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Foods for circulation


Some foods combined with exercise, hydration, weight management, and not smoking, help to improve circulation.

Foods rich in natural compounds like polyphenols (anthocyanins), nitrates, omega-3 fatty acids, protect and support your circulatory tree. They are anti-inflammatory, keep the lining of your blood vessels smooth, relaxed, open, elastic and reduce the stickiness of the blood - all of which improves blood flow.

Cayenne Pepper

Chili pepper warms up your body as well as your food. It contains capsaicin a compound that has an anti-inflammatory effect on the blood vessels.


Your body can convert the nitrate in this root vegetable to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps to naturally relax your blood vessels and improve the flow of blood to your tissues and organs.


Anthocyanin is the pigment that gives berries their red and purple colour.

Fatty Fish

Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, trout, herring, and halibut are full of omega-3 fatty acids.


Walnuts are a plant alternative to fish. They are rich in alpha-linolenic acid, a type of omega-3 fatty acid, which may help smooth blood flow. One study found that eating walnuts regularly for 8 weeks improved blood vessel health, helped those vessels stay elastic, and brought down blood pressure.


Juicy pomegranate seeds are packed with nutrients that can boost your circulation.


It contains a sulfur compound called allicin that helps your blood vessels relax. Some studies show that people with a garlic rich diet have a more efficient blood flow that reduces the workload of the heart.

Red grapes

They help keep your arteries healthy and improve blood flow.  Grapes curb inflammatory and other molecules in the blood that make the blood stickier.


The golden yellow spice is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, thanks largely to a compound called curcumin.


Nitrate-rich foods like spinach help to open up the arteries and keep them flexible.

Citrus Fruit

The antioxidants found in the fruit may help lower inflammation, prevent blood clots, and improve blood circulation. Check that such fruit agrees with any medication you may be taking.

Dark chocolate

Must have at least 70% cacao/cocoa. Rich in polyphenols. Who knew that herbal medicine could taste so good!




Serino A, Salazar G. (2018) Protective Role of Polyphenols against Vascular Inflammation, Aging and Cardiovascular Disease. Nutrients. 11(1): 53

Alyssa M Tindall, Christopher J McLimans, Kristina S Petersen, Penny M Kris-Etherton, Regina Lamendella. Walnuts and Vegetable Oils Containing Oleic Acid Differentially Affect the Gut Microbiota and Associations with Cardiovascular Risk Factors: Follow-up of a Randomized, Controlled, Feeding Trial in Adults at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease. The Journal of Nutrition, 2019; DOI: 10.1093/jn/nxz289

Gröne M, Sansone R, Höffken P, et al. (2020) Cocoa Flavanols Improve Endothelial Functional Integrity in Healthy Young and Elderly Subjects. J Agric Food Chem. 68(7):1871–1876

This information is for educational purposes only. For any advice on medicinal use of herbs consult a registered Medical Herbalist.


Knowledge and best practice in the health field are constantly changing.  Each person and illness is also unique and no general information can anticipate every circumstance, nor be appropriate for every reader. Each individual case is best assessed in person by a qualified health advisor.

In the case of remedies or other products, users should read the label carefully for detailed information about safe use and in the case of natural products should choose responsible manufacturers with independently assured quality standards and safety monitoring procedures.

To the fullest extent of the law, neither Richard Adams nor the authors, contributors or editors, assume any liability for any injury and/or damage to persons or property as a matter of products liability, negligence or otherwise, or from any use or operation of any methods, products, instructions or ideas contained in the materials herein.

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