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Foods that greatly improve blood circulation

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Cold feet and hands in winter and swelling in summer are the most obvious symptoms of poor blood circulation. However, this ailment finds some invaluable allies in the diet

Tingling, muscle cramps, varicose veins, edema or dilations, cold feet in winter and swollen in summer. These are some of the unpleasant and annoying symptoms that reveal the appearance of blood circulation problems, with the legs being the major victims. It is not a new or rare ailment; in fact, it affects 70% of the population, with a higher incidence in the female population.

It happens as a consequence of the deformation or loss of elasticity of the walls of the veins – which are in charge, together with the muscles, of pushing the blood to the heart, which lacks the necessary force to push the blood. For this reason, this liquid tissue, in the absence of an impulse and due to the force of gravity, tends to accumulate in the legs. The causes that trigger circulation problems are multiple – genetics, tobacco or alcohol, excess weight, a poor diet, standing or sitting for a long time – but there is one that prevails over the others: sedentary lifestyle.

Therefore, maintaining a correct blood flow is essential to guarantee the health of the circulatory system and, therefore, our personal well-being. A problem that must be remedied if we do not want to face a greater evil, such as chronic venous insufficiency, that is, the permanent inability of the veins to promote the adequate return of blood to the heart. 

Once again, food is an excellent ally for this task, while there are foods whose properties are an invaluable help. 

What are the ones that help promote blood circulation?

Garlic

Recurring in the kitchen, either as a condiment or as a main ingredient, this vegetable is a paragon of nutritional virtues. In addition to the already known antioxidant, antiseptic and antibacterial properties, it also helps alleviate circulatory problems. The reason is that it is rich in vitamin B, which works by reducing the levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that influences the development of cardiovascular diseases and, in addition, causes hardening of the arteries -arteriosclerosis. Therefore, consuming this food, especially on an empty stomach, can help us cope with these problems.

Kale

Although its ability to strengthen the immune system has made it worthy of great popularity, the truth is that vitamin C is an excellent aid to blood circulation. This vitamin strengthens the arteries and capillaries and prevents the formation of clots, helping the blood flow better and, therefore, avoiding circulatory problems. Although the queen of vitamin C is orange, there are also many other foods that contain not inconsiderable amounts such as lemon, red pepper, cauliflower, broccoli, tomato, parsley or kale.

Tomato

Cherry, pear, ox heart … There are more than a hundred kinds of this colorful and tasty vegetable, very assiduous at our tables, whether in salads, alone or as an ingredient in other preparations. In addition, it is a great ally of blood circulation. The reason is that it is rich in vitamin C– 26 milligrams per 100 grams – which, as we have mentioned, helps the blood flow properly. It also contains lycopene, an antioxidant that, in addition to giving it the intense color that characterizes it, stimulates blood circulation and maintains healthy arteries and veins. Also, the tomato contains iron, a mineral extremely important for the good condition of the blood.

Watermelon

This cucurbit fruit, in addition to helping to cope with the intense summer heat and providing numerous nutritional benefits, is also magnificent for alleviating circulatory problems. Like tomatoes, it is rich in lycopene, whose properties we have already discussed, and citrulline, an amino acid that lowers blood pressure and improves arterial function. In addition, 90% of its composition is water, which helps maintain water levels and improve the supply of nutrients to blood cells.

Chilies

The intense spicy flavor of this variety of pepper makes it impossible to go unnoticed by the diner, forcing them to take positions. Responsible for this taste is capsaicin. This substance, in addition to increasing our caloric sensation, helps reduce blood pressure and is an excellent stimulant of blood circulation. The reason is that after its ingestion there is an immediate activation of the receptors responsible for causing the sensation of heat and the heart rate increases. Faced with this, the body reacts by increasing blood flow.

Ginger

Ancient civilizations, such as the Chinese, the Greek, or the Roman, already used this rhizome for medicinal purposes. Its particular aroma and the spicy flavor that characterize it constitute its differentiating elements and those that have made it worth a place in our gastronomy. 

In addition to its anti-inflammatory, antiemetic, and pain-relieving properties, ginger is also an excellent partner for good blood flow. 

It contains, like chili peppers, capsaicin that promotes blood flow, improves the elasticity of veins and arteries, and controls heart activity.

Image Credit: Getty

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