We aren’t talking about being timid or shy in social situations here. We’re talking about signs and symptoms of poor blood circulation. Many people complain of poor blood circulation problems that they notice around their extremities—fingers, hands, toes, feet, and legs. With about 5 liters of blood in the average human body, it’s important to make sure it is safely circulating the way it should.
Cold feet and hands, not only in cold weather, numbness in the extremities, fatigue and low energy, or regular dizzy spells are all signs of poor circulation. Swelling in the feet, skin discoloration and blemishes, dry skin despite drinking plenty of water, and varicose veins are also signs of poor circulation. In severe cases, poor circulation of blood to the brain can lead to loss of memory.
You may often hear and read of foods and exercises that claim to improve your cardiovascular system. Just what is the cardiovascular system?
The cardiovascular system is one of two body systems that deliver fluids throughout the body. The lymphatic system is the other one. The cardiovascular system is made up of the heart, blood vessels, and blood. These three major parts work together to support the billions of cells in your body.
No matter how healthy your meal may be, without a health cardiovascular system, it will be hard for your body to deliver the nutrients to the different cells that need them— brain cells, heart cells, muscle cells, nerve cells, and even blood cells. The cardiovascular system is also directly involved in delivering gases, especially oxygen, throughout the body and delivering waste products to their proper destination so they can be eliminated. Your cardiovascular system is also involved in the immune system’s response to infections and disease, as well as regulating body temperature. When these important jobs are interrupted, problems start to occur and diseases can start to develop.
Although genetics, the environment, and certain medical conditions can affect blood circulation, an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise can also lead to poor blood circulation. It is important to know what foods and habits have a beneficial effect on blood circulation and cardiovascular health.
A natural approach to treating poor circulation starts with a diet high in antioxidants, fresh fruits and vegetables, and essential fatty acids that can help prevent the buildup of toxins affecting your circulatory system.
Certain herbs and spices, many of which are culinary and easy to include in your meals, can also stimulate the cardiovascular system. Turmeric, ginger, and cayenne are natural stimulants that increase blood flow.
Many controlled clinical trials show that garlic, onions, and other less popular members of the bulb family, such as shallots and leeks, help prevent the build-up of plaque, which blocks the flow of blood through the circulatory system.
Warm up your cold extremities with ginger, another herbal remedy for poor circulation. Ginger especially targets the skin for improved blood circulation.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that acts as a natural blood thinner. One recent study found that vitamin C increased blood flow in the arms of diabetes patients, a condition that can severely impact blood circulation to the extremities. Vitamin C acts by strengthening the blood vessel walls so that circulation can occur smoothly. Citrus fruits, berries, bell peppers, mustard greens and kale, and broccoli are all excellent sources of Vitamin C.
Lycopene is a carotenoid antioxidant that also helps improve blood flow by stopping the oxidation of cholesterol and the build-up of artery-clogging plaque. Although the tomato usually comes to mind when hearing of lycopene, grapefruit, watermelon, guava, chili powder, red cabbage, and asparagus are all great sources of lycopene.
The Brain Herb
Gingko biloba, which is included in EnergyFirst’s Antioxidant Complex for its protective effects for the nervous system and brain, is another antioxidant known for improving circulation problems and blood flow to the brain and around it.
EnergyFirst’s Cholesterol & Heart Formula also acts as a blood thinner to prevent conditions that are caused by blood clots and that lead to poor circulation.
Exercise, especially stretching, strength, and cardiovascular training can positively impact your circulation. Massaging the extremities where you notice poor circulation can help stimulate blood flow to those tissues. Drink plenty of water and focus on controlling and reducing stress. Adopting these healthy lifestyle habits into your everyday life will help you improve circulation and overall cardiovascular health for the long-term.