Which Foods Improve Circulation?

Poor blood circulation can be caused by a variety of different conditions. The most common of which include PAD, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, etc. Fortunately, most of these conditions, or at least the symptoms of said conditions, can be treated by living a healthier lifestyle. That includes increased physical activity and a healthier diet.   

In fact, there are many things that good dietary decisions can do to help improve circulation. It’s just a matter of knowing what to eat.  

Fatty Fish 

An example of a food item that you might one to fit into your diet is fatty fish. That would include fish like salmon and mackerel, which are chock-filled with omega-3 fatty acids. These can promote the production of a molecule called nitric oxide. Which is an important molecule that has been known to promote the dilation of blood vessels, which can greatly improve blood circulation.  

Omega-3 fatty acids can also help prevent clots, which reduces the risk for blocked up arteries. There are also studies that would suggest that fish oil is particularly effective at improving blood flow during and post exercise(something those who suffer from PAD or similar circulatory issues can benefit from.)  

Cayenne Pepper 

Another possible addition to your diet is Cayenne Pepper. Nowadays, Cayenne Pepper — or most specifically capsaicin, is incredibly popular as a health and fitness supplement. This is due to its ability to increase metabolism and promote the release of nitric oxide. This increase in arterial dilation is beneficial in promoting blood flow, especially when exercising.  

Citrus Fruits 

Oranges, lemons, and other citrus fruits contain antioxidants, specifically flavonoids. This is important because flavonoids have been known to help strengthen arterial walls and improves blood circulation and nitric oxide production by reducing the risk of inflammation.  


Walnuts, almonds, and certain raw nuts are known for being packed with compounds that can help promote nitric oxide production. Research has shown, that walnuts, in particular, are beneficial for diabetics that have poor circulation. As it will not only help reduce the risk for inflammation but can also help control high blood pressure as well.  


Another popular name in the world of fitness and health supplements are beets. Beets, similar to cayenne pepper, are known for its ability to increase performance by improving blood flow during exercise — which can help boost muscle growth. This is due to the fact that they are filled with nitrates, a compound used in order to produce nitric oxide.  

Conclusion — Which Foods Improve Circulation? 

Poor circulation is often a result of a condition, rather than the cause of it. Fortunately, as mentioned in the very beginning, most of the conditions that are linked to poor circulation can be treated with a healthier lifestyle. That involves exercise, of course, but a healthy diet is important too!  


  1. Ma, Yingying, et al. “Effects of Walnut Consumption on Endothelial Function in Type 2 Diabetic Subjects.” Diabetes Care, American Diabetes Association, 1 Feb. 2010, care.diabetesjournals.org/content/33/2/227.  
  2. Raubenheimer, Kyle, et al. “Acute Effects of Nitrate-Rich Beetroot Juice on Blood Pressure, Hemostasis and Vascular Inflammation Markers in Healthy Older Adults: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Crossover Study.” MDPI, Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 22 Nov. 2017, www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/9/11/1270