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What is Circulation?
The term circulation is most commonly associated with blood circulation in the body. Circulation is responsible for the action that moves nutrients, gases and wastes to and from cells, and helps stabilize body temperature and pH to maintain harmony.
We cannot live without our blood circulating throughout our body. The heart acts as a pump, keeping our blood flowing to our lungs to get oxygenated, and then carrying it to our organs, then carrying de-oxygenated blood from our organs back to the lungs to get oxygenated again. When circulation is compromised, oxygen does not reach all of the organs and areas it needs to, and our system can falter.
Circulation and the Body
Circulation is very closely related to health. Circulation also means the circulation of lymph in the body. If you suspect blood circulation problems it is essential that you learn how to improve your circulation.
The lymphatic system is an integral part of the immune system – which we all know is very important for health! Certain conditions and lifestyle habits can lead to poor circulation (such as diabetes, arthritis, smoking, obesity and lack of exercise to name a few) and similarly blood circulation problems can lead to many conditions and ailments.
Learning how to improve circulation will lower your chance of suffering a number of painful conditions such as boils, chilblains and hemorrhoids among others.
Conditions Caused by Poor Circulation
- Dark Circles Under the Eyes
- Cold Feet & Hands
- Eye Problems
- Vertigo & Dizziness
- Muscle cramps
- Leg ulcers
- Blood clots
- Carpal Tunnel
- Raynaud's Disease
- Varicose veins
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Memory loss
Blood Circulation in Children
While adults are typically the most common age group to contend with most circulation issues, children can be affected by them, as well. Since the heart is the primary organ in the circulatory system, responsible for pulmonary and systemic functioning, babies born with complex congenital heart defects are especially prone to experiencing difficulties.
Whether or not temporary or corrective surgical interventions were performed for this condition, any defect in normal blood flow can have a significant impact on a child’s physical and mental development, from growth to behavioral and academic performance.
Help for Circulation
Following a healthy lifestyle is one of the best ways to promote and maintain circulatory health. As high cholesterol levels can lead to clogged arteries, plaque deposits and hypertension, eating a high fiber and low fat diet will help keep blood flowing. Getting regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and quitting smoking will all help, as well.
More Information on Circulation
If you are having a hard time healing, experiencing blueness or pallor, or are experiencing hands and feet that are always cold even at a comfortable temperature, you may have blood circulation problems. You might also be wondering how to improve your circulation.
Tips for the Prevention of Poor Circulation
- Drink plenty of water, at least eight glasses a day for proper hydration
- Eat green, leafy vegetables, fruit, whole grains, legumes, fish and poultry in small portions
- Limit sugar, alcohol, protein, dairy products, salt, caffeine and refined white flour products such as pasta
- Drink lemonade with real lemon juice – lemon juice contains citrate
- Exercise regularly, physical activity helps to remove the stone
- Increase your intake of magnesium and vitamin B6 supplements
- Use hot packs or castor oil packs to relieve the pain and cramping
- Try massage therapy, which can also help promote circulation
Foods to Improve Circulation
- Fruits and vegetables of any kind are good for your health, particularly oranges, which provide high levels of bioflavonoids to promote blood flow while also strengthening capillaries, as well as watermelon, a natural source of lycopene, which has been known to help prevent plaque buildup, a common hindrance to blood flow, to help promote healthy circulation.
- Nuts are rich in vitamin B3, which helps boost the blood.
- Garlic also helps promote circulation.
- Avoid saturated and trans fats, as well as sugary sodas or fruit drinks. This will help thin the blood so that it passes more easily through the small blood vessels.