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Have you ever heard of vasodilators medication? Vasodilators are medicines given to heart patients to open up their blood vessels. Your oxygen-filled blood cannot flow in the body if the blood vessels are too weak or narrow. The simple act of smoking can make your blood vessels weak. This is just one of the many reasons behind poor blood circulation in the body. According to National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA, peripheral artery disease (PAD), diabetes, obesity and Raynaud’s disease can also cause poor blood circulation. Symptoms of reduced blood flow are muscle cramps, numbness, pain, digestive disorder and coldness in the hands and feet. Athletes and other active individuals often treat their circulatory issues with medications, but there are a few food items that can also improve a person’s blood circulation.
Pomegranate: Pomegranate fruit is rich in polyphenol antioxidants and nitrates, which aid proper blood flow by improving the oxygenation of muscle tissue. According to a study in the National Institute of Health (NIH), USA, eating 1,000 mg of pomegranate, 30 minutes before working out showed increased signs of blood flow, widening of blood vessel diametre and improved exercise performance.
Onions: Filled with flavonoid antioxidants, studies have shown that onion improves blood flow by helping your arteries and veins widen when blood flow increases. According to a study in NIH, eating 4.3 grams of onion daily after meals can significantly improve a person’s artery dilation and thus the blood flow. Onions also have anti-inflammatory properties, which can benefit heart health by reducing inflammation in the blood vessels.
Garlic: Sulfur compounds such as allicin found in garlic has been linked with reducing blood pressure in an individual by relaxing the veins and arteries. According to NIH, people who consumed garlic tablets with 1,200 mg of allicin twice a day for three months straight, showed 50 per cent improvement in their blood flow.
Too much fish: Some fish like swordfish, mackerel and certain varieties of tuna contain high levels of mercury. Eating too much of this fish may lead to high levels of mercury in your body which can lead to hair loss. Canned light tuna, salmon, and shrimp contain less mercury, according to the FDA.
Tomatoes: Research by NIH have shown that tomato extract can open up the blood vessels in the body, which leads to improved blood flow. According to NIH, tomatoes reduce the activity of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) in the body. ACE is an enzyme which gathers in the blood vessels and can easily fluctuate a person’s blood pressure.