​Foods to help with poor circulation

Feb 16 2022

​Foods to help with poor circulation

Poor circulation can be caused by a number of factors, from high cholesterol and being overweight to a circulatory complaint such as Raynaud’s. Some of the most common symptoms of poor circulation include tingling and numbness, cold hands and feet, muscle cramps and brain fog. Can what you eat really make a difference to your circulation? We certainly think so! Here are five of our favourite foods that may help to keep your blood flowing freely.

Cayenne Pepper

It might be best known for its bite but cayenne pepper , like other hot chilli peppers, gets its spicy flavour from a plant compound called capsaicin.

Capsaicin promotes blood flow to tissues by stimulating the release of nitric oxide and other vasodilators — or compounds that help expand your blood vessels. Vasodilators allow blood to flow more easily through your veins and arteries by relaxing the tiny muscles found in blood vessel walls.

Research shows that consuming cayenne pepper can increase circulation, improve blood vessel strength and reduce plaque build-up in arteries over time [1].

Ginger

Ginger is used in all sorts of dishes from stir fries and curries, to marinades and jam. You can also drink it grated or sliced in ginger tea, and then there’s ginger beer. It’s a great winter warmer but its culinary prowess is just half the story. Research shows that ginger can also lower blood pressure and improve circulation [2].

Garlic

Garlic can also be used to support healthy circulation and lower cholesterol. When incorporating into your diet, try to eat it as raw as possible to preserve its active compounds. A garlic supplement like Jan de Vries Hawthorn-Garlic Complex can also help.

Ginkgo

One of the oldest known plants on earth with records dating back to 3000 BC, Ginkgo biloba can be used to help maintain a healthy circulation and blood flow. Try diluting 15 drops of A.Vogel Ginkgo biloba Drops in a little water three times a day or take two Ginkgo biloba tablets twice daily. Do bear in mind that Ginkgo may not be compatible with certain prescription drugs. Check with your GP first if on prescribed medication.

Turmeric

The subject of ongoing research, this so called ‘golden root’ owes its health-promoting properties to a chemical compound called curcumin, which has been found to increase nitric oxide production, reduce oxidative stress and decrease inflammation.

One recent study found that taking 2000mg of curcumin daily for 12 weeks led to a 37% increase in forearm blood flow and a 36% increase in upper arm blood flow [3]. Other studies suggest that curcumin may also have beneficial effects on factors known to contribute to heart disease.

There are lots of creative ways to incorporate turmeric into your diet, but it is worth noting that most studies carried out on curcumin involve relatively high doses exceeding 1g a day, which would be difficult to source from food alone. It is also poorly absorbed if not consumed with black pepper, or piperine. So whilst a turmeric latte might be delicious, a turmeric supplement will help to ensure you are getting enough. There are lots to choose from including our own Jan de Vries Turmeric with BioPerine .

It’s probably fine, BUT…

Many individuals never see their doctor about their symptoms because they think always feeling cold is just part of their genetic makeup. If you do feel the cold more than most you’re probably fine, but you should see your GP to rule out any potential underlying health complaints linked to poor circulation.


[1] Capsaicinoids Modulating Cardiometabolic Syndrome Risk Factors: Current Perspectives (nih.gov)

[2] 133: THE EFFECT OF ZINGIBER OFFICINALE (GINGER) ON HYPERTENSION; A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW OF RANDOMISED CONTROLLED TRIALS (nih.gov)

[3] Curcumin supplementation improves vascular endothelial function in healthy middle-aged and older adults by increasing nitric oxide bioavailability and reducing oxidative stress (nih.gov)