Circulation is the process of blood being pumped through the body by the heart. Good circulation is important for delivering oxygen and nutrients to all the cells and tissues in the body. Poor circulation can lead to issues like cold hands and feet, numbness, varicose veins, and an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Some people believe that drinking vegetable and fruit juices can help boost circulation.
How Juicing May Help Circulation
There are a few ways that juicing could potentially help improve circulation:
- Increasing nitric oxide – Some juices contain nitrate which the body converts into nitric oxide, a compound that helps blood vessels dilate and allows more blood to flow.
- Reducing inflammation – Chronic inflammation can damage blood vessels. Antioxidants in juices may reduce inflammation.
- Lowering cholesterol – High cholesterol levels can contribute to atherosclerosis and clogged arteries. Juices do not contain any cholesterol.
- Increasing antioxidant intake – Antioxidants like vitamin C, E and A in juices can protect arteries and prevent atherosclerosis.
- Supporting cardiovascular health – Nutrients in juices like potassium, magnesium, and folate are good for heart health.
- Improving blood viscosity – Hydration from juices may improve blood viscosity and flow.
So while juicing may not directly increase circulation, it provides nutrients that can support cardiovascular health and various factors related to circulation. However, there is limited scientific evidence directly linking juicing to improved circulation.
Juices That May Be Beneficial for Circulation
Some juices that could help support circulation include:
- Beet juice – Beets are high in nitrates that the body converts to nitric oxide to dilate blood vessels.
- Pomegranate juice – Rich in antioxidants to protect arteries and prevent atherosclerosis.
- Blueberry juice – Blueberries contain anthocyanins that improve blood vessel elasticity.
- Tomato juice – Lycopene in tomatoes is linked to better blood flow.
- Celery juice – Celery contains phthalides that relax arterial walls.
- Spinach juice – Spinach provides nitrates and may reduce blood pressure.
- Citrus juices – Oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and limes have vitamin C to support vessels.
- Cranberry juice – Cranberries have polyphenols that may increase nitric oxide.
- Kale juice – Kale contains nitrates that may dilate blood vessels.
You can make combinations of these juices for a circulation boosting drink. Beet, pomegranate, spinach, and celery is a good juice combo.
Other Lifestyle Factors for Improving Circulation
While juicing can provide nutritional benefits, other lifestyle factors also play a key role in maintaining good circulation. Some tips include:
- Exercising regularly – Physical activity stimulates blood flow and strengthens the heart.
- Losing weight if overweight – Excess weight puts strain on the circulatory system.
- Quitting smoking – Smoking damages blood vessels and reduces blood flow.
- Reducing stress – Chronic stress leads to inflammation that affects circulation.
- Elevating legs periodically – This helps blood circulate back to the heart.
- Drinking plenty of water – Proper hydration is essential for blood volume.
- Managing chronic conditions – Controlling diabetes, high cholesterol, etc. improves circulation.
- Getting proper sleep – Lack of sleep is linked to poorer cardiovascular health.
Making healthy lifestyle choices along with juicing is key for maintaining proper blood flow throughout the body. Juicing combined with exercise, stress management, not smoking, and other healthy habits can go a long way.
Potential Downsides of Juicing
Despite the potential benefits, there are some drawbacks associated with juicing that are important to keep in mind:
- Lower fiber content – Juicing removes pulp and fiber which supports heart health.
- Blood sugar spikes – Fruit juices can cause rapid rises in blood sugar levels.
- High calorie intake – Large amounts of juice can contribute to excess calorie intake.
- Nutrient loss – Some nutrients are destroyed by heat from juicing or through oxidation.
- Cost – Purchasing a high-quality juicer and produce for juicing can be expensive compared to eating whole fruits/veggies.
To get the benefits of juicing while minimizing drawbacks, try limiting juice portions to 4-6 ounces, adding in pulp, pairing juices with fiber-rich foods, incorporating vegetables, and being mindful of blood sugar responses.
Scientific Research on Juicing and Circulation
There is limited clinical research directly examining the effects of juicing on circulation. However, some studies suggest potential benefits:
- A study in 31 people found drinking beetroot juice significantly lowered blood pressure, which may improve circulation. The effects were seen within 24 hours but peaked at 4-6 hours after consuming the juice.
- Another study in healthy men showed drinking pomegranate juice daily for 2 weeks decreased platelet aggregation, meaning it prevented blood clotting and thrombosis. This helps blood flow.
- An analysis of 24 studies found greater intake of anthocyanin-rich fruits like berries was associated with a lower risk of hypertension, which supports better circulation.
- Research on watermelon juice found it increased plasma arginine levels, which leads to higher nitric oxide production and vasodilation of blood vessels.
While these study results are promising, larger and more robust clinical trials are still needed to conclusively determine if juicing can improve circulation.
Tips for Adding Juicing to Your Routine
If you want to incorporate juicing into your lifestyle, here are some tips:
- Drink juice on an empty stomach – This allows for better nutrient absorption.
- Use fresh, organic produce – Minimize pesticide exposure and maximize nutrient content.
- Rotate your produce – Switch up fruits and veggies to get a variety of nutrients.
- Juice vegetables and fruits you enjoy – This increases sustainability and reduces waste.
- Drink juice soon after making it – To preserve nutrients and prevent oxidation.
- Store juice properly – Keep juice chilled and in an airtight container if not drinking right away.
- Pair juice with fiber/protein – For balanced nutrition and blood sugar control.
- Rinse produce before juicing – To remove dirt, chemicals, and bacteria.
- Start slow – If new to juicing, introduce it gradually to observe how your body responds.
Moderation and variety are key when adding juicing to your lifestyle. Enjoy juices as part of an overall healthy diet and active lifestyle for the best circulation support.
The Bottom Line
Some evidence suggests that the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants found in fruit and vegetable juices may support circulatory health. However, more research is still needed to confirm if juicing can directly improve circulation.
Juicing may offer benefits by providing key nutrients, reducing inflammation, improving blood vessel function, and supporting overall cardiovascular health. But lifestyle factors like exercise and diet quality also play a major role.
If incorporating juicing, do so in moderation as part of an overall healthy lifestyle. Focus on vegetable-based juices high in nitrates and antioxidants for the most benefits to circulation.
|Juice||Key Nutrients||Potential Benefits for Circulation|
|Beet Juice||Nitrates||Increases nitric oxide to dilate blood vessels|
|Pomegranate Juice||Polyphenols, antioxidants||Reduces inflammation and prevents atherosclerosis|
|Blueberry Juice||Anthocyanins||Improves blood vessel elasticity|
|Tomato Juice||Lycopene||Supports healthy blood flow|
Try combining juices like beets, pomegranate, berries, tomatoes, and leafy greens for a circulation boosting effect. But keep in mind that juicing should be part of a healthy lifestyle with exercise, proper nutrition, and other positive habits.