Foods to increase blood circulation

Updated May 10, 2017

Poor blood circulation is related to conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and varicose veins. Increased blood circulation, which can improve health, is influenced by blood flow, as well as strong, flexible veins and arteries. Some foods contain specific nutrients that have been linked to improved blood circulation through increasing blood flow and strengthening the walls of the cardiovascular system. The National Health Services say that circulation issues and blockages can contribute to conditions as diverse as cardiovascular disease and organ failure.

Foods with Vitamin C

According to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University in the U.S., vitamin C is important in the structure of blood vessels which can influence blood circulation. In addition, a study published in the May 2004 issue of the "Journal of Clinical Investigation" found that vitamin C improved blood flow in persons with type 2 diabetes.

Oranges and other citrus fruits are known for their vitamin C content. However, while these foods do provide vitamin C, there are other foods that have higher vitamin C contents. These include guava and red peppers. Other sources of vitamin C include kiwi, green peppers, strawberries, tomatoes, cantaloupe melons and Brussels sprouts.

Foods with rutin

According to integrative physician Andrew Weil, rutin, a type of bioflavonoid, is known for maintaining strong and flexible capillaries, which leads to its association with improved blood circulation. It may also reduce blood pressure and cholesterol. Rutin is found in several foods, including the bran of the grain buckwheat. Buckwheat can be found in the form of flour, and is also a component of Japanese soba noodles. Rutin can also be found in asparagus, citrus fruits and in the peel of apples.

Foods with anthocyanins

Anthocyanins are substances found in fruits and vegetables that contribute a dark red, purple or blue colour. According to an editorial in the "Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology", anthocyanins are believed to improve blood circulation. Research has also shown that anthocyanins may reduce blood pressure and have anti-inflammatory properties. Dark-coloured berries such as blueberries, blackberries, red raspberries and strawberries contain anthocyanins. Another benefit for blood circulation is that berries are also rich in vitamin C. Anthocyanins can also be found in the skin of aubergines and red or purple plums.

Foods with Vitamin E

According to the National Institutes of Health in the U.S., vitamin E plays a role in a series of reactions in the body that can result in the dilation of blood vessels. In addition, the vitamin may prevent the formation of blood clots associated with heart attacks. Vitamin E is found in nuts such as almonds and hazelnuts, as well as in peanut butter. Wheat germ, sunflower seeds and dark, leafy greens such as turnip greens also contain vitamin E.

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About the Author

Lori Rice is a freelance health and travel writer. As an avid traveler and former expat, she enjoys sharing her experiences and tips with other enthusiastic explorers. Rice received a master's degree in nutritional sciences and a bachelor’s degree in nutrition, fitness and health.