Varicose Veins and Diet: Tips for Improving Your Vein Health
Why do varicose veins occur? Though varicose veins are often seen as a natural symptom of aging, they're more often caused by poor vein health. When veins can no longer support and pump blood properly, the blood begins to pool in them. Over time, this creates a small, spidery network of new veins close to the surface of your skin.
Not only are these veins unsightly, but they can be painful and irritating. By improving your vein health, you can decrease your chances of getting varicose veins. Here are a few tips for improving your vein health.
Eat a Low-Calorie Diet
Varicose veins are far more likely to emerge in individuals who are overweight or obese. If you're currently overweight, you may want to start a nutritious, healthy diet plan that will lead to weight loss. High-fiber, low-carbohydrate, and reduced-sugar diets can all help you lose weight and reduce the appearance of varicose veins.
That being said, you often don't want to cut too many calories at once; your body has an upper limit regarding how much weight it can lose in a healthy fashion. Better overall diet habits are often more sustainable than a crash diet.
Some high calorie foods should be avoided if you want to lose weight, including deep fried foods, soda, alcohol, and processed foods with high amounts of sugar.
Eat Some Bioflavinoids
Bioflavinoids are plant pigments that can also improve vein health. These nutrients can be found in a lot of fresh produce. A few good sources include eggplant, mango, spinach, bell peppers, garlic, and broccoli.
Bioflavinoids reduