This bright red pepper does more than just spice up your food. Thanks to a compound called capsaicin, cayenne pepper can help your arteries work well. It can also help relax the muscles in your blood vessels so blood can flow easily. And that’s good for your blood pressure.
This root vegetable is rich in nitrate, which your body can convert to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps to naturally loosen up your blood vessels and improve the flow of blood to your tissues and organs. Researchers have found that beet juice can lower your systolic blood pressure (the first number in a blood pressure reading), too.
Berries are rich in antioxidants, including one that’s particularly good for your blood vessels: anthocyanin. It’s the compound that gives red and purple produce that deep-colored hue. Anthocyanin can help protect the walls of your arteries from damage and keep them from becoming stiff. Plus, anthocyanin spurs the release of nitric oxide, which helps to lower your blood pressure.
The tiny juicy red seeds inside a pomegranate are packed with nutrients, in particular antioxidants and nitrates. These can boost your circulation. And they widen (dilate) your blood vessels and lower your blood pressure. That means that more oxygen and nutrients are delivered to your muscles and other tissues. And for active people, greater blood flow may bring along a performance boost, too.
Garlic is good for more than keeping vampires away. It contains a sulfur compound called allicin that helps your blood vessels relax. Studies show that in people who eat a diet rich in garlic, blood flows more efficiently. That means the heart doesn’t have to work as hard to move blood throughout the body, which helps keep your blood pressure down.
Go nuts for nuts, especially walnuts. These crinkly-skinned nuts are rich in alpha-linolenic acid, a type of omega-3 fatty acid, which may help blood move smoothly. A study found that eating walnuts regularly for 8 weeks improved blood vessel health, helped those vessels stay elastic, and brought down blood pressure.
They’ll help keep your arteries healthy and improve blood flow — all well tasting naturally sweet. A study found that the antioxidants in grapes encouraged blood vessels to relax and work more efficiently. Plus, grapes curb inflammatory and other molecules in the blood that could make blood sticky, which can get in the way of circulation.
The golden yellow spice is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, thanks largely to curcumin, a compound found in turmeric. Studies suggest that curcumin may boost production of nitric oxide, which can help make your blood vessels wider. That, in turn, makes it easier for blood to flow and get to your muscles and other tissues.
Nitrate-rich foods like spinach may improve your circulation. These compounds help enlarge your blood vessels and create more room for blood to move through. Also, a study found that a diet rich in spinach helped keep arteries flexible and helped lower blood pressure.
Vitamin C isn’t the only reason to make citrus fruit part of your diet. The antioxidants found in the fruit may help lower inflammation, prevent blood clots, and improve blood circulation. A study found that regularly drinking fresh squeezed OJ lowered blood pressure.
What Is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C, also called L-ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that is an essential part of your diet. Although some animals can produce their own vitamin C, humans have to get it from other sources.
Vitamin C is found in many fresh fruits and vegetables, but can also be made into dietary supplements. Research suggests that eating foods rich in vitamin C is essential to a healthy working body.
Dr. Erin Mayfield and her research has proven success in treating patients with diabetes using lifestyle medicine, upon completion, you will be immediately prepared to address diabetes and insulin resistance in powerful new ways.