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Do you often find your fingers and feet cold? Being the furthest parts of our bodies, it is normal for the hands and feet to get cold before the rest of the body do. But on days when it is sunny and your hands still feel like they just held some ice cubes, it might be a sign of poor blood circulation. 

Other than cold hands and feet, you will probably find these other symptoms accompanying it – tingling sensation when you sit for a long time, cramps in hamstrings and toes or shortness of breath. All these are symptoms of poor blood circulation.  

What are some of the causes of poor blood circulation? 

According to the 中医药 perspective, Qi deficiency, blood stasis and blood deficiency are the main causes of poor blood circulation. 

Blood stasis

Blood stasis, also known as blood stagnation is when blood is not flowing well around the body. TCM practitioner believe that the common cause of blood stasis is the deficiency of Qi as Qi is responsible for moving the flow of blood. Other causes of blood stasis can be attributed to not exercising enough, stress to lack of nutrients or sleep. So how do we improve blood circulation? 

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Onions are high in flavonoid antioxidants which are excellent for the heart. Eating onions is good for people with low blood pressure as it helps to widen the blood vessel when blood flow increases.

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Extracted from the leaves of Gingko trees, Gingko Biloba is known as a superfood for memory improvement. Another benefit is it helps in stabilizing the blood vessels to supply more blood to the brain and other parts of the body. 

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Used in traditional chinese medicine for many years, ginger has been shown to improve blood circulation in both humans and animals! 

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Green tea

High in antioxidants, drinking green tea can help to widen the blood vessels to increase blood flow to the rest of the body. To improve blood circulation, it is recommended to drink 2-3cups of green tea a day.

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Cayenne Pepper

Adding some cayenne pepper to your dish can help to stimulate blood flow as they contain capsaicin. Not only can capsaicin relax the wall muscles in the blood vessels, it can help to reduce plaque build-ups.  

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Walnuts are loaded with many compounds that help relax blood vessels. It is also good for reducing inflammation which is good particularly good for people with diabetes.

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Dark chocolate contains cocoa which produces nitric oxide that helps to relax the arteries, improving blood flow in the body. For dark chocolate to be effective, choose a chocolate containing 70% cocoa and above.

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Garlic contains allicin – another chemical compound that help to increase blood flow by relaxing the blood vessels. In a 研究表明, done, 42 people who consumed ginger powder for 3 months reported an increase in blood flow to the upper arm artery.