You might associate better blood flow with exercise - understandable, as movement quite literally gets your heart pumping and helps deliver oxygen and nutrients throughout your body. But did you know there are certain foods specifically linked to better vascular health?
Vascular biologist William Li, M.D., writing in MindBodyGreen, provides five recommendations. Of course, genetics, lifestyle, and diet all influence circulation and vessel health, but if you’re looking to give your blood flow an extra boost, try incorporating these vessel-friendly foods into your diet. And the really good news? One of them is dark chocolate!
Tea. Green tea helps protect the endothelial lining of blood vessels and has been associated with lower rates of coronary heart disease. Black tea has also been shown to improve blood vessel health.
Omega-3s. These healthy fatty acids serve to protect blood vessel linings and reduce platelet aggregation which can lead to blood clots. "Healthy omega-3 fatty acids are really helpful for protecting your blood vessel linings," Li explains. Think walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, as well as fatty fish like salmon and sardines - these can all help keep your blood vessels nice and supple.
Cruciferous vegetables. Among their many benefits, theys help to protect the lining of blood vessels and spinach releases nitric oxide which reduces blood pressure, improves flow, and relaxes blood vessels. Other great cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, and arugula (aka rocket).
Beetroot. This red earthy wonder-food is rich in natural nitrates and drinking a glass of fresh beet juice each day significantly reduces blood pressure.
Dark chocolate. This delicious treat not only tastes great but also has polyphenols that improve your circulation. It also helps release nitric oxide to lower blood pressure.
Choosing healthy whole foods as snacks instead of refined carbohydrates (like cake and cookies) has positive health benefits and helps maintain energy throughout the day, says Medical News Today. More...