Exercise and diet are critical factors for improved blood flow, but did you know there are certain foods specifically linked to better vascular health? Today we share five foods from our friends over at MindBodyGreen that vascular biologist William Li, M.D. links to better circulation and blood flow.
- Tea. Green tea helps protect the endothelial lining of blood vessels and has been associated with lower rates of coronary heart disease. Black tea has also been shown to improve blood vessel health.
- Omega-3s. These healthy fatty acids serve to protect blood vessel linings and reduce platelet aggregation which can lead to blood clots.
- Cruciferous vegetables. Among their many benefits, these veggies help to protect the lining of blood vessels and spinach releases nitric oxide which reduces blood pressure, improves flow, and relaxes blood vessels. Other great cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, and arugula.
- Beets. This red earthy root is rich in natural nitrates and in one study, drinking just 16 ounces of fresh beet juice each day significantly reduced blood pressure in healthy participants.
- Dark chocolate. This delicious treat not only tastes great but also has polyphenols that improve your circulation. It also helps release nitric oxide to lower blood pressure.
Genetics, lifestyle, and diet all influence circulation and vessel health, but if you’re looking to give your blood flow an extra boost, try incorporating these vessel-friendly foods into your diet.