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fruits and vegetables

 

Nearly 25% of women and 18% of men suffer daily from varicose vein discomfort. There are several ways to relieve discomfort at home including exercises such as stretching and walking. Overall health can also be improved by paying close attention to the foods you eat. Some foods can help reduce discomfort related to varicose veins and even prevent varicose veins from becoming worse.

Before changing your diet, it’s important to understand what causes varicose veins. While there are many factors, the top five reasons people develop varicose veins are:

  1. Obesity. Carrying extra weight puts more pressure on your veins.
  2. Age. Varicose veins are more common at an older age. 
  3. Genes. Vein problems tend to run in the family. 
  4. Hormones. Pregnancy and other hormonal shifts can lead to vein issues. 
  5. Sedentary Lifestyle. Sitting or standing for long periods of time contributes to varicose veins. 

While you can’t change your genes or your age, there are ways to combat the other contributing factors through diet and exercise.

Foods for Healthy Veins

Generally speaking, unprocessed foods like fruit and vegetables are the best choices for a healthy, active lifestyle. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), you should aim to consume at least 1½ to 2 cups per day of fruit and 2 to 3 cups per day of vegetables as part of a healthy diet.

While there are many different kinds of foods that help support vein health, here are a few of our favorites:

  • Avocadoes: Avocadoes are high in vitamin C and vitamin E. Both vitamins C and E are known to be beneficial for vein health. Avocadoes also contain glutathione, which protects veins and arteries from damages. Whether you use avocadoes on toast or in a salad, they can be great for your veins!
  • Beets: Beets contain the plant pigment betacyanin, which is known to reduce the amino acid homocysteine. Homocysteine can damage blood vessels. Beets can be eaten raw, pickled, or grilled and are great additions to salads!
  • Asparagus: Grilled, steamed, roasted, or sauteed, asparagus is great for overall health including vein health! Asparagus helps strengthen capillaries and veins and is rich in calcium, niacin, phosphorus, and amino acids.
  • Celery: Celery is a great source of Vitamin K. Vitamin K is critical for blood clotting and healthy blood flow.
  • Raw Nuts and Seeds: Nuts are rich in niacin and vitamin B3, can improve blood circulation. Nuts and seeds like chia seeds, flax, sunflower seeds are also a good source of anti-inflammatory proteins that can help reduce cholesterol and improve blood flow.
  • Rutin-filled foods: Foods high in rutin are great for varicose veins. Rutin is an antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation caused by damaged veins and can help prevent blood clots. Rutin-rich foods include apples, figs, cranberries, buckwheat, and asparagus.  
  • H2O: While not a food, you can’t forget to drink water!  Staying hydrated can help with symptoms of varicose veins. Water, along with a high-fiber diet, helps flush out your system and reduce cramping or bloating.
  • Avocadoes: Avocadoes are high in vitamin C and vitamin E. Both vitamins C and E are known to be beneficial for vein health. Avocadoes also contain glutathione, which protects veins and arteries from damages. Whether you use avocadoes on toast or in a salad, they can be great for your veins!
  • Beets: Beets contain the plant pigment betacyanin, which is known to reduce the amino acid homocysteine. Homocysteine can damage blood vessels. Beets can be eaten raw, pickled, or grilled and are great additions to salads!
  • Asparagus: Grilled, steamed, roasted, or sauteed, asparagus is great for overall health including vein health! Asparagus helps strengthen capillaries and veins and is rich in calcium, niacin, phosphorus, and amino acids.
  • Celery: Celery is a great source of Vitamin K. Vitamin K is critical for blood clotting and healthy blood flow.
  • Raw Nuts and Seeds: Nuts are rich in niacin and vitamin B3, can improve blood circulation. Nuts and seeds like chia seeds, flax, sunflower seeds are also a good source of anti-inflammatory proteins that can help reduce cholesterol and improve blood flow.
  • Rutin-filled foods: Foods high in rutin are great for varicose veins. Rutin is an antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation caused by damaged veins and can help prevent blood clots. Rutin-rich foods include apples, figs, cranberries, buckwheat, and asparagus.  
  • H2O: While not a food, you can’t forget to drink water!  Staying hydrated can help with symptoms of varicose veins. Water, along with a high-fiber diet, helps flush out your system and reduce cramping or bloating.

Foods to Avoid with Varicose Veins 

There are several foods that someone with varicose veins should avoid. Foods that cause water retention, constipation, and are high in sugar should be removed from a vein health diet plan. Unsure which types of foods these are? Use the following guidelines when grocery shopping or making dinner choices while dining out:

  • Salty snacks and foods: Salty snacks and foods like potato chips, pretzels, ham, hot dogs, and pizza can cause high blood pressure. High blood pressure is a contributing factor to varicose veins. Canned foods are also high in sodium and should be avoided. If you choose canned foods, be sure to look for low-sodium options.
  • Sugary treats: Processed foods like chocolate, cakes, and cookies contain high amounts of sugar which contribute to poor health. If you have a sweet tooth, opt for fruits instead. The natural sugar found in fruit is easier on your body.

When in doubt, choose healthy options like fruits, vegetables, and high-fiber foods to improve your vein and overall health!

Talk to Your Doctor

Before abruptly changing your diet plan or starting an exercise regimen, seek medical advice and consult with your physician. Your doctor can help you understand the benefits and risks associated with diet and exercise.

Questions About Vein Health?

At Premier Vein Specialists, we understand that varicose veins and spider veins are frustrating, uncomfortable, and even painful. The good news is that we are here to help. Dr. Mathai, Director and Leading Physician of Premier Vein Specialists, can discuss your vein health during a private, free confidential vein health screening at either the York or Hanover offices. After the consultation, Dr. Mathai will review your treatment options with you and recommend a path to health. 

Complete our vein health screening form, or call 717-412-7226, to get scheduled today.

At Premier Vein Specialists, your health is our priority. Our offices in York and Hanover only admit one patient at a time, and we follow all health and safety guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.