Another characteristic of healthy blood cells is their flexibility. Cell walls need to be elastic and flexible in order for the blood cells to squeeze through tight capillaries without breaking. Flexible cell walls have a healthy layer of fat (phospholipids) to aid their bending. Here, then, is one of the first things you can do to improve your overall cardiovascular health: eat the right kinds of fat. Ideally, your cells are able to build walls out of essential fatty acids but if those fats are not available, they’ll take what is available. And if that means they use the fats from the burger you ate last weekend, so be it.
Since the fat that provides that layer around the cell is what determines how flexible or fluid the cell is, you’ll want to make sure your cells are built out of high quality essential fatty acids. Cells membranes that contain fats from trans fats sources will not be as flexible as cell membranes made out of essential fatty acids; they will be limited in their ability to let necessary materials move easily in and out of the cell. Unhealthy membranes mean the cells can’t hold nutrients, can’t hold their electrical charges, and won’t respond well to messages from the rest of the body. So do whatever you can to make those cell membranes healthy. Be sure you’re eating plenty of essential fatty acids (omega-3’s) and plenty of antioxidants (vegetables and fruits).