Many people find themselves researching the foods, herbs, vitamins and minerals that affect their health. If you’re someone who is very concerned about your own genetics—for example, if the family history includes anything from cancer to diabetes to high cholesterol levels. Since many of these problems came about because of poor personal habits, environmental factors and food choices [1], it is important to stay mindful of my own health by eating well and exercising when possible. Let’s explore the benefits of eating foods that can improve your circulatory system, and a few foods to avoid.

Blood circulation and its importance?

Through blood circulation, blood moves through our bodies. It is a complex system involving many different organs and tissues. The body’s blood vessels constantly feed oxygen and nutrients to the heart, lungs, brain, muscles, kidneys and other cells in the body.

Proper blood circulation is important for maintaining a healthy lifestyle [2] because it helps deliver nutrients to our cells and remove waste products. This helps us feel more energized throughout the day and also avoid common health problems like high blood pressure or diabetes.

There are three main parts to proper blood circulation: arteries, veins and capillaries. An artery [3] is part of an organ such as your heart or your brain; it carries oxygenated blood away from these organs to the rest of your body via smaller arteries called veins [4] which are found elsewhere in your body, such as your arms or legs where they carry deoxygenated (oxygen poor) blood back towards those same organs again via larger veins known as capillaries [5] which only have extremely thin walls allowing very little space between them. Hence there isn’t much room for anything else.

The body’s circulatory system transports oxygen, nutrients and other substances from the heart and lungs to cells throughout the body by means of arteries, while removing waste products through veins. If any area of whole circulatory system is impaired, you could experience symptoms such as:

Swelling in the feet, ankles, or legs

Tingling & numbness in the hands and feet

Difficulty concentrating

Memory loss


Aching, heaviness, restlessness in the legs

Muscle cramping

Leg ulcers

Varicose veins

You can promote healthy circulation by eating more fruits and vegetables, drinking more water, and exercising regularly. Here are ten foods that may help improve blood circulation and have a better flow.

Top foods to increase blood circulation!


Garlic is more than just an incredible seasoning. It can also help protect your body against disease while lowering your blood pressure. Scientists have discovered that garlic contains a compound called allicin, which can cause the muscles of your heart and arteries to relax and open wider, allowing more blood to flow through them. If you take 1,200 mg of allicin twice daily for three months, you will experience at least 50% boost in blood flow. Also, who can argue that garlic makes virtually any dish better? Dig in to learn some more benefits! [6, 7]


Although many people think capsaicin makes a cayenne pepper hot, it is a vasodilator that helps lower blood pressure and expands blood vessels due to its nitric oxide. Additionally, it can prevent plaque build-up in arteries. [8]


In ancient times, turmeric was used in Chinese medicine. Scientists have found that it helps improve circulation and dilate blood vessels. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, also helps increase nitric oxide production, reduce oxidative stress, and decrease inflammation [9, 10].


Ginger is an excellent addition to any kitchen pantry, as it not only adds great flavour to dishes but also helps improve circulation. Since thousands of years, the Indian and Chinese medicine has been integrating ginger to reduce high blood pressure. Consumed in 2-4 grams per day, ginger is recommended for anyone suffering from this condition [11].

Nuts and Walnuts

Nuts are packed with nutrients for instance, vitamin E and L-arginine, which work to promote your body’s production of nitric oxide. They contain high levels of amino acids as well as magnesium, potassium and calcium—nutrients that can help lower your blood pressure and reduce inflammation; two conditions associated with diabetes [12].


Luckily, citrus fruits are an integral part of our diet! Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons and grapefruit contain antioxidants and flavonoids. Consuming such flavonoid-rich fruits may decrease inflammation in your body, reducing stiffness while improving blood flow and nitric oxide production. In recent years, flavonoids can even help with varicose veins, reduce the risk of stroke, and improve cognitive functions [13].

Fatty fish

Fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, trout, sardines and herring, contain high omega-3 fatty acids. These fats—also known as n-3 fatty acids—release nitric oxide into your body, dilating your blood vessels and increasing blood flow. Omega-3 fats prevent blood clot formation and plaque build-up in the arteries; lower blood pressure; increase healthy HDL cholesterol; improve blood flow in skeletal muscle during and after exercise, and prevent bone loss due to osteoporosis [14].


Berries are not only delicious, but they can also be nutritious. Antioxidants found in berries such as blueberries, blackberries and cranberries contain anti-inflammatory properties, lower blood pressure, and improve circulation. Studies prove that berries can help reduce a person’s heart rate and open up arteries [15].


Beet juice may help widen arteries, lower blood pressure, and improve athletic endurance. Beet juice supplements can improve oxygen flow in muscle tissue, stimulate blood flow, increase nitric oxide levels and decrease blood vessel inflammation — all of which are important for athletes and everyone. Beet juice is rich in nitrates, which the body converts into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide can help relax and widen blood vessels and increase blood flow to working muscles [16]. Read here more about the cancer-fighting benefits of beet root!


Onions are a good source of flavonoid antioxidants and benefit heart health by dilating your arteries and veins. Anti-inflammatory properties in onions, combined with flavonoid antioxidants can also be linked to a reduction in inflammation in arteries and veins. Just like garlic, onions make just about every savoury dish taste better [17]!

Healthy recipes that incorporate these ingredients

Here are two great recipes for you to try. First, the citrus, onion and salmon dish; and second, the beet and walnut salad. These delicious meals include five of the 10 foods that help promote circulation. In addition to being tasty and healthy, these meals will help keep your blood moving! If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try some amazing recipe here.

Eating a balanced diet is important to maintain good health. However, some foods can negatively impact your circulation while others may provide benefits. The following is a short list of foods that you should avoid if you have circulatory concerns.


It is essential to have good circulation in your body. If you find that your circulation continues to be a concern despite best efforts, it’s best to schedule appointments with a vein specialist and your primary care physician. Until then, increase your cardiovascular exercise, drink more water, stay hydrated and balance these 10 important minerals. At Healing Oracle, we emphasise on healthy living as a habit, not just a hobby!

References and Sources:

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The Healing Oracle team is made up of a group of unpaid volunteers. Collectively we share the same interests and goals and comprise of decades of medical and holistic experience. 

Our mission is to spread our knowledge and experience of the medical world, from both sides of the so called divide between holistic and mainstream practices. There is good and bad on both sides and we hope to unite the best of both worlds.

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