Your body’s circulation system is responsible for sending blood, oxygen, and nutrients throughout your body.
When blood flow to a specific part of your body is reduced, you may experience the symptoms of poor circulation. In this case, “cold feet and hands.”
It’s most common in your extremities, such as your legs and arms, nose or ears, where circulation is limited.
Poor circulation isn’t a condition in itself. Instead, it results from other health issues. The most common causes include obesity, diabetes, heart conditions, arterial issues and inactivity. via Healthline
How To Improve Circulation
The key to improving blood circulation is fixing your lifestyle. Increasing your physical activity will help your blood vessels maintain their flexibility and strength. In addition, exercising offers countless benefits:
- reduce stress
- boost happy hormones
- improve self-confidence
- prevent cognitive decline
- increase brainpower
- sharpen memory
While exercising is the best thing you can do, eating certain foods that keep your arteries clean and healthy can also help.
Eating garlic helps by improving your blood circulation and blood pressure (1).
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It prevents the formation of plaque buildup in the arteries, thus reducing the risk of atherosclerosis, a disease of the arteries characterized by the deposition of plaques of fatty material on the inner walls.
Water plays a key role in stimulating digestion, ensuring proper nutrient exchange in cells and keeping the body hydrated. It also keeps your blood pressure in check, which can get dangerously low during dehydration (2).
Studies suggest that ginger may lower cholesterol and help prevent blood from clotting. This can help treat heart disease prevent heart attack or stroke. Other studies suggest that ginger may help improve blood sugar control among people with type 2 diabetes (3).
4. Ginkgo Biloba
Laboratory studies have shown that ginkgo improves blood circulation by opening up blood vessels and making blood less sticky. Ginko Biloba contains both flavonoids and terpenoids (4).
Laboratory and animal studies show that flavonoids protect the nerves, heart muscle, blood vessels, and retina from damage. Terpenoids (such as ginkgolides) improve blood flow by dilating blood vessels and reducing the stickiness of platelets. via UniversityMarylandMedicalCenter
5. Fish Oil
Fish oil helps reduce triglyceride (blood fat) levels and lowers blood pressure, putting less strain on your cardiovascular system (5). Fish oil also acts as an anti-inflammatory, helping open blood vessels and increasing blood flow.
6. Cayenne Pepper
Capsaicin is being investigated for treating circulatory problems (particularly, heart disease from atherosclerosis or plaque coating the arteries) and reducing the risk of developing an irregular heart rhythm (6).
In addition, it alleviates symptoms linked to poor blood circulation, such as pain, headaches, cold feet and tingling sensations in the legs.
7. Horse Chesnut
Horse chestnut contains a substance that thins the blood. It makes it harder for fluid to leak out of veins and capillaries and weakly promotes fluid loss through the urine to help prevent water retention (7).
It can also reduce some symptoms of poor blood circulation, such as varicose veins, pain, tiredness, swelling in the legs, itching, and water retention.
Poor blood circulation is also a complication of being underweight or overweight, so make sure to tell your physician or dietitian if you experience cold extremities.