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Influence of diet on Circulation

Posted by Eamonn Brady on


Eamonn Brady is a pharmacist and the owner of Whelehans Pharmacy, Pearse St, Mullingar. If you have any health questions e-mail them to


Being overweight has a negative effect on circulation; maintaining a normal weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise helps prevent circulation problems such as venous clot clots, erectile dysfunction and raynaud’s disease.


Too much salt can slow circulation, mainly through its effect on blood pressure. On average, 75% of our salt comes from processed food. When buying canned, processed, and convenience foods, most are labelled with sodium content so buy the brands that are lower in sodium. High is more than 1.5g salt per 100g (or 0.6g sodium) and low in salt is 0.3g salt or less per 100g (or 0.1g sodium). If you salt your food at the table, try using less, or none. It may take a little while to get used to the new flavours, but you may find that food tastes better when you use less salt.



Atherosclerosis occurs when arteries become clogged up by fatty substances, such as cholesterol. Certain diet changes that reduce atherosclerosis include:


Eating more fish

Fish oils, especially fish oils high in omega 3, stimulates blood circulation and reduces the formation of clots. Omega 3 fatty acids are primarily found in oily fish such as salmon, fresh tuna, mackerel, herring, sardines and pilchards. We should eat two portions of fish per week, one of them oily. If you don’t like fish, a fish oil supplement can be beneficial. I recommend a brand called MorEpa® as it contains the highest omega 3 content of all fish oil supplements.


Reduce fatty foods

Reduce saturated fats, this includes fats found in butter, hard margarine, salad dressing, fried foods, snack foods, sweets, and desserts. When using fats as a food additive or for frying (bear in mind grilling is healthier than frying), use fats high in monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats, for example, olive oil.


Healthier sources of protein

Protein is responsible for building and repair of the body’s. Excess of high-fat protein foods (meat, dairy products) can increase heart disease risk because of their high-levels of fat. Healthier vegetable sources of protein include beans, nuts and whole grains. The best animal protein choices are fish and poultry.


Limit cholesterol consumption

You can reduce cholesterol by getting energy from complex carbohydrates such as brown pasta, sweet potatoes and wholegrain breads and by limiting simple carbohydrates such as sugary drinks like coke, sugar and sweets. An egg a day is healthy for adults. Limiting saturated fats is more important than limiting dietary cholesterol intake.


What is BPro Cardio Screen Service?

Whelehans now has a cardiovascular health check called BPro Cardio Screen. This test measures the stiffness of your arteries to help identify risk of blockages and your risk of cardiovascular disease and circulation problems. BPRo is placed like a watch on your wrist and is completely pain free. A pulse wave reads and calculates a wave signal that indicates the elasticity of large, small, and peripheral artery walls as well as tests for stress, central blood pressure, heart rate, and more. It is now €35 (was €50); it only takes about 15 minutes to get checked. The next clinic is Thursday April 26th from 9am to 6pm at Whelehans Pearse St. Book by calling Whelehans at 04493 34591.


BPro Cardio Screen is not meant as a substitute for proper medical assessment with your doctor and should not replace prescription medication


For comprehensive and free health advice and information call in to Whelehans, log on to or dial 04493 34591.


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