Keeping your circulatory system healthy is very important. Your body depends on your heart to pump blood through thousands of miles of blood vessels to be delivered to each and every one of your cells. Blood carries oxygen from your lungs to the cells of your body, so if there is a problem with your blood (anemia, diabetes) or your blood vessels (clogged arteries and veins, atherosclerosis), then your whole body can suffer. If your brain is not receiving enough oxygen, you may feel dizzy and lightheaded and not able to think clearly. If your stomach is not receiving enough oxygen then your digestion and metabolism will begin to slow and you may feel cold. If one of your blood vessels isn’t functioning properly, then blood could stop flowing to a certain body part, and without blood, the cells in that certain body part could die.
Thankfully, we have mother nature to thank for her wonderful herbs, roots, fruit and vegetables. Food is our medicine, so eating heart and blood-healthy foods will be sure to keep your circulatory system healthy (of course, reducing the amount of processed foods being consumed is also an important factor in a healthy blood system).
Below is a list of 6 natural food items that help with keeping your blood strong, and to help fight and/or prevent against anemia:
Chlorophyll is molecularly identical to our red blood cells, with the exception of the central molecule, magnesium in chlorophyll, and iron in blood. Once it enters the body, chlorophyll, in a way, starts to act like haemoglobin (the proponent of blood that is responsible for transporting oxygen from the lungs to the cells of our body). This means increased nutrient delivery and oxygenation to our cells.
Kale is incredibly rich in chlorophyll (making it a great blood builder), and many other vitamins and minerals like Vitamins K, A, C, and E as well as manganese, calcium, iron and copper. The iron in kale is also essential for healthy blood, keeping us alert and clear-headed.
Adding some kale into your green juices, or making a nice leafy green kale salad (see http://rawedibles.blogspot.ca for kale recipes) is a great way to get kale into your diet.
Figs are a very mineral dense fruit. They have incredibly high iron content which makes them a great blood builder and useful in cases of anemia. Research also indicates that figs have the ability to shrink cancerous tumours, and contain more calcium than milk, and more potassium than bananas. Potassium is a mineral that helps control blood pressure, keeping our circulatory system strong and healthy.
3. Stinging Nettles
Drinking one cup of nettle tea a day can have significant effects on your blood! It is one of the best blood purifiers available, and can thus clean eczema internally and help fight against anemia. It has a tremendous influence on the pancreas and help assists in lowering high blood pressure and blood glucose levels. Stinging nettles not only help the blood, but they protect against hair loss, kidney stones, allergies, hay fever, osteoarthritis, internal bleeding, uterine bleeding, nosebleeds and bowel bleeding. They protect against enlarged spleens, diabetes, endocrine disorders, stomach acid, diarrhea, dysentery, lung congestion, cancer and anti-aging.
The best way to consume nettles is early in the morning before breakfast. Drink the tea every day for one month, twice a year, to help purify and cleanse the blood.
Beet juice is a blood purifier and blood builder and helps in the creation of red blood cells. Beet juice improves blood structure and cures diseases of the circulatory system, large intestine and digestive system, states longevity researcher, Mikhail Tombak, Ph.D.. Beets are very powerful cleansers of the liver and kidney, which help cleanse the circulatory system. Drinking fresh beet juice may help reverse your problems with anemia or other blood issues such as high cholesterol.
Parsley is well known for it’s remarkable blood-cleansing benefits which classify it as a superfood. It is incredibly rich in chlorophyll (see above) and vitamin C which is a major anti-inflammatory and helps the body absorb iron. Parsley is also an excellent source of folic acid which is crucial for reducing homocysteine levels. Homocysteine mediates inflammation and is linked with cardiovascular disease and brain degeneration. Not only that, but parsley is a powerful diuretic that lowers blood pressure and improves kidney function.
Anemia occurs when there isn’t enough hemoglobin (an iron-protein compound in red blood cells that transports oxygen) in the blood and there are too few red blood cells. Thus, increasing your iron levels is an important thing to do when you have anemia or other blood related problems. Spinach is rich in iron and vitamin C, and the two together help improve iron uptake (vitamin C helps the body absorb more iron from the foods you eat). Spinach is also a wonderful chlorophyll source, which is a great blood builder (see above). Enjoy spinach in your smoothies or in your salads!
Sources: Live Love Fruit
(1) Patek, A. (1936) Chlorophyll and regeneration of the blood: Effect of administration of chlorophyll derivatives to patients with chronic hypochromic anemia. Arch Intern Med (Chic)., 57, 73-84.
(2) Whipple, G. (1922) Pigment metabolism and regeneration of hemoglobin in the body. Arch Intern Med (Chic)., 29, 711-731.
(3) Appel, L., Moore, T., Obarzanek, E., et al. (1997) A clinical trial of the effects of dietary patterns on blood pressure. New England Journal of Medicine, 336, 1117-24.
(4) Ensminger, A., Esminger, M., et al. (1986) Food for Health: A Nutrition Encyclopedia. Clovis, California: Pegus Press.
(6) Can We Live 150 Years?, Mikhail Tombak, Ph.D.