Improve Vein Health With Healthier Eating Habits
Your vascular system has over 60,000 miles of arteries, veins and other blood vessels. They play a significant role in circulation, carrying oxygen and nutrient-rich blood from various parts of your body back to your heart.
As people age, problems can develop in the veins and cause a variety of complications. Early symptoms may seem minor, but in some situations, they can become more serious — and even life-threatening if they are not treated. It is important to be aware of symptoms and seek medical advice at the earliest sign of a problem.
For some, vein disease runs in the family, increasing their likelihood of having varicose or spider veins. In fact, one in three Americans over the age of 45 has some kind of vein disease like varicose veins.
Certain nutrients can help keep the arteries and veins strong and elastic for lasting overall health. Managing your vein health doesn’t have to be hard. All it takes is awareness and a little willpower to implement some beneficial changes, such as choosing food and drinks for good vein health to improve how your legs feel and work on the inside.
Fill Your Plate with Color
Bioflavonoids (Vitamin P) provide the pigment that puts color in flowers and fruits. They also help reduce varicose veins with their abundance of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory qualities, which have been shown to diminish swelling and strengthen the collagen (connective tissue) within vein walls. This stabilizing effect on veins positively affects flow because a stronger wall makes for a better passageway.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are the top choices for getting plenty of bioflavonoids in a diet. Here are some of the most popular ways to get the most of these essential nutritional elements.
- Red bell peppers or sweet peppers
- Citrus fruits
- Brussels sprouts
- Tropical fruits – mangoes, papaya
Vitamin-rich foods are always more effective in their raw form. Be aware of the difference between buying and using fresh produce and eating canned, cooked or processed foods. Look for colorful, fresh fruits and vegetables to benefit from a diet that will contribute to your health in many ways.
Eat More Fiber
Fiber is essential for balanced nutrition and normal digestive function. It also helps reduce the risk of other disorders such as high cholesterol, which can affect the vascular system.
- A high-fiber diet can also help you maintain a healthy weight and prevent varicose veins.
- Fill up on fiber-rich grains to reach a suggested intake of 21-25 grams per day for women and 30-38 grams per day for men.
- Replace white flour with whole wheat flour which contains all the vitamins, minerals, proteins and fiber originally present in the grain.
- Replace sugary snacks with fruit; the boost of antioxidants will reinforce your veins, and the extra fiber helps maintain your weight and keeps you full longer.
- Other super sources of grain-based fibers include oatmeal, barley, brown rice, and air-popped popcorn.
Drink More Water!
Staying hydrated can help with symptoms of varicose veins. Water is an important part of your diet, especially if you are eating enough fiber. Water helps fiber do its job by flushing out the system and reducing any cramping or bloating.
- Start your day with a glass of water—have a full cup with breakfast.
- Always aim to have a water bottle nearby—at your desk, in the car, and on the go.
- Add flavor to keep it interesting—try slices of orange, mint leaves, limes or cucumbers.
Slow Down on Sodium
Foods high in sodium can cause the body to retain fluid which could increase damage to the veins. By reducing sodium intake and upping water consumption, the fluids in your tissues can begin to balance out.
Start to understand proper sodium levels by taking a look at nutrition labels on the foods you already eat. Sodium is not just salt added at the dinner table—it’s hidden in canned soups, deli meats, salad dressings, sauces, frozen entrées and fast food.
For younger-looking and healthy legs, do your best to avoid some nasty chemicals. Bisphenol A (BPA) is an estrogen-like chemical that comes from hard plastic. Plastics with BPA are used to line cans and make bottles. So unless stated otherwise on the label, canned foods in your grocery are packed with BPA. Estrogen has been linked with a higher risk of spider veins.