Improving your blood circulation

Monday October 15 2018



Poor blood circulation can be exhibited in number of symptoms such as pain in the legs and feet, fatigue, aching and heavy legs, swollen ankles and feet, memory loss, cold limbs, numbness in certain parts of your body, frequent dizziness and headaches among others.

Prolonged poor blood circulation can lead to clotting and an unhealthy diet can lead to the arteries becoming clogged with fatty substances. The affected arteries narrow and harden which stops blood from flowing through them which may eventually lead to death.

Combined with daily physical exercise, the following foods according to Dr Francis Ssali, a freelance haematologist, can help improve blood circulation.

Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits such as lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruit are the best low sugar, anti-inflammatory foods. “Despite being acidic on the exterior of the body, they help in alkalising the body and are outstanding internal body cleansers because of their Vitamin C content,” Dr Ssali says.

He adds that citrus fruits are easy to digest so they are a good option for those sensitive to higher fructose fruits. They are natural blood thinners, strengthen capillary walls and prevent plaque build-up thereby warding off poor circulation.

Garlic is known to boost circulation beside its antiseptic and antibiotic effects. It lowers blood pressure for many people since it widens the blood vessels to allow blood to circulate more freely. According to Dr Ssali, garlic also makes blood platelets less likely to clump. Clumping is what causes clotting and thereafter strokes and heart attacks.

Drink water
Dr Ssali says you must drink a minimum of eight glasses of water per day. “Drinking water is the easiest and cheapest way to stay looking young and beautiful.

It hydrates and moisturises the skin so it looks radiant and healthy all the time. Warm water, rather than cold water is recommended because it helps break down food, aids constipation and improves blood circulation,” he says.

Watermelon contains an amino acid called L-citrulline which helps improve circulation and lowers systolic blood pressure. Tomatoes, pink grapefruit and apricots also contain lycopene and have a similar effect.

Green tea
Green tea has great medicinal value and known to improve the function of the cells that line the capillaries. Drinking green tea may reduce the risk of some diseases including cancer and heart disease. Drinking green tea on a daily basis may also protect persons with coronary artery narrowing and those who are at a risk of a stroke because it improves blood flow.

Tobacco, according to Dr Francis Ssali, a freelance haematologist, causes narrowing of blood vessels in the skin so blood cannot flow easily. It damages the lining of arteries, making them more likely to clog.

“Stretching improves blood flow and circulation, especially to the brain which improves your mental sharpness and focus. It also improves posture, especially for those who sit throughout the day,” he advises.