Bad circulation is no good, especially for running. Circulation is one of the most important issues at stake for efficient running economy. Look at it this way, healthy blood vessels are a great way to step up your game, whereas high blood pressure and inflexible arteries can lead to major performance setbacks and are a major health threat.
We know that running is an excellent blood circulation exercise, but if you continue to struggle with high blood pleasure or artery stiffness, I encourage you to consider the following healthy foods and supplements to improve bad circulation.
Supplements and Foods That Help Improve Circulation for Running
To improve circulation for endurance running, you can start by drinking more green tea, especially iced green tea, which may help keep your arteries clear. According to Japanese researchers, drinking 1 tall glass of iced green tea may reduce your risk of stroke by 32%! The researchers noted that green tea contains healthy plant compounds called catechins which prevent blood platelets from becoming sticky, thick and forming health-harming clots within the arteries.
Another tea to help bolster artery function is black tea because it keeps your arteries healthy, flexible and clear in the same way as green tea. According to the US Department of Agriculture Sciences, drinking 5 cups of black tea daily may reduce bad cholesterol buildup by 7% because like green tea, black tea is rich in catechins which help keep your arteries clear by preventing bad cholesterol absorption in the gut, so it passes right through you!
Spinach is a key component in acting as an accelerator of healthy circulation. According to reports in the journal Nutrition, spinach is a top source of natural nitrates which stimulate the production of compounds that make blood vessels more flexible, thereby improving blood flow!
Rhodiola has been shown to have a positive impact on artery and heart healthfulness. According to research out of Columbia University, taking a daily dose of a 250 mg rhodiola health supplement may reduce the production of artery aging-stress hormones, helping slash your risk of heart disease by 25%!
Rhodiola also works in-conjuction with vitamin C to ensure your arteries stay well-protected and clear of health-harming plaque buildup. According to research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, pairing rhodiola with 1000 mg of vitamin C may reduce your risk of clogged heart arteries by 42%. The researchers noted that vitamin C may help keep your arteries healthy by encouraging tissue repair and prevent permanent damage that is often accompanied with normal artery wear-and-tear.
Strawberries make an important contribution to ensure your circulatory system is functioning at its peak. According to reports in the Journal of Internal Medicine, snacking on a 1/2 cup of fresh or frozen strawberries may reduce bad cholesterol levels just as effectively as prescriptive drugs. The researchers noted that strawberries are abundant in natural chemicals called anthocyanins, which gives you a better chance of maintaining clearer, youthful arteries!
Eating more carob, which is a naturally sweet, caffeine-free cocoa substitute, is a reliable healthy dietary way to yield improved circulation for running. According to German researchers, carob latches on to dietary fat in the gut and blocks its absorption, whereby incorporating 2 tablespoons of carob in your runners diet via adding a dash of it on your cereal or yogurt, may reduce bad cholesterol levels by 8%.
Avocados play a big role in fostering healthier arteries and there is evidence showing that avocados make a unique contribution in keeping your arteries clear. According to David L Katz MD, author of Disease-Proof, eating ½ of an avocado per day may keep your arteries clear and clean by reducing bad cholesterol by 16%. Katz noted that avocados are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids which slow the liver’s enzymes that release risky blood fats.
Another way to help maximize your circulatory health is by incorporating more spicy foods, specifically chilies or chili paste, into your overall dietary regiment. According to reports from the University of Vermont, the compound in chilies, called capsaicin, may boost blood flow and increase good gut bacteria and may even help prevent weight gain. BUT, the researchers found that people who often ate spicy hot red peppers where 13% less likely to die of any causes, including heart disease!!!
Fiber is an ideal bowel buddy, but it also plays a large part in keeping your lungs healthy and resilient. According to reports in the European Respiratory Review, increasing your fiber intake prevents sugar-crash tiredness, but the blood sugar leveling effects of fiber may help slowing lung aging 33%.
Tomatoes are heart-health boosters! According to a British study, tomatoes are a blunt instrument in keeping your arteries clear and able functioning. The researchers found that eating more tomatoes may significantly reduce artery-clogging triglycerides (sticky blood fats that block and clog arteries). The researchers also discovered that because tomatoes can dissolve triglycerides, eating more tomatoes could reduce the risk of heart troubles by 35%. In addition, the natural compounds in tomatoes, called carotenoids, help reduce bad cholesterol levels as down as effectively as statin drugs.
