincing that water is good for your health. Aim for two litres of water a day.
Add nuts into your diet
Nuts contain vitamins and minerals that can improve blood circulation. According to this study, raw almonds and walnuts boost blood circulation. Nuts are also a great source of healthy fats. But eat them in moderation if you want to lose weight.