According to estimates, 1 in 4 adults in the U.S. over 50 years of age have varicose veins. This could be due to several factors including age, obesity, genetics, pregnancy, and more.
Varicose veins occur when the blood within the veins begins to flow backward and pool.
There are natural ways to help increase blood flow and help prevent these from forming. Compounds naturally found in food, especially those rich in vitamins and antioxidants can help lower blood pressure, increase circulation, strengthen vein walls and fight obesity.
In the next few paragraphs, you will learn about 7 of the best foods for vascular health.
Beets are known as a superfood. For a food to be classified as a superfood, it must be nutrient-dense and beneficial for your health.
Beets contain nitrates which get converted into nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide is used to promote blood flow and circulation. They also contain betacyanin which is naturally found in plants and gives beets their reddish-purple color.
Betacyanin is a nitrogen-containing pigment that ultimately gets converted into nitric oxide to promote blood flow.
According to a study done on healthy older adults, drinking 140ML of nitrate-rich beetroot juice helped lower systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial blood pressure.
Pomegranates are also rich in nitrates and antioxidants. One of the major compounds in pomegranates is called polyphenols. Pomegranates are one of the best foods that increase blood flow.
Polyphenols are naturally occurring compounds found in plants that are full of antioxidants. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals in the body, which are potentially harmful to your cells. There are over 8,000 types of polyphenols, and they have been known for their many health benefits when included in the diet.
There have been many studies done to show the effectiveness of using pomegranate to help increase blood flow and reduce inflammation.
In one study, 19 men and women were randomly assigned to either a placebo or pomegranate extract. The participants had to perform on a treadmill to determine peak velocity or the maximum oxygen intake.
The results: Blood flow was significantly greater in the group that took the pomegranate extract. Also, vessel diameter was significantly larger and the pomegranate extract delayed fatigue during the workout.
Garlic is known for its many benefits to heart health and circulation. Many experts believe that this is due to its sulfur compounds.
Garlic contains about 33 sulfur compounds. One of the more researched compounds is called allicin. Allicin is produced when garlic is cut up, from the amino acid allicin and the enzyme allicinase combining.
Allicin is known for its many benefits to heart health. There have been studies done to show its effectiveness in lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.
In a study done on patients with coronary heart disease, the patients were given garlic powder or a placebo twice daily for 3 months. After the 3 months were up the patients were re-evaluated. The results showed that the group taking the garlic powder had 50.7% more artery dilations than the group given the placebo.
Salmon is one of the best sources of omega-3 you can eat. Omega-3 is a fatty acid that has many health benefits including reducing blood pressure and cholesterol. It also helps fight inflammation, which could lead to many diseases.
The reason omega-3 is so critical for your health is that the typical western diet includes a lot of fried food containing omega-6. It is important to have a good ratio of omega-3 to omega-6. The ideal ratio is between 1:2 to 1:4. The average ratio today is 16:1, causing many health problems.
Fish oil supplements are also a great way to increase your omega-3 intake. These supplements have been shown to reduce blood pressure while also increasing circulation.
In a study done on the benefits of fish oil supplements, 10 healthy males were given 4.2 grams of fish oil for 4 weeks. The results showed that resting arterial blood flow significantly increased post-exercise while taking fish oil supplements.
Salmon is also a great source of vitamin E, which has been linked to a lower risk of developing coronary heart disease.
5. Leafy Greens
Including leafy greens such as spinach and collard greens has been shown to improve blood flow while reducing blood pressure.
Dark, leafy greens are high in nitrates, which have been shown to improve circulation. They are also rich in vitamin C that has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease by reducing bad cholesterol.
They are also high in fiber. Fiber has been shown to lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, and obesity.
In a study done to show the health benefits of vegetables containing high nitrates, participants were given spinach containing 845 mg of nitrates. The results suggest that the nitrates from spinach have the potential to be used as a treatment for patients with elevated blood pressure.
Walnuts contain many beneficial compounds including l-arginine, alpha-lipoic acid, and vitamin e.
L-arginine is an essential amino acid that helps promote blood flow by releasing nitric oxide. Research shows that l-arginine helps in reducing blood pressure and treating heart disease.
Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is a powerful antioxidant that is found naturally in our diets. ALA helps reduce inflammation, protect cellular health and also helps protect against cardiovascular disease.
A study was done on mice to show the benefits walnuts had on blood pressure and circulation. The results show that the walnuts had profound benefits on blood pressure and insulin sensitivity.
7. Cayenne Pepper
Anyone who has tried cayenne pepper knows how spicy it can be. This spice is very beneficial and comes from a compound found in cayenne pepper called capsaicin.
Capsaicin is a neuropeptide releasing agent that is believed to lower blood pressure and promote circulation.
In a study done on pigs, capsaicin was shown to help dilate the coronary arteries. The dilation of the arteries helps promote blood flow and increases circulation.
For More Information on Foods That Increase Blood Flow
These are 7 of the very best foods that increase blood flow. The benefits have been known to help fight vein disease and promote healthy circulation.
If you or someone you know has varicose veins, spider veins, or any type of vein disease, contact us, and we can help. Most vein treatments are covered by insurance.