5 Easy, Expert-Approved Ways To Eat Your Way to Vein Health
When it comes to vein health, you don’t immediately think of your circulatory system. That said, if you were to stretch out your circulatory system into a straight line, you would travel 60,000 miles to get from one end to the other.
Take a moment to think about that — 60,000 miles of arteries, veins, and blood vessels all contained within your body. It is obvious that these thousands of miles of “stuff” play a vital role in the function of your body, specifically circulating oxygen and blood from all over your body back up to your heart.
However, the older you get, the more at risk you become for issues developing within that mile-after-mile of your circulatory system. While you may be thinking: “How bad can that be? So maybe my legs go numb after sitting quicker than they used to,” the truth is that the issues start small, but can grow into major hazards if not handled.
Without proper treatment, vein problems can even become life-threatening. Since that is a situation you do not want to find yourself in, it’s a good idea to be aware of how you can work to help keep your vein health on track, especially if you are at high-risk of vein problems.
Improve Vein Health Via Your Diet
How do you know if you’re at risk of developing vein issues such as varicose veins? Here are the top 5 risk factors:
- Obesity. Weight puts a great deal of pressure on your veins.
- Age. While older people aren’t the only ones to develop vein problems, they are more likely.
- Genes. If mom and grandma had vein problems, chances are good you will too.
- Hormones. Pregnancy and other major hormone shifts in your body can lead to vein issues.
- Sedentary Lifestyle. Sitting or standing for long periods of time causes your veins to work overtime.
If you fall under any of the above categories, then we suggest you read on to see ways in which you can improve your vein health, merely by making simple changes to your diet.
While we all know fiber as our friendly digestive aid, you stand to gain a lot more than a healthy digestive tract by consuming fiber. By upping your fiber intake, you are preventing your body from absorbing unhealthy fats as well as building up cholesterol.
If you allow too many unhealthy fats and too much bad cholesterol to accumulate in your vascular system, you are increasing your chances of having vein problems. What’s the best way to incorporate more fiber into your diet?
Rather than opt for supplements or other pills to get more fiber, it is best to simply add more fiber-rich foods to your diet. These include:
- Brussels sprouts
- Black beans
- Brown rice
- Flax seeds
- Chia seeds
And much more.
Women want to aim to get 20-25 grams of fiber per day, and men 30-38 grams. Here are couple of other tricks to include more fiber in your day:
- Swap out white flour for whole wheat flour that has naturally-occurring fiber (as well as other vitamins, minerals, and proteins your body needs).
- Swap out sugary snacks (hello mid-afternoon candy bar!) for fruit. You’ll gain benefits not only from the fiber, but also from the antioxidants that the fruit contains.
Boost Vitamin C Levels
Vitamin C plays a major role in creating collagen and elastin in your body. This is important for your vein health because, when your veins are under pressure, your body relies upon the collagen and elastin stored in the veins to help them contract and dilate, thus allowing the blood flow to remain regular.
When your body is running low on vitamin C, your veins are weakened, and are not as flexible. And, luckily, vitamin C is fairly easy to work into your daily life. While we all know that oranges are the go-to source for vitamin C, here are some other great ways you can consume more of this crucial vitamin:
- Dark leafy greens
- Chile peppers
- Bell peppers
- Brussels sprouts
Up Your Water Intake
According to the Mayo Clinic, women should be gulping down about 11.5 cups of water a day, and men 15.5 cups. (This includes fluids other drinks containing water and food, too) Chances are, you are not drinking as much water as you should be. If you don’t have any idea how much water you consume in a day, spend a day measuring your intake.
Keep track of every glass of water you finish, and you will likely be surprised at how low the number is! So why is water so important for your vein health?
If you’re increasing your fiber intake, you’re going to want to increase your water intake as well, to help the fiber do its job and flush out your system. And, as mentioned above, flushing out the system is crucial to keeping your veins functioning properly.
Eat More Rutin
While the word “rutin” may be new to you, you are not a stranger to the foods in which rutin is found. Rutin is first and foremost a flavinoid that provides color to things such as berries. It is also an antioxidant that serves as a key player in reducing inflammation caused by damaged veins, and can even work to help prevent blood clots. Pretty amazing, right? So where do you find this rutin stuff?
Rutin is found primarily in buckwheat, but you can also find it in:
- Apple peels
- Rooibos or green tea
- Citrus zest
Cut Back On Salt
In conjunction with upping your water intake, cutting back on the amount of sodium you consume can help your veins stay healthy. A diet that is too high in salt can lead to fluid retention, which puts more pressure on your veins and can lead to serious damage. The best way to lower your salt levels is to take a look at what you are eating, and take note of nutrition labels. You will be amazed to find the places that salt hides.
If you’re looking to improve your vein health, and need help in doing so, contact a Vein Clinics of America location near you. With nearly 60 clinics nationwide, and as the number one most trusted vein clinic in the United States, we can help you get your vein health back on track to ensure you’re able to live the healthy, happy life that you enjoy!