The Top 17 Vitamins and Supplements for Blood Flow

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    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 and negatively affect many other aspects of health. Be sure to talk to your doctor about any issues or concerns with your extremities including but not limited to swelling, coldness, and even occasional tingling or numbness as these can be signs of underlying health issues as supplements are not meant to treat any health conditions. The best ways to support healthy circulation include maintaining healthy blood pressure, eating a healthy diet, hydration, elevating your legs, movement, and even considering compression socks.

    Fortunately, taking certain vitamins and supplements can help support healthy blood flow and get you feeling your best. Let’s explore the incredible potential of some of the best natural remedies, backed by scientific research.

    Vitamins and supplements to help boost blood flow

    1. 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 negatively impacted. Getting adequate B vitamins is a way to support healthy homocysteine levels, to ensure proper cellular functioning, and blood flow.

    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.

    2. 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.

    3. 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 promoted blood vessel health in smokers. Healthier blood vessels can lead to better all-around blood flow. Care/of’s vitamin C supplement is easy to digest and formulated for absorption.

    4. 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 manage the oxidative effects of homocysteine with the antioxidant activity, thus supporting healthy blood flow.

    5. 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 promoting healthy viscosity of blood. Care/of offers veggie omega, a vegan source of omega-3 fatty acids.

    6. 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 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 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 to your health.

    7. L-arginine

    L-arginine is an amino acid made naturally by the body and is 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.

    8. Omega-7 Fatty Acids

    We always hear about omega-3s, but many people don’t know about the impressive benefits that omega-7s have to offer. Omega-7, also known as palmitoleic acid, is beneficial for supporting healthy cardiovascular functioning. These fatty acids can be sourced from fish oil, particularly seabuckthorn oil, which contains gamma-linoleic acid (GLA). GLA (also found in spirulina) is known for its potential to promote blood flow.

    The benefits of omega-7 fatty acids extend beyond their impact on circulation, offering various advantages for overall human health. These fatty acids can help maintain healthy cholesterol levels that are already within the normal range, which can indirectly support blood flow.

    9. CoQ10

    CoQ10, also referred to as ubiquinone and ubiquinol, is a compound that your body produces naturally. It plays an important role in promoting healthy blood flow and overall cardiovascular wellness. CoQ10 acts as an antioxidant, making it capable of neutralizing free radicals that can cause damage to blood vessels.

    Furthermore, CoQ10 has the ability to boost nitric oxide levels, leading to improved blood flow through the body. Another key benefit of CoQ10 is its ability to enhance endothelial function, as endothelial cells form a lining along blood vessels. By promoting the optimal function of these cells, CoQ10 helps ensure the smooth and efficient flow of blood.

    10. Nattokinase

    You may have heard of the food, Natto, from Japanese cuisine. Well, that is where nattokinase comes from. Nattokinase is an enzyme derived from fermented soybeans. This enzyme can support healthy blood flow by encouraging balanced platelet levels, which helps promote blood fluidity. It does this by maintaining healthy levels of a hormone called thromboxane.

    11. Ginger

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

    12. 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.

    13. 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, one of the main phytonutrients 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 manage oxidative stress, both of which support healthy blood flow. Care/of offers an excellent turmeric supplement that uses the full spectrum of the turmeric root.

    14. Black pepper

    Black pepper is not just good for being a key spice – it also boasts a myriad of health benefits. Black pepper is packed with beneficial compounds that possess antioxidant-like properties. Some of its compounds include volatile oil, oleoresins, alkaloids, and piperine, which can help manage oxidative stress by stimulating the production of various antioxidants.

    In addition, black pepper has an active constituent called piperine that has been recognized for its ability to help with gastrointestinal health, by supporting digestion and promoting digestive comfort. It can also help enhance nutrient absorption by stimulating the production of enzymes in the stomach.

    15. Cayenne

    Cayenne is rich in capsaicin, the active compound responsible for its heat, as well as its health benefits. Research indicates that capsaicin can boost the production of nitric oxide, which we know is useful for promoting blood flow and circulation.

    Further, capsaicin has been found to have a positive impact on vascular and metabolic health, potentially promoting metabolic health.

    16. Thyme

    Although there are no direct studies linking thyme to promoting blood flow there is some research showing beneficial properties that can support blood flow indirectly. Thyme boasts an array of health-promoting properties. It’s particularly rich in vitamin A and vitamin C. Vitamin A is essential for maintaining healthy mucus membranes, skin, and vision, while vitamin C is known for its immune-supporting and antioxidant properties.

    Thyme has a profound ability to reduce free radicals in the body. We can measure how good it is at doing so with a number called the oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC). Thyme's ORAC value is very high at 27,426 µmoles of Trolox Equivalents per 100 grams. In simpler terms, this means that thyme is super effective at promoting cell health by managing oxidative stress caused by these harmful free radicals, making it a powerful antioxidant!

    Thyme also has phytochemical properties that can help with respiratory and digestive support, as shown in animal studies. Though further research in humans is needed to fully understand its benefits and how thyme can directly support blood flow.

    Naturally improving blood circulation

    There are also some natural steps you can take to improve your blood circulation. These include regular exercise, proper hydration, and refraining from the use of tobacco. Additionally, consuming foods that are rich in flavonoids can promote endothelial function and blood flow. These include leafy vegetables, onions, apples, berries, soybeans, and citrus fruits. Also, foods rich in arginine and citrulline, like beets and watermelon also support 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. Be sure to always address any health concerns with your doctor.

    The Bottom Line

    Poor blood circulation can lead to potential 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. 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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    Dr. Carla Montrond Correia ND, CNS
    Medical Content Manager
    Dr. Montrond-Correia is a licensed naturopathic physician and a certified nutrition specialist (CNS). She holds degrees from University of Bridgeport, Georgetown University, and University of Saint Joseph, and supplemented her education with internships in the health and wellness space. She's focused on research, herbal medicine, nutrigenomics, and integrative and functional medicine. She makes time for exercise, artistic activities, and enjoying delicious food.
    Jordana Tobelem, RD
    Freelance Contributor
    Jordana Tobelem is a Registered Dietitian who enjoys helping others become the best versions of themselves through proper nutrition education. Jordana is passionate about promoting lifestyle changes through nutrition, physical activity, and behavior to create a superior quality of life. She uses her experience in the clinical field of dietetics to provide consulting services to an array of healthcare brands and companies. Jordana loves finding the most current research in nutrition to create meaningful content to share with her clients. Jordana has been a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics since 2018 and also holds certifications in both Personal Training and Health Coaching.