6 Holiday Foods That Boost Your Circulation

The cold winter months make it easier to become sedentary, but diabetics must stay on the move to prevent circulation-related problems in the feet, legs and hands.

In addition to regular exercise, hydration, and minimizing stress, certain foods can also help to improve circulation in the body and keep the blood flowing freely in your extremities.

While it's best to talk to a doctor if you're taking blood thinner medications or other drugs to control your diabetes, the following foods and spices may be a welcome addition to your diet.

1. Cayenne pepper

If you have diabetes, there's no need to shy away from spicy foods. Cayenne pepper, in fact, can help to improve circulation and strengthen blood vessels. Add it to holiday soups, stews, or casseroles for the health benefits and the extra kick.

2. Salmon

Swap your Christmas ham for fresh salmon this year and you'll get the heart-healthy benefits of this superfood fish. Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which support cardiovascular health and better blood flow.

3. Ginger

Ever notice how ginger produces a warming, spicy effect after eating it? That's partially because it helps to stimulate blood flow. Ginger can be eaten raw, shaved on top of salads, added to smoothies, juiced or consumed in dry, powdered form in baking or soup recipes. Ginger tea is also a heart-healthy, festive drink for cold winter evenings.

4. Celery

Abundant in soups and traditional Thanksgiving stuffing, celery is a superfood that can reduce blood pressure and relax the arteries so that blood flows more easily. Since celery is nearly free of calories - it takes more calories to consume and chew it than the food itself - it is a good pick for those watching their weight.

5. Goji berries

The vibrant red hue of Goji berries make them a perfect addition to your holiday table - and they happen to help improve blood circulation. Goji berries, which are usually bought dried, can be found in most health food stores. They are perfect on top of salads, mixed into cookie batters or added to fruit cake.

6. Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate is the winner when it comes to holiday sweets that help circulation. Pure cacao chocolate - or chocolate with cacao concentrations above about 70 percent - has naturally occurring flavanoids that improve blood circulation. Make your own dark hot chocolate or use dark chocolate in place of milk chocolate when baking.

Source: Revitive

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