How to improve your circulation?
Circulation and health
Circulation in the context of health describes the process of sending nutrients and resources necessary for survival through the body. Therefore, having poor circulation isn’t just an inconvenience where your feet and hands are cold, it can imply much more serious health issues happening in the body.
While circulation isn’t a medical condition on its own, it is a symptom that reveals a lot about blood flow, which impacts oxygen and nutrient delivery to tissues and cells. Additionally, healthy circulation improves the rate of healing, affects the immune system, boosts cognitive function, promotes skin complexion, and maintains a robust cardiovascular system.
Signs of poor circulation
Here are some common signs that point to poor circulation:
-coldness in extremities
-frequent muscle tension or cramps
-throbbing or stinging pain, especially in the limbs
-decrease in energy
-in severe cases, it can lead to organ dysfunctions (e.g. erectile dysfunction)
It’s important to know that there are many possible causes for poor circulation in the body, so treatment approaches vary depending on the case.
How to improve circulation
Working out our muscles through movement and exercise, especially cardiovascular training
Exercise, even if it’s lower impact and lower intensity, increases blood flow and heart rate, which helps to promote circulation throughout the body and even for the brain. (1) A 2019 journal found that exercise improves acute wound healing and walking specifically promotes lower limb circulation. (2)
Eat more foods containing omega 3 fatty acids
This essential fatty acid cannot be manufactured in the body and must be obtained through dietary sources. It can be found in flax seeds, chia seeds, fatty fish, and omega 3 eggs. Omega-3 fats inhibit blood clot formation, which can block blood flow, by preventing the platelets in your blood from clumping together. (3) Additionally, they promote the dilation of blood vessels for the blood to easily flow by supporting the release of nitric oxide. (4)
Drinking enough water and having a healthy electrolyte balance keep your body in a hydrated state. And this impacts your circulation as water makes up 90% of your blood, and dehydration is associated with increased inflammation in the body in response to cellular damage. This consequently also restricts blood flow. (5)
If you struggle with drinking enough water because it doesn’t taste good to you, try adding a teaspoon of R’s KOSO to your water. It infuses it with a pleasant plum sweetness as well as a dose of probiotic and prebiotic nutrients — both of which are great for optimizing your gut flora.
While the research between circulation and gut health is still not very strong, there are interesting associations found between poor gut health or gut dysbiosis and our metabolism and inflammation levels, which could possibly be an indicator of ischemic stroke and poor circulation. (6)
As we wait for higher-quality research to be published, it certainly doesn’t hurt to take good care of your gut health!
Keren Chen | CBT Nutritionist
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