90% of people affected with a circulatory disease are actually unaware that they even have it, studies report. Seeing as Raynaud’s disease is a blood vessel condition in which your veins narrow due to cold temperatures or stressful environments, developing healthy eating habits that allow your body to improve its circulation and increase blood flow will be crucial. By opting for healthy foods that increase circulation, you can work to mitigate the symptoms and prevent the disease from occurring in the first place. If you don’t have the disease, you can still benefit from these tips that will help improve your blood flow to prevent from developing Raynaud’s or any other associated diseases caused by poor circulation.
What is Raynaud’s Disease?
While not necessarily life-threatening, Raynaud’s disease can be a little uncomfortable and inconvenient due to the fact that it causes your fingers and toes to change colors when exposed to cold temperatures or extremely stressful situations. People affected by this disease will notice that their fingers and toes can turn blue or even white due to the narrowing of their blood vessels. It is estimated that nearly 10% of American have from this disease but rarely seek treatment due to the fact that it is not really that life-threatening or troublesome. If you feel that your fingers and toes get particularly cold when outside or in an air-conditioned space, you might want to ask your doctor about having a capillaroscopy to help diagnose Raynaud’s disease or rule out any other problems with your circulation.
Treatment Options for Raynaud’s Disease
Even though there is currently no cure for Raynaud’s disease, it’s actually not something that technically needs to be “cured.” You can, however, mitigate the risks of developing it while also working to minimize the symptoms you feel if you are eventually diagnosed with Raynaud’s. Seeing as stress is one of the biggest factors that trigger a flare-up, it is important to engage in a lifestyle that includes a decent work-life balance and includes stress management. Covering your skin in cold temperatures will help prevent the small aches and pains you might feel and will help prevent your veins from narrowing. In terms of medication, calcium channel blockers have been shown to help relax the smaller blood vessels to prevent them from constricting. If you don’t want to take medication, however, but are looking for a way to compound the beneficial effects of a healthy diet, you might want to look into treatment in the form of Botox. It has actually been shown as begin effective in blocking sympathetic nerve fibers from carrying out vasoconstriction, which is basically what happens with Raynaud’s.
The Important Role of Nutrition
First, it’s important to understand the medically-recommended three-tiered approach to improving circulation through nutrition. You will want to work to reduce inflammation, reduce blood viscosity, and support healthy arterial function. While some of these components can be accomplished (and should be) with routine exercise, the nutrition received from foods is actually one of the most effective ways to improve your circulation. As with any dietary change, however, it is important to ensure you are getting a well-rounded mixture of vitamins and essential minerals from various different food sources to provide your body with the right amount of everything it needs, not just one particular vitamin. This will ensure that your entire body can function properly in order to support systems that also work to support your circulatory system and blood flow.
Superfoods for Circulation
From blood thinners to calcium channel blockers, there are many types of medication you can take to improve your circulation and minimize the effects of Raynaud’s disease. However, you can actually combat these symptoms with a healthy diet high in Vitamin C, Vitamin E and other vitamins and minerals that help do things like preventing plaque build-up while ensuring your arteries are properly dilated. Oranges and other citrus fruits, for example, are natural blood thinners due to their high content of Vitamin C that strengthens capillary walls. Lemons, bell peppers, broccoli, pineapple, and strawberries are all other delicious foods that are high in Vitamin C. Nuts and seeds that are high in Vitamin E will also help improve your circulation, so be sure to mix in a lot of sunflower seeds, olives, nuts and pumpkin seeds into your fruit and vegetable-filled diet. And, finally, garlic has actually been one of the most effective ways to lower blood pressure. Studies have found that allicin found in garlic helps arteries dilate and can cleanse your blood to help it flow more easily. If you’re not too fond of the leftover effects of garlic in your mouth, onions and leeks will also help stimulate blood flow.
In general, you should consider cultivating a diet that is low in fat and high in fiber. However, there are heart-healthy proteins that can provide you with the right amount of omega-3 fatty acids that your body needs in order to support the cardiovascular system and increase blood circulation throughout your entire body, not just your extremities. In regards to supplements, you can take fish oil for the omega-3 that it provides and vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and magnesium in order to help your body process all of the nutrients in an efficient manner. However, it is always best to get your nutrients from all-natural, raw organic foods, which means that you can eat a lot of salmon, cod, mackerel and other cold-water fish to get your fill of heart-healthy proteins and omega-3 fatty acids. Fresh, ripe avocados will also help facilitate healthy heart function while providing you with a nice vegetable source of protein.
Living a Healthy Life with Raynaud’s
People affected by Raynaud’s disease shouldn’t feel any need for immediate concern. If you feel that you are experiencing symptoms of poor circulation, speaking with your doctor about your heart health and your overall general physical activity is a great way to rule out any issues that might go unseen. Practicing healthy eating habits that include a good source of vitamins and heart-healthy proteins will go a long way in ensuring you and your circulatory system can function properly as they need to.