Most men are confident with a joint knife. They’ve put up some drywall in their day – or, at the very least, patched a hole or two.
Peeling paint on the garage? No sweat.
Heck, when we’re done, maybe we’ll put up some new gutters.
Just please don’t let it be the plumbing. That’s when the curse words start flying.
Those ancient pipes behind our walls are hidden and rusty. You’ve been there, hulking away under the sink, arms bent in ways you never thought possible. Every moment you spend poking and prodding in the dark, there’s a faint dripping sound to remind you that more damage is being done… somewhere.
It’s why even the boldest of Mr. Fix-Its grimaces as he lifts his heavy-duty pipe wrench – the one that normally collects dust in the old tool chest.
He knows that all hell has broken loose… and failure is not an option.
Yet even as we reluctantly toil with the system that pumps life-giving water throughout our homes… many of us take for granted the system that gives life to our bodies and keeps our hearts beating.
Out of sight, out of mind.
Until something goes wrong.
Deadlier Than Every Form of Cancer… Combined
Just as copper piping grows corroded and clogged with age… so do the veins inside of us. And the results can be even more calamitous.
Poor circulation doesn’t just reduce the speed at which your body heals itself. It can squelch your sex drive, cause chronic pain and – oh yes – kill you.
Here are just a few of the deadly conditions that can arise when healthy blood cells have a tough time traveling through your body:
- High blood pressure
- Peripheral artery disease
- Kidney damage
But it’s your heart that assumes the most risk. Poor circulation is a big part of why, every 40 seconds in America, someone goes into cardiac arrest.
Cardiovascular diseases claim more lives than every form of cancer combined.
They’re responsible for 1 in 7 U.S. deaths. And a man’s odds of experiencing a heart attack go up just as soon as he hits his 65th birthday.
The numbers are alarming. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to avoid becoming another sad statistic.
Even folks who currently suffer from poor circulation can unclog their internal plumbing. It just requires some dietary changes and a bit of sweat. (But hey, at least there won’t be any emergency trips to the hardware store.)
Eat This… Not That
Healthy circulation starts with a healthy diet. We must aim for foods that have a proven ability to improve blood flow.
Our beloved salmon is a perfect example. Everyone knows that the hearty fish contains a generous amount of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s have been proven to decrease triglyceride levels, slow the growth of atherosclerotic plaque and help lower blood pressure.
What you may not know is that salmon also contains natural blood-thinning properties and anticoagulants. That makes it a great – and delicious – way to tackle poor circulation. In fact, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends eating two servings per week.
Add some fresh, wild-caught salmon to your diet today.
And don’t forget your fruits and veggies.
Boost That Stamina
Kale – yes, the dreaded kale – is rich in chlorophyll. It’s why the leaves of the crunchy greens are so… well, green.
The important thing to understand is that, on a molecular level, chlorophyll is quite similar to hemoglobin (the protein that moves oxygen through our bloodstream). Because of this, kale can help you quickly replenish your red blood cells.
Top your kale salad with some beets and you’ll really be cooking…
For decades, athletes have relied on beets as a natural way to improve stamina. Studies have shown that the love-it-or-hate-it root vegetable can improve walking performance and reduce pain in patients with peripheral artery disease.
But the benefits of beets go far beyond athletics.
According to the AHA, “Nitrate consumption in the form of beet root juice can significantly elevate plasma nitrite levels that influence blood pressure and exercise tolerance.” (Other root vegetables with circulation-boosting properties include ginger, maca and radishes.)
Vitamin C-rich fruits are also a big part of a healthy diet. Few folks realize it, but oranges and grapefruits are natural blood thinners.
Pink grapefruits, in particular, contain a powerful antioxidant known as lycopene, which has been linked to improved circulation. And while there aren’t any official studies to confirm it, many experts believe citrus fruits can strengthen capillary walls. They may even prevent plaque buildup in your arteries.
Some other foods, spices and supplements to consider include…
- Cayenne and chili pepper: If you don’t mind a little heat, these peppers (either raw or as dried spices) have proven to be good at fortifying blood vessels. Research shows they can also speed up your metabolism.
- Ginkgo biloba: Many seniors take this popular supplement to improve memory. But what you may not know is that ginkgo biloba stimulates better brain function by increasing blood flow throughout the body. It’s a circulation booster for any age group.
- Apricot, tomato and watermelon: Like grapefruit, these fruits (lest we forget, the tomato is technically a fruit) get their reddish color from the powerful antioxidant lycopene. And if improving circulation isn’t enough, researchers believe lycopene has cancer-fighting properties as well.
Combine an active lifestyle with the superfoods above and you’ll have the ultimate recipe for a healthy life.
Studies show you’ll have more energy during the day… and you’ll be calmer in your downtime.
Just take good care of your “plumbing.”
Remember: Failure is not an option.