Are you stuck in bed for the next few months? One of the most common questions I get is about improving blood circulation in the legs and ankle. When you have no option but to be in bed because of a fracture, your legs tend to get really cold because of low blood circulation.
I have some very important tips for you to help you improve blood supply and circulation naturally!
1. Treat Yourself with a Massage
You probably know how rewarding a massage is after a busy day. It relaxes your muscles and helps you de-stress. But, massage not only eases your sore muscles – it also improves your blood flow for both active and sedentary people. You don’t have problems with circulation when you’re moving around and getting your legs to work. But if you get stuck in bed for three or four months, like I did (you can read my story here), then you have to help yourself.
By massaging your legs, the pressure helps the blood move through your tight areas. Releasing the pressure then causes more blood to flow to your legs.
Massage also helps release toxins from your body. Adding essentials oils diluted in carrier oil will not only help you relax but also help in your circulation problems. Some of the essential oils that are good for circulation are rosemary, ginger, peppermint, and cypress. See which one you like the best, then and get that massage for your body!
2. Add Spice/Herbs to your Diet
Being in bed for months can be boring. So why don’t you add some spice to your days? And I mean that literally! There are herbs and spices that you can include in your diet to improve your blood circulation.
Cayenne pepper is one of them – you probably know it’s really spicy because of capsaicin found inside (capsaicin is what makes all peppers hot, so if you can handle it, you can try some hotter chilli sorts as well). Studies have shown that capsaicin helps promote vascular health, including improved circulation and regulating blood flow. [1, 2]
Another spice is ginger root. It’s so effective that I included it in my best anti-inflammatory drink recipe! One active ingredient in ginger is gingerol. There are several studies showing that gingerol can relax blood vessels, stimulate blood flow and even relieve pain. Not only does it help in circulation, it’s also anti-inflammatory, making it one of the best ingredients for your recovery. This spice has been used in Asia for treating medical conditions for more than 2,000 years. It’s therefore tested and proven to help you in your aches and circulation. [3, 4, 5]
The third spice for your circulation problems is parsley. You’re familiar with this herb, right? Some restaurants use parsley for decoration purposes but I prefer parsley in my smoothies and green juices! The taste can be quite strong, so make sure to take in a little first. Parsley is a known diuretic that helps flush out toxins from your body, but aside from that, studies have shown that parsley and other green leafy vegetables contain nitrates that help maintain healthy blood vessels. So start that blender or add parsley to your salads and meals. [6, 7, 8, 9]
Don’t forget to drink lots of water after a massage or even with the spices you’re adding to your diet. It’s very important to keep yourself hydrated to help flush out the toxins in your body. I know a lot of people drink less when they’re bedridden because they don’t feel much thirst or because they don’t feel like limping to the bathroom every hour. I agree, it can be a bit uncomfortable, especially when you’re still on crutches, but it’s totally worth it to ensure you stay hydrated.
When you’re not drinking enough, your blood becomes thicker, which makes the heart work harder and the liver less efficient at removing toxins from your body. It also lowers the amount of oxygen that gets to your brain, which can make you fell sluggish and low on energy – absolutely not the best combination for a great recovery.
4. Eat food that loves you back
If you’ve been with me for a while, then you know this is the one ingredient that shouldn’t be missing from your recovery plan. The food you eat while you spend those necessary months or weeks in bed can make the healing process longer and more prone to complications, or it can accelerate it and help your body rebuild the broken or damaged parts.
The diet I absolutely recommend for lowering the risk of inflammation and helping your circulation is based on plant foods, as unprocessed as possible. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, enjoy big salads, smoothies and healthy, unprocessed carbs, and you’ll see your body will thank you for it.
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