General improvements in lifestyle, such as quitting smoking and drinking and maintaining a healthy weight and diet, are essential for long-term circulatory health. Our daily diet has a huge impact on the efficiency of blood flow. If our arteries and veins are lined with grime from unhealthy food, the speed of the blood circulating in our bodies is reduced. The ability of the blood vessels to expand and contract is also limited. If your blood vessels are healthy, you will be better adapted to temperature changes in the environment. 'It's all about plumbing,' says medical practitioner Dr Jonathan Ng. 'Not smoking and adopting a low fat, low cholesterol diet will aid in keeping blood vessels unblocked.' This means eating more raw vegetables, fruit and grains. Avoid anything that has been overprocessed, such as white sugar, and coffee, as caffeine constricts the blood vessels. The Chinese believe that red dates and ginger have circulation-boosting properties. Boil a few red dates and some ginger root in water and sweeten it with honey for a delicious, warming tea. Alcohol can warm the body and make the skin flushed temporarily, but prolonged intake will ultimately damage the liver and the circulatory system, Dr Ng says. He adds, however, that a glass of red wine every day has been shown to reduce the incidence of heart disease.