If you have poor circulation, you may experience symptoms such as cold hands and feet, dry skin, a blueish color to the skin on your legs, and cramps, pain, numbness, and tingling in your extremities. Men may experience erectile dysfunction, and those with diabetes could see wounds healing at a slower rate. Let’s look at what causes bad circulation and some easy ways to improve circulation issues.
What Causes Bad Circulation?
Your circulatory system includes your heart, veins, arteries, and lungs. It is responsible for transporting oxygen and nutrients via your blood to your cells and removing waste products, such as carbon dioxide. If the blood flow around this system is slow, you may experience symptoms of poor circulation.
Slower circulation naturally happens with age, and it is also associated with specific health issues, such as diabetes, heart conditions, obesity, peripheral artery disease, varicose veins, and blood clots. As you can see, poor circulation can be a symptom of a more severe health condition, so you should always get yourself checked out by a doctor to rule out any serious issues.
If your cold extremities are not caused by any of the above conditions, and you feel you just have a bit of a sluggish circulatory system, you can do some simple things at home to improve your body’s circulation.
Foods That Improve Circulation
Improving your diet will aid your slow circulation. Cut out animal products as they contain saturated fats and cholesterol that clog your arteries preventing proper blood flow, raising blood pressure, and increasing your risk of heart disease. Reducing your salt intake will also decrease your risk of high blood pressure and heart issues.
Additionally, make sure you consume foods that improve circulation, including:
- Spices like chili peppers, cayenne, turmeric, and ginger
- Red and purple fruits, especially berries, pomegranates, and red grapes
- Omega-3 rich foods such as walnuts, flax and chia seeds, and oily fish
- Red beets
- Fresh garlic
- Citrus fruits and other high vitamin C content plants like peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and leafy greens
3 More Ways to Improve Circulation
1: Stop Smoking
Quitting cigarettes is the very best thing you can do to improve your circulation and your overall health. The nicotine and chemicals in cigarette smoke damage your arteries and make it much harder for your blood to flow through. Your blood also becomes more viscous, adding to the problem.
2: Dry Body Brushing
This may sound strange, but it is actually very good for your circulation and your skin. A body brush is a rounded, stiff-bristled brush that you gently sweep over your skin in the direction of your heart. It exfoliates your skin, leaving it super soft, gets your circulation moving, and helps your body’s detoxification process by moving toxins through the lymphatic system.
3: Stay Hydrated
Your blood is 50% water. If you are dehydrated, your blood thickens, slowing down your circulation. Ensure you’re drinking 8-10 glasses of water a day.