science

The Top 10 Vitamins and Supplements for Blood Flow

Dr. Carla Montrond Correia ND, CNS

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Carla Montrond Correia ND, CNS

6 min read

a woman doing yoga in a field of grasss

Poor blood circulation is a common problem. Studies have shown that increasing your intake of certain vitamins can support healthier blood flow.

Poor blood circulation is a problem that affects many people. The effects of poor circulation can lead to physical discomfort, as well as negatively affect your health generally.

Signs of poor blood circulation

Poor circulation is often noticeable in your extremities (hands and feet). It can lead to swelling or cold extremities, as well as numbness or occasional tingling.

Fortunately, taking certain vitamins and supplements can help improve blood flow and get you feeling better.

Vitamins and supplements to help boost blood flow

B-complex

Vitamin B12 and folic acid are important for your blood flow because of how they manage homocysteine levels. Homocysteine is one marker that can be measured in the blood. If levels of homocysteine are too high, your blood flow may be disrupted. Getting adequate B vitamins is a way to support healthy homocysteine levels and to ensure proper cellular functioning. Care/of’s B-complex vitamin supplement – dubbed “The Busy B’s” – comes in 30-day supplies and has been shown to support the creation of blood cells.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that naturally occurs in two forms: Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone), which is found in plant-based foods, and vitamin K2 (menanoquines), which is found in animal products. Gut bacteria can also produce vitamin K2. Your body can convert K1 into K2, but not the other way around. Vitamin K plays an important role in bone health and wound healing, and it has properties that can promote cardiovascular health. Indeed, one study even found that vitamin K2 may help with blood flow by managing calcium levels and promoting blood vessel health.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that boasts a range of health benefits, including promoting blood vessel health. Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant, helping to combat harmful free radicals. One study found that vitamin C supplementation improved blood vessel health in smokers. Healthier blood vessels can lead to better all-around blood flow. Care/of’s vitamin C supplement – dubbed “The Citrus Savior” – is easy to digest and formulated for absorption.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a term for a particular group of fat-soluble compounds that contain a range of antioxidant properties. It may contribute to thinning your blood, which can promote blood flow. It can also work synergistically with vitamin C to promote the health of the cell lining of your blood vessels, which can then in turn promote healthy blood flow. One study also found that vitamin C and E supplementation can block the effects of homocysteine, thus supporting healthy blood flow.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats that the body can get from fish, vegetable oils, nuts, and leafy vegetables. You can also get omega-3 fatty acids in supplement form. Omega-3 fatty acids boast a range of health benefits – including, it turns out, promoting healthy blood flow. One study found that omega-3 fatty acids can support healthier blood flow by decreasing the viscosity of blood. Care/of offers veggie omega, a vegan source of omega-3 fatty acids.

Iron

Iron is essential for your body’s blood production. An iron deficiency can result in what’s called iron deficiency anemia, which is when your body lacks adequate healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to your body’s tissues. So, avoiding an iron deficiency can be crucial for red blood cell production and to your body’s healthy blood flow. Moreover, per one study, iron can promote blood flow by supporting the body’s production of nitric oxide, which is responsible for dilating blood vessels and promoting blood flow. Care/of’s iron supplement – dubbed “The Blood Booster” – is vegan-friendly and comes in 30-day supplies. Before taking an iron supplement, though, it’s important to talk to a medical professional about testing for iron levels. Taking in too much iron can be toxic for your health.

L-arginine

L-arginine is an amino acid made naturally by the body and found in many foods. It promotes nitric oxide production, which can help with blood vessel dilation and blood flow. This study shows that aging can disrupt blood vessel health over time and L-arginine may be able to restore the health and function of the blood vessel.

Herbs that can help boost blood flow

Ginger

Ginger is an herb that’s rich in antioxidant properties and is known to promote blood flow. More specifically, ginger contains compounds called gingerol and 6-shogaol, that promote blood vessel dilation by releasing nitric oxide while also scavenging free radicals.

Garlic

Garlic contains allicin, a molecule involved in a range of biological activities. Allicin can promote nitric oxide production, which is crucial for healthy blood flow, as well as endothelial function. Care/of’s garlic supplement is manufactured in the U.S. and comes in 30-day supplies.

Turmeric / curcumin

Turmeric, a plant in the ginger family, has been used in the Indian traditional practice of Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. It’s loaded up with curcumin, the phytonutrient responsible for most of turmeric’s health benefits. When it comes to blood flow, studies of curcumin have shown promise. For example, one study found that curcumin supplementation can both increase nitric oxide production and decrease oxidative stress, both of which support healthy blood flow. Care/of offers an excellent turmeric supplement – dubbed “The Golden Spice – that uses the full spectrum of the turmeric root.

Naturally improving blood circulation

There are also some natural steps you can take to improve your blood circulation. These include:

  • Exercise. Exercise has been shown to activate nitric oxide production, which in turn regulates blood flow. It’s also been shown to promote cardiovascular function, which can have a positive impact on blood flow.
  • Stay hydrated. Hypohydration – a term that describes a body water deficit greater than the daily fluctuation – has been shown to reduce mental and physical performance and even to impair vascular function and cardiovascular regulation. The research strongly indicates that staying hydrated is good for your cardiovascular health and your blood flow.
  • Quit smoking. Studies show that smoking contributes to oxidative stress and damages blood vessels. Quitting is a good way to help your blood vessels heal and to promote better blood flow.
  • Eat foods that promote blood flow. Foods rich in flavonoids can promote endothelial function and cerebral blood flow. Foods rich in arginine and citrulline, including beets and watermelon, also promote healthy blood flow.

Making any of these slight lifestyle adjustments can go a long way toward improving your blood circulation. These steps can also very nicely complement any vitamin or supplement routine you’ve undertaken to address blood flow.

Final takeaways

Poor blood circulation can lead to other health problems. If you’re experiencing poor blood flow, you may notice it in your extremities, which may swell or become cold. You may also experience numbness or occasional tingling. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to improve your circulation. If you think circulation is a problem for you, you can talk to your doctor about adding any of the supplements and herbs mentioned above to your routine. You can also make some slight lifestyle tweaks. Some small steps can take you a long way.

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