Blood vessels dilate when the arterial walls prevent its muscles from constricting. Blood vessel dilation allows blood to flow more easily through arteries and enables the heart to use less force while pumping which results in lower blood pressure. Dilation of blood vessels can be used to treat different health conditions like heart failure, preeclampsia and high blood pressure.
Ways to Dilate Blood Vessels
There are different foods that can help to dilate blood vessels. Such foods can effectively stimulate the circulation, lower cholesterol and improve heart function. Here is a list of foods that causes dilated blood vessels.
List of Foods for Blood Vessel Dilation
Hot peppers as well as foods containing hot peppers can promote blood flow and lower blood cholesterol levels. However, one should be cautious when consuming or preparing hot peppers as their oil can cause burns.
Cayenne pepper is a member of the hot pepper group, but it also has medicinal properties. Apart from dilating blood vessels, cayenne pepper aids in relieving sinus congestion, decreasing cholesterol and lessening internal congestion. Applied externally, it reduces inflammation and congestion of blood vessels.
Dark chocolate is another food that can dilate blood vessels thus strengthen the heart and promote blood flow.
Intake of alcohol in a moderate amount can help in dilating blood vessels. Thus alcohol can also provide with a warm sensation, particularly during cold winter months.
Garlic is a traditional remedy used for many ailments and can aid in protecting blood vessels against damage caused by free radicals and aging. Garlic has anticoagulant properties so it can decrease blood pressure and cholesterol and strengthen the heart.
Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which relax and strengthen the blood vessels, thus promoting the circulation and reducing blood pressure. A person can benefit from eating cold-water, oily fish two to three times a week or, alternatively, from consuming fish oil in capsule form.
And finally, caffeine also possesses vasodilating effects. Any foods and drinks containing caffeine are recommended. Substances theobromine and theophyline found in cocoa beans and tea act as heart stimulants and open and enlarge blood vessels.
Medications for Blood Vessel Dilation
Blood vessels can be dilated with the help of medications. Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors are used in treatment of medical conditions that restrict the blood flow. ACE inhibitors interrupt production of a substance angiotensin in the body thus preventing blood vessel constriction.
For people who cannot tolerate ACE inhibitors, a doctor may prescribe vasodilators that work by opening blood vessels. Commonly used vasodilators are isosorbide dinitrate, nesiritide, hydralazine, nitrates and minoxidil.