Garlic and Onions
Garlic and onions work to constantly renew artery health, making it harder for plaque to accumulate inside the arteries. Garlic and onions revitalize your heart arteries thanks to their natural compounds that are highly effective at blocking risky clot formation. According to University of Cincinnati researchers, consuming more garlic and onions on a regular basis could reduce your risk of heart problems by 22%.
Contrary to a common misconception: it was thought that eating 1 or 2 eggs a day could be unhealthy for the heart and may contribute fully to perpetuating elevated ‘bad’ cholesterol levels. However, new reports indicate that eating 1-2 eggs a day can improve heart health as eggs are high in the right fats that are necessary to remove heart-health impediments.
According to Danish researchers, eating 1 to 2 eggs per day may reduce your risk of heart disease by 40% because the yellowish pigment in egg yolks stimulates the liver to produce more HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol). In line with this evidence, research out of UCLA discovered that HDL cholesterol is a healthy blood fat that punches through artery clogging plaque, therefore effectively blocking plaque accumulation within the artery framework.
Even better, other work has found that eating 1 egg a day could reduce your blood pressure as effective as a low-dose of an ACE inhibitor (a common high blood pressure medication). It turns out that eggs may work just as good as some blood pressure medications because the peptides in eggs help keep the artery walls relaxed, making eggs a heart-health multiplier!
Eating more leafy greens gives rise to more sustainable heart health and artery clearances. Eating ½ cup of leafy greens, like kale and lettuce, on a regular basis could rail against artery clogs by reducing artery- clogging LDL cholesterol levels by 16% AND may reduce your risk of heart disease by 25%, according to the work in the Journal Current Pharmacology Design. The researchers also found that leafy greens are high in heart strengthening compounds called carotenoids, which reduce fat absorption in the intestines, and also prompts the liver to keep its LDL production in a healthy range.
You can nourish your heart by taking CoQ10 supplements. According to research out of the University of Connecticut, CoQ10 is a heart-healthy enzyme that helps keep your arteries relaxed and flexible, but sadly the body’s CoQ10 production seems to reduce by 57% after the age of 45. The researchers however, noted that taking a daily dose of 100-mg of a CoQ10 supplement nourishes and relaxes your arteries, and it also lowers your blood pressure by many points, which collectively may reduce your risk of heart disease by 50%.
The science behind how flavonoids work to improve circulation is that they contain nutrients that strengthen vein walls, boost blood circulation to reduce pooling of the blood and reduces the inflammation that is behind throbbing and swelling.
According to research in the journal of Atherosclerosis, drinking 2-oz of pomegranate juice was found to reduce high blood pressure by acting similar to a prescribed ACE inhibitor, and it also keeps arteries flexible by preventing artery plaque buildup.
Tribulus is an Indian herb that is incredible for improving blood circulation in the body. It keeps your arteries healthy by flushing out excess fluid and it also calms the brains fear center, so you are more relaxed and positive. Tribulus also prevents hypertension by relaxing blood vessels, too!
Eat More Orange Colored Fruits and Veggies
Foods that promote good circulation are orange! Healthy food for blood circulation includes oranges, carrots and mangoes which are high sources of beta-carotene, an orange plant-pigment that reduces artery problems by 15%. According to Dutch research, beta-carotene makes your circulation more efficient by reducing artery plaque buildup AND it also accelerates healing of worn-out or damaged artery walls, thereby making arteries more flexible and resilient.
Another way to keep your heart and arteries healthy is by being LESS stressed and on edge. Staying positive is really important for healthy blood pressure and artery function, and motherwort, a herb in the mint family, makes you feel happier and calmer by 80%. According to reports in the journal Phototherapy Research, motherwort lowers high blood pressure by reducing stress hormones. It’s so critically important to realize how your mental state can really make a difference in your training because when you feel happy, your heart will remain healthy, too!
Stop your blood pressure from creeping up with whey protein. According to Boston University research, whey protein improves kidney function by allowing the kidneys to balance fluid and sodium more efficiently, which is especially important for preventing high blood pressure.
Because of the super minimal side-effects, more people are turning to natural health supplements and a better diet as a pleasantly easy way to keep the heart healthy. I think its important to have these health options on your side to make sure you are getting the most out of your endurance.
BSc Neurobiology; MSc Biomechanics candidate, ultra minimalist runner & founder of RunForefoot. I was a heel striker, always injured. I was inspired by the great Tirunesh Dibaba to try forefoot running. Now, I'm injury free. This is why I launched Run Forefoot, to advocate the health & performance benefits of forefoot running and to raise awareness on the dangers of heel striking, because the world needs to know.
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