Meet your body’s circulatory system. It’s wellbeing is essential for yours. Read on to identify the signs of a sluggish system and how to boost circulation naturally.
Many people consider the circulatory system, or cardiovascular system, as simply a highway for blood. In fact, it includes a vast network of organs and vessels that carry nutrients, hormones, oxygen and other gases, along with blood, to and from cells. It also moves lymph – a clear fluid that helps rid the body of unwanted material. A good circulation is a sign of good health. If yours is on a go-slow, you may not be able to fight disease or maintain a stable internal environment – such as proper temperature and pH – known as homeostasis.
All about the circulatory system
The circulatory system consists of three systems – the heart (cardiac), the lungs (pulmonary) and the arteries, veins, coronary and portal vessels (systemic).
The pulmonary circulatory system moves oxygen-depleted blood away from the heart via the pulmonary artery to the lungs, and returns oxygenated blood to the heart through the pulmonary veins. From the heart, blood is pumped throughout the body and back via a network of veins, arteries and blood vessels. (Arteries carry oxygen-rich blood from the heart through the body. Veins carry oxygen-poor blood back to the heart.)
Did you know?
An average adult has 4.7 to 5.6 litres of blood. That mmeans about 7570 litres of blood travel through the 96,560 kilometres of blood vessels in your body – every day![/message]
Signs that your circulation may need help
Symptoms that your circulation is not working as it should, include:
- Constantly cold or numb hands and feet.
- A bluish tint to the skin.
- Dizziness when you stand up.
- A memory that seems to have taken a vacation.
- Wounds that take ages to heal.
- Varicose veins, and
- High or low blood pressure.
Can you boost circulation naturally? Luckily, yes. The following tips may help you get back your bounce.
20 Ways to boost circulation naturally
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. It improves blood flow and the oxygen levels in your bloodstream.
- Limit or avoid alcohol. It dehydrates you.
- Don’t smoke. Nicotine contributes to narrowed arteries, impeding blood flow.
- Eat a balanced and healthy diet with lots of fresh produce and brightly coloured vegetables.
- Pass on the salt. Salt increases your blood pressure, placing your arteries under stress.
- Eat 3 to 4 cloves of garlic daily. This natural blood thinner helps dissolve blood clots – good news for circulation!
- Take turmeric and ginger regularly. They possess strong anti-inflammatory properties and can help boost arterial blood flow.
- Eat sunflower seeds. Rich in vitamin E, these seeds help prevent blood clots and boost your circulation naturally.
- Ginkgo biloba helps strengthen blood vessels and improves blood flow to the brain and heart.
- Citrus fruits contain vitamin C, which helps thin blood.
- Eat foods containing omega-3 fatty acids to help prevent blood clots and boost your circulation naturally. Flaxseeds, avo, salmon, tuna, sardines, walnuts.
- Dark chocolate is rich in anti-oxidants that put a spring in your circulation. It’ll also improve your mood (naturally!).
- Eat cayenne pepper. Cayenne increases your metabolic rate and strengthens arteries and blood vessels.
- Tuck into watermelon, tomatoes, pink grapefruit and apricots. Why? They’re rich in lycopene, a natural anti-oxidant that is linked to improved circulation.
- Exercise regularly for better blood flow. Don’t fancy gym? Take a short brisk walk every day and swim regularly.
- Chill out. Stress is bad news for your heart and circulation. Soak in a warm bath, meditate, practise yoga or just sit in a dimly lit room and breathe. Make sure you’re getting sufficient sleep.
- Have a massage. Tense, cramped muscles can pinch off blood flow, leaving you with numb or cold hands and feet. If you often experience muscle soreness, especially in your back or shoulders, treat yourself to a back massage.
- Brush your skin with a natural-bristled brush before bathing to stimulate surface circulation, eliminate toxins and improve total blood flow.
- Stretch. If you’re desk-bound, get up every hour to stretch your body or exercise for 3–5 minutes and get your circulation going.
- Head to your natural remedies pharmacy. Flora Force Ginkgo Biloba can boost your circulation naturally, improving memory and concentration and a range of other circulation-related ailments; popular TurmerynneTM combines top-quality turmeric and cayenne, which stimulate metabolism, improve vitality, help circulation and regulate heart activity and blood pressure; and Circulation FormulaTM supports the blood vessels, helps manage blood pressure and protects the body against age-related changes. Visit our website here http://www.floraforce.co.za/ for more info, then order the remedies online from Faithful to Nature, Takealot, or from health shops or pharmacies.
We wish you good health always!
Acknowledgements & Photo credits
Article compiled for Flora Force by Judy Beyer.
- Healthy and Natural World. How to improve blood circulation naturally. 2014.
- Zimmerman, K. Circulatory System: Facts, Function & Diseases. Live Science. 2016, March.
- Photo courtesy of geralt / Pixabay.com