If “health is wealth,” then having good blood circulation is one of the most valuable ways to support a long, healthy, vigorous life, and avoid unplanned visits to the doctor or hospital.
However, while many people grasp the monumental importance of good blood circulation, they’re much less enthusiastic about taking medication towards that end. Indeed, given some of the side effects — including the unknown or well established ones – it’s understandable why more people are just saying no to blood circulation drugs.
Fortunately, there are a variety of 100% medication-free ways to help improve blood circulation. Here are 10 simple and practical strategies to consider:
- Limit your intake of refined carbohydrates and damaged fats (such as saturated and trans fats). This may be a struggle at first (especially when you realize just how many tasty foods contain excessive amounts of both!), but in less time than you think you’ll feel better and your body will thank you for the support.
- Gently massage the soft depression at the back of your knees. You can do this at home, at work, on a flight, or anywhere else. Remember not to exert too much pressure; you want to improve circulation, not bruise yourself!
- If you’re a smoker, you can kick the habit with your doctor’s help. According to Health Canada, ex-smokers enjoy improved blood circulation and lung functioning in 2-12 weeks.
- Boost your diet with citrus fruits, which are high in Vitamin C – a natural blood thinner. Plus, Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant, which can help prevent retinopathy (damage to the retina) and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Foods that offer plenty of Vitamin C include grapefruit, oranges, strawberries, papaya, kiwis and tangerines.
- Go nuts…and seeds! Both of them deliver a powerful dose of Vitamin E, which helps prevent blot clotting. And just like Vitamin C, Vitamin E is a well-known antioxidant, which protects against free radical damage. Nuts and seeds that are rich in Vitamin E include almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and walnuts.
- Many people also point (no pun intended!) to acupuncture as a great way to help improve blood circulation. Specifically, the acupuncture point known as “Bladder 40,” which is located in the right popliteal fossa (a.k.a. “the knee pit”) is considered to be the place to start.
- Simple, gentle and non-aerobic exercise can also be your blood’s best friend. Try sitting or lying on your back, with your legs comfortably resting on a foam roller. In fact, simply being in this position is beneficial, as the force of gravity pushing will gently push your popliteal fossae down against the foam roller. To take things up a notch, try raising your feet very slightly off the ground. You can also use your arms to slightly and painlessly lift your buttocks off the ground.
- Spice up your life by adding cayenne and tumeric to some of your favorite dishes. Both of these culinary spices have anti-inflammatory, anti oxidant and blood-thinning properties. Just be sure not to use too much – they can pack quite a spicy punch!
- As long as kissing isn’t in the cards, add garlic and onions to your diet. Both of them can help prevent plaque from building-up in the artery walls, thin the blood and improve circulation. Or if onions and garlic aren’t preferable, try other foods from the bulb group such as radishes and leeks.
- Meditation is also gaining scientific credence as a safe and effective way to improve heart health and blood circulation. Researchers at UCLA’s Almanson-Lovelace Brain Mapping Center studied ten meditators, and through MRI scans found that they all benefited from improved blood flow to the brain during and even after meditation.
So there it is: 10 strategies to improve blood circulation without medication. Explore each one to put yourself on the road to a healthy, vigorous life. Because as they say, health is wealth – and in that sense, your goal in life is to be as rich as possible!
Naturally, you should never dramatically change your diet or start exercising without consulting with your primary health care provider.
Sources used in this article:
Livestrong (Lance Armstrong Foundation): http://www.livestrong.com/article/76214-foods-improve-blood-circulation/#ixzz1txFRPX1