Circulation is so important for our health and it affects many aspects of how we feel. Yet somehow, we often forget about it in the midst of our busy lives, restless minds and other health concerns. Why is circulation important? Because we depend on our blood to keep us healthy and keep our bodies functioning. When our blood is acidic or stagnant, we get sick, don’t feel well and many processes in the body slow-down.
Some signs your circulation is poor can include:
cold hands and feet (often accommodated by blue or purple hues due to poor blood circulation), slow digestion (due to how blood is diverted away from the stomach for various reasons), low energy (because our metabolism depends on healthy circulation), muscle stagnation (because blood isn’t flowing optimally through muscle cells), and even headaches due to poor blood flow. Worst of all, heart problems often occur due to poor circulation such as arterial disease and diabetes. Our hearts can’t work optimally without healthy circulation since our arterial health is greatly affected by the circulation of blood in the body.
Certain lifestyle tips can improve your circulation and they’re tips anyone can do. Here are some of the most effective:
1. Eat a Healthy Diet Rich in Produce
Produce is rich in water, vitamins and minerals that don’t just cleanse the body, but also provide nutrients that keep our blood alkaline. These foods also fight cancer, prevent stagnation, and will help benefit every single aspect of your physical health. Try to include some type of fresh food at every single meal or snack. Some great options for the blood include: greens, cranberries and other berries, citrus, root vegetables, celery, cucumber, herbs and green vegetables.
2. Reduce Inflammatory Foods
Inflammatory foods are your blood’s worst nightmare. Though we can’t eat perfect all the time, we can opt for 80 percent of our diets to be anti-inflammatory. Many foods differ in their acid/alkaline balance, however for the most part, a whole foods, plant-based diet is the easiest way to reduce inflammation. This helps improve circulation by reducing inflammatory agents in the bloodstream that affect healthy blood flow to the heart.
3. Avoid The Processed Offenders and Choose The Better Options
Alcohol, sugar, refined grains, processed drinks, and anything with a long list of ingredients shouldn’t be a part of your diet for a healthy body. These foods contribute to sticky blood related to diabetes, heart disease and overall poor blood flow because of the way they cause arterial plaque and harm our blood sugar. Choose these 8 Foods That Could Help Unclog Your Arteries instead and enjoy all of our healthy, clean desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth. Cacao and cocoa are both great for your heart and has actually been shown to improve blood flow, so long as you skip those with refined sugars and dairy added.
4. Include Healthy Fats
Healthy fats like flax, chia, hemp and avocados, for example, all help to increase blood flow by reducing inflammation and lubricating the arteries. They’re easy to work into your diet and just a little of each throughout the day will do the trick.
Most importantly, be sure you move every single day. Movement helps keep your blood pumping and working the way your body wants to. This can help prevent stagnation in all parts of the body and it also helps to keep your heart healthy. Movement also assists with lymph flow that’s important for healthy blood flow.
6. Go Meatless
A meatless diet is one of the best ways to reduce your risk for chronic disease, with more and more people realizing the benefits this has on our health for the short and long-term. Meat is acidic to the blood and leads to clogged arteries, diabetes and cancer. If you need some help going meatless, we’ve got plenty of tips to help you out.
7. Manage Your Stress
Managing your stress is important for a healthy circulatory system because stress can cause an imbalance in hormones, make the body acidic, and can harm your heart as a result. Headaches, digestive problems, and even more serious issues like heart attacks all happen from chronic stress. Yoga improves blood flow, along with walking, rebounding, and other easy-on-your-joints exercises. These low-key activities help reduce stress due to the way the affect the central nervous system and lower cortisol in the body.
We want to help you keep your heart as healthy as possible. Here are some recommended readings you might enjoy that will also benefit your blood further:
- Want to Know the Key to Long Term Health? It May Be Fiber!
- Heart Meds vs. Plant-based Diets: Which Comes Out on Top?
- 10 Nutrient-Dense Foods for Your Heart
- 10 Food You Should Prep and Refrigerate to Eat Healthy All Week
- Stressed Out? These 5 Plant-Based Foods Can Help
- Why Seeds are Nature’s Farmacy for Health
Don’t forget to check out all our recipes if you need ideas for meal prep and how to eat a more heart-healthy diet.
Lead Image Source: Gemma/Flickr