Can Your Diet Improve Circulation?

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Bowl of spinach, chicken, and cranberry salad: food to improve circulation.

There are more ways to improve the circulation in your body than just exercising or how you dress. In fact, one way to improve circulation that is rarely touched on is by the foods you eat. There are a number of foods, vitamins, and other nutrients that offer some sort of benefit to your body’s circulation. Here are 10 examples of foods that improve circulation.

First, a Little About Circulation

 Circulation is a bodily process which plays a major role in your body’s overall ability to circulate. When someone refers to circulation, they mean the process of blood flowing throughout the veins in your body from your heart and into all the other organs, arteries, and blood vessels, before returning to the heart.

Blood flow also plays a role in the creation of oxygen within the body, which is also important for cells and organs, as it will allow your body to create any necessary hormones and nutrients that will keep your body in top shape.

 When your body does not circulate blood well, it can lead to a number of different health problems. This is why it is important to do anything you can to keep circulation high. You do this through exercise, weight management, not smoking, and even the foods that you eat.

Vitamin-E Rich Foods

Close up of green and purple lettuce: rich in vitamin E it helps circulation.

Vitamin-E is a fat-soluble vitamin similar to in that it helps to dilate blood vessels to increase blood flow. This makes adding more Vitamin-E containing foods to your diet so beneficial. Luckily, Vitamin-E can be found in a number of different types of foods, making it easy to add more to your diet. This includes foods such as:

  • Sunflower and pumpkin seeds
  • Olives
  • Leafy greens such as spinach

Foods Containing Omega-3

A plate of fish with a lemon: rich in omega-3, it helps circulation.
Omega-3 are important because they help to stimulate blood flow and can break down blood clots. Luckily, fish are not the only Omega-3 containing foods. Besides being found in fish such as salmon and herring, Omega-3 can be found in avocado, flax and chia seeds, and more.

Citrus Fruits High in Vitamin C

A half of an orange splashing with juice: rich in vitamin C, it helps circulation.
Citrus fruits are considered to be natural blood thinners. But, they also seem to strengthen capillary walls, which is one of the many ways that blood is circulated through the body. Another great benefit of citrus is that they can help prevent the buildup of plaque, which is one of the leading causes of blood clots and poor circulation. But check with your doctor first, as some citrus can react badly with certain medications.

Garlic and Other Bulb Foods

A pile of garlic bulbs: one of the foods that help to improve circulation.
Garlic may make your breath smell awful, but it tastes great. Luckily, it is one of the great foods that can help improve your circulation. It does this through preventing plaque buildup, like citrus, but also through cleansing the blood. Other blue foods that do these things? Radishes, onions, and leeks all come from the same category- so be sure to have these in your kitchen.

Any Kind of Nuts

A walnut and chestnut on a table: foods that help to improve circulation.
Nuts sometimes seem like the most underrated food on the market, but the truth is they are jam-packed with all sorts of vitamins and nutrients that are good for your overall body health, but especially your circulation. Nuts such as almonds, peanuts, walnuts, and many more are great additions to any diet. These nuts are rich in things such as:

  • Vitamin-E
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  • L-Arginine which, like Vitamin-E, helps blood vessels to dilate and increase blood flow.

Foods Rich in Lycopene

Three slices of watermelon on a plate: foods that help to improve circulation.
Lycopene is a naturally occurring antioxidant that gives certain foods a reddish color. It has been linked to improving circulation through the body and also helps to reduce the risk of developing a number of other health conditions. When looking for foods containing Lycopene, look for:

  • Watermelon
  • Pink grapefruit
  • Apricots
  • Tomatoes


“Nuts sometimes seem like the most underrated food on the market, but the truth is they are jam-packed with all sorts of vitamins and nutrients that are good for your overall body health, but especially your circulation.”

 Ginkgo Biloba Supplements

 Ginkgo Biloba plant: a food that helps improve circulation.
Ginkgo Bilboa is not actually a food, but an extremely popular supplement that is said to increase blood flow to the brain and improve memory. Like many foods on this list, it does this through the dilation of blood vessels, which allows for blood to flow more readily through the body. Before beginning to take a Ginkgo Biloba supplement, you should talk to your doctor to make sure it is a good option for you.

Ginger Root

A pile of whole ginger: a food that helps to improve circulation.
Ginger is said to help with everything from nausea to preventing certain forms of cancer. But, it is also known to help increase a person’s blood circulation. Luckily, there are a number of ways to eat ginger: you can put it in your food, make it into a tea, or if you are feeling particularly daring, you can eat it raw.

Cayenne Pepper

Bowl of ground cayenne pepper: a food that helps to improve circulation.
For those that like a kick to their food, you are in luck. While not too spicy, cayenne pepper has a number of health benefits, including being able to improve circulation. This pepper can strengthen your blood vessels and arteries. For the best results, you should either eat it raw or juice it.

Dark Chocolate… Really!

A plate with chunks of dark chocolate: a food that helps to improve circulation.
You probably have heard the health benefits of dark chocolate before, but did you know it can help with circulation?  A study from the Circulation Journal noted that because it is rich in naturally occurring flavonoids, it is great for your circulation So do not be afraid of that piece of dark chocolate, it is good for you!

Contact one of our vein specialists and get informed on vein disease.

There are so many foods that can help not just improve your health, but your body’s overall circulation. Next time you are in the grocery store, keep your eye open for some of the foods on the list to give them a try. But, make sure your doctor approves first- some of these may interact negatively if you take certain kinds of medications, like anything for your blood pressure.


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