Foods to Improve Blood Circulation

Updated April 17, 2017

Nutrition plays a key role in the blood's circulatory system. A balanced diet that incorporates a variety of lean meats, vegetables and herbs is the surest way to promote healthy blood circulation. A few "super" foods, however, help to boost the body's ability to break down foods that cause poor circulation and improve blood flow.


Garlic is one of the most well-known foods used to combat or prevent a range of health problems. According to the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH), scientific studies have supported claims that garlic works to treat heart and blood system conditions, including high cholesterol, coronary heart disease, hardening of the arteries, heart attack and high blood pressure. Researchers report that garlic improves circulation by decreasing blood pressure as much as 8 per cent. A chemical produced by garlic --- Allicin --- not only gives garlic a strong odour, but also generates garlic's health benefits. Add garlic to a variety of pastas, casseroles, pizza and other foods. Fresh garlic contains the most amount of Allicin, but minced and dried garlic also contain the chemical.

Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper has long been a remedy used for certain health ailments, including poor blood circulation. Cayenne pepper contains the chemical, capsaicin, which not only contributes to the pepper's spicy taste, but also assists the body in breaking down other foods that impede blood flow. Cayenne pepper is eaten raw or cooked, but most commonly crushed and dried into a powder form. As a spice, it is often added to dishes with Central and South American influence --- where cayenne pepper originated as a shrub.

Lean Protein-rich Foods

Lean protein-rich foods including milk, eggs, chicken, beef, fish, beans and green vegetables contain Vitamin B3, or Niacin, which naturally assist with blood circulation. As a water-soluble vitamin, however, the body does not store leftover amounts but instead eliminates them through urine. To receive full benefits of the vitamin, people need a continuous supply of these vitamin B3-rich foods in their diets.

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About the Author

Stephanie Gaughen holds a bachelor's degree in news-editorial journalism from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. She has worked as a photojournalist and copy editor at two regional daily newspapers, and as a corporate communications writer.