What is the Function of the Circulatory System?
The primary function of the circulatory system is to transport oxygenated blood from the heart to various organs of the body through arteries. When the oxygen present in the blood is absorbed by the body, the circulatory system of the body carries the deoxygenated blood back to the heart via veins from where it is transported to the lungs for oxygenation and the process is repeated.(1,2)
Why is the Circulatory System Important?
The circulatory system also plays an important part in the overall nourishment of the cells in the body so that every cell is working adequately and carrying out its functions.(1,3) A good circulatory system is the key to overall good health and fitness of an individual.
For the circulatory system to be good and efficient, it is necessary that the hemoglobin and the platelet counts in the body be at healthy levels and the heart is functioning normally, so that it is able to pump the blood to different parts of the body.
However, there are times due to certain medical conditions like peripheral artery disease, a cardiovascular illness, or due to poor diet and lifestyle choices, the blood circulation in the body gets affected and all the organs of the body do not get the required oxygen. This leads to various complications some of which may be potentially serious. This article gives a brief overview of some of the ways to fix poor circulation.
How to Fix Poor Blood Circulation?
Tea: Herbal or Green Tea is extremely rich in antioxidants, which assists in dilation of arteries and improves overall blood circulation in the body.(4, 5, 6) Tea is also extremely beneficial for a healthy heart according to various studies. Hence, it is recommended to have at least a cup of tea, Green or Herbal, once a day.
Foods Rich in Iron: Iron is an extremely rich source of hemoglobin, which is essential for a good circulatory system.(7, 8) To increase hemoglobin in the body; incorporating foods that are rich in oxygen like red meat, kidney beans, leafy green vegetables are recommended in order to improve the circulatory system(9)
Restricted Saturated Fats: Saturated Fats are not good for the circulatory system of the body.(10) This does not mean that an individual has to completely cut off meat from the diet, but rather, importance should be given to leaner cuts. Additionally, excess of full fat dairy products need to be avoided in order to improve the circulatory system of the body.
Weight and Blood Pressure Monitoring: In order to have a good circulatory system, it is important to maintain an ideal weight and have a healthy blood pressure. An ideal blood pressure for good functioning of the circulatory system is 120/80-140/90. To maintain a healthy blood pressure, restriction of sodium is recommended. Dietary modifications in the form of restricted salt, oily and fried food will help immensely in maintaining a good blood pressure.(11) Also, excess sodium tends to constrict the blood vessels interfering with the smooth flow of blood and causes interference in the functioning of the circulatory system.(12) In case if an individual is overweight, then shedding some weight would be ideal. Diligent exercising is the key to lose weight in a healthy manner. It is advisable not to take weight loss supplements as they may have certain side effects, which may be detrimental to the overall health of the body.(13) Additionally, foods rich in potassium should be consumed, such as leafy green vegetables and bananas to maintain good blood circulation in the body.
Buckwheat: Buckwheat seeds are exceedingly good source of rutin, which is rich in bioflavonoid that can strengthen blood vessels.(14, 15) Using Buckwheat instead of rice is quite useful in, especially in the form of Buckwheat pancakes, for a good circulatory system.
Ginkgo Biloba: This is quite an effective herb for keeping the overall body healthy and fit. It is also quite beneficial for a good circulatory system. Ginkgo Biloba relieves the symptoms of Reynaud’s Phenomena, which is a condition that causes constriction of blood vessels in the extremities resulting in poor circulation through this area.(16) Gingko Biloba helps the vessels get dilated, so that smooth flow of blood through these vessels is established thus improving the blood circulation.