Food & Nutrition

13 Foods That Can Help Improve Your Circulation

Think of your body’s circulatory systems like an Uber carrying blood, oxygen, and nutrients throughout your body. Clogged arteries and plaque cause ‘traffic jams,’ delaying blood from getting to your organs. You may feel tingling, numbness, or muscle cramps as a result, but these foods and spices can help.

Dark chocolate

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Have you been wondering how to improve circulation? Time to stop feeling guilty about eating chocolate. You have permission from Steven Gundry, MD, a cardiologist and director of Center for Restorative Medicine in Palms Springs and founder of Gundry MD supplements. “In moderation, dark chocolate is a fantastic addition to your diet,” he says. “Dark chocolate is shown to help your body produce nitric oxide, which plays an important role in protecting your heart and veins.” Cocoa is loaded with antioxidants that aid in managing blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and improve your blood flow. Dr. Grundy says to choose dark chocolate that’s at least 72 percent cocoa for the best impact.


Close up photo on surface of ground turmeric pile, abstract yellow curcuma powder texture as background, overlay for art workSunghorn/Shutterstock

Turmeric, also known as the “Golden Spice of India,” is a gem for keeping arteries unclogged and improving circulation, thanks to the chemical curcumin that gives it its color, studies show. According to Dr. Gundry, however, turmeric is a tricky herb. “It’s actually poorly absorbed on its own, unless it is mixed with bioperine, a compound found in black pepper,” says Dr. Gundry. His solution: Eat curry once a week, which has both black pepper and turmeric. Try these other 20 foods that can help unclog your arteries.


Texture of raw Norwegian salmon. Macro shootingTheFarAwayKingdom/Shutterstock

Salmon, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for overall health. How to improve blood circulation by eating fish? The American Heart Association recommends two servings per week. Research shows an omega-3 fatty acid deficiency results in poor circulation. Brooke Alpert, MS, RD, CDN of says salmon, which is famous for its omega-3s, contains natural blood-thinning properties and anticoagulant effects. “This allows for an improvement in circulation for your entire body,” she says. Alpert advises choosing wild-caught salmon whenever possible.

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