If you’re struggling to overcome foot, ankle, or leg discomfort, then you know how difficult it can be to get help. That’s because most doctors prescribe drugs that only mask your pain while causing countless side-effects in the process. Maybe you were even told to go work out or improve your diet. And that’s easier said than done! Today, we’ll start by discussing one of the primary causes of decreased circulation: inflammation.
Blood Flow and Inflammation: What You Need to Know
As you might know, inflammation is a natural reaction by your body’s immune system. When a part of your body becomes inflamed, it’s usually red, swollen, and painful to touch. But this can also happen inside your body. For example, let’s say you were injured at work and have been struggling with foot pain for years.
In most cases, the pain you feel is caused by inflammation in the injured area. This inflammation can also spread to surrounding muscles, tissue, ligaments, and even your nerves. What’s more, inflammation damages your vessels, making it harder for your body to pump fresh blood into your limbs.
So to recap, inflammation is one of the primary causes of debilitating pain and it will also lower your circulation. That means your #1 goal is to REDUCE inflammation, so you can feel less discomfort and so can get your blood flowing. But there’s just one problem: many of our lifestyle habits will actually increase inflammation in your body. And if you already have an injury, the last thing you want is increased inflammation. Because that’s like throwing gasoline on a fire!
The #1 Inflammatory Food to Avoid
If you’re dealing with pain, stiffness, swelling, or numbness throughout your feet, ankles, or legs, then keeping your inflammation in check will make a tremendous difference to how you move and feel. And remember – if you don’t take care of your inflammation now, it can lead to even more health problems down the road.
So what’s the most dangerous food when it comes to inflammation? It’s refined sugar. I know – that’s a tough one to give up! But the Arthritis Foundation and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition warn that refined sugar increases inflammation throughout your body.  That means your breakfast donut can actually lead to sharp stabbing foot pain that keeps you awake all night!
Fortunately, there are more natural and safer forms of sugar you can use as a replacement including:
- Maple Syrup
- Coconut Sugar
- Stevia Extract
Just remember – moderation is key!
Putting Out Your Inflammatory Fire
If you can reduce your sugar intake, you’re already well on your way to a more pain-free life. But sometimes, we all need a little extra support when it comes to inflammation. After all, research at the Department of Environmental Medicine in New York shows that we’re all facing higher levels of inflammation thanks to environmental pollution. 
So to douse the inflammatory fire that’s wrecking your circulation, you’ll want to introduce anti-inflammatory foods into your diet. Now don’t worry – none of these are boring “health” foods. In fact, many of them taste great!
Here’s a few of the best to incorporate into your daily meals…
- Wild Caught Salmon – Rich in omega-3s, this tasty fish provides a powerful anti-inflammatory punch with just 1 fillet per week.
- Blueberries – The deep blue color in blueberries comes from an antioxidant called anthocyanin. Research shows that blueberries can effectively slash your inflammation levels, which will help reduce swelling. 
- Turmeric – This ancient Indian spice is renowned for its ability to protect your body from the signs of aging. But did you know that scientists at the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine found that it works better than Ibuprofen for pain?  Try sprinkling a little bit over your favorite foods for extra relief throughout the day.
- Green Tea – Green tea contains a potent antioxidant called EGCG which researchers at Case West Reserve University found can shut off your inflammation!  Plus, it’s a delicious and relaxing beverage you can enjoy any time of day.
And there you have it! A few simple ways to turn off your body’s inflammatory response, boost your circulation, and enjoy a more pain-free life.
To your best health,