Today we will talk about Jane. Jane’s hands and feet are always cold, and lately she’s been having muscle cramps. She is looking into ways to increase blood flow.
She didn’t want to, but her husband made her go to the doctor. Turns out, she has poor circulation due to her diabetes. While her treatments for diabetes help, her doctor suggested looking into other remedies as well.
What is poor circulation?
Poor circulation can happen with a few different conditions, including diabetes. It is also common with Peripheral artery disease (PAD), blood clots, varicose veins, obesity, and Raynaud’s disease.
Common symptoms include what Jane had been experiencing – cold hands and feet and muscle cramps. It can also cause tingling, numbness, throbbing or stinging pain, or pain in general.
In people with diabetes, the symptoms are similar, but have a few differences. For example, there may be no feeling of pain even with a sore or a cut. Injured feet in particular would have a decreased pain level.
Foods to Increase Bloodflow
There are many foods that are great for increasing blood flow. Jane already sticks to a Keto diet, which can help people with diabetes manage their blood sugar levels.
Cayenne pepper has capsaicin, which lowers blood pressure and stimulates the release of vasodilators. Cinnamon also can increase blood flow along with its many other health benefits. It can relax your blood vessels, improve circulation, and keep your heart healthy.
Onions can help widen your arteries and veins and have anti-inflammatory properties. Garlic is particularly well known for its ability to help circulation and heart healthy. Diets high in garlic are associated with better flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD), an indicator of blood flow efficiency.
Fatty fish are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which promote the release of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide dilates your blood vessels and increases blood flow. In a study of 10 men, high doses of fish oil significantly improved blood flow to the legs after exercise.
Tumeric has many health benefits, including increased blood flow. It increases nitric oxide production and decreases inflammation. Ginger can stimulate blood flow and will also boost your immune system.
Other Healthy Options to Increase Blood Flow
Leafy greens like spinach and collard greens have a lot of nitrates, which your body converts into nitric oxide. Walnuts are packed full of different compounds like l-arginine, alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), and vitamin E, all of which also stimulate production of nitric oxide. Just like fatty fish, this dilates your blood vessels and increases blood flow.
Pomegranates are great for increasing blood flow, but unfortunately these sweet fruits don’t work with Jane’s diet. The same problem occurs for citrus fruits, which can decrease inflammation. Fruits in general don’t work well with a Keto diet.
Beets are also good for nitrates, like leafy greens. Unfortunately, beets also don’t work well with Jane’s diet.
If you can’t get the foods you need, you can also use vitamin supplements and oils. You can get supplements for vitamin E, B vitamins, or iron, and you can buy Omega-3 fatty fish oils.
Finally, a great way to increase blood flow is to drink tea. Black and green teas have anti-oxidants which promote cardio vascular health and can improve circulation.
Teas in general will help with your blood flow, but you can buy specific teas which are good for heart health. For example, ginger was already mentioned as being good for your heart, and there are many ginger teas on the market.
Exercise is the best method to increase your circulation. When you exercise, your blood vessels dilate. This increases blood flow.
All you need is 30 minutes of exercise to help you maintain healthy blood flow. This is especially important for people who sit all day at a desk for work.
Exercise is also great in that it will help you maintain or control your weight. Overweight people are more likely to have circulation problems.
If you have trouble exercising, consider beginning with yoga. Yoga is a low-impact exercise and is easy to modify for beginners. It can also help with stress levels, which we will discuss below.
Yoga is also wonderful in that it puts the body in various positions that can help increase blood flow to certain areas of the body. For example, the downward-facing dog position helps improve circulation by putting the hips and heart above the head, allowing gravity to help increase blood flow towards the head.
Collagen helps increase blood flow in the body. It is one factor of maintaining healthy blood flow, as shown in this study. There are many different types of collagen supplements, including NutriXen multi-collagen protein powder and collagen pills.
Powders like this are easy and convenient as you can eat, drink, or cook with it. Mix it into a shake, smoothie, or yogurt. Bake it into bread or add it to a stew.
The NutriXen multi-collagen protein powder is particularly good for Jane because it works with the Keto diet that she sticks to.
First thing: Stop smoking. If you smoke and have poor circulation, stop immediately.
Honestly, you should stop smoking anyway. There are far too many cons over pros when it comes to smoking.
Add to all those that smoking causes the blood vessels to constrict. Constricted blood vessels means that less blood can flow through them.
Stress can often be a factor in poor circulation. When the body experiences stress, the blood vessels constrict. This is part of why heart attacks usually occur during periods of extreme stress.
Learning to manage your stress is a good step in helping to increase blood flow. In order to manage your stress, consider getting a massage.
Massages can help with stress management, but they can also help to improve circulation. In addition, many massage therapists will use essential oils during the massage. Some essential oils improve blood flow, such as rosemary, sage, and juniper.
If you have poor circulation, drinking enough water is an important to increase blood flow. Blood has a very high water content and requires lots of water to maintain proper circulation.
Jane is trying all of these things to help increase blood flow. She’s already feeling a bit better, even though her feet are still usually cold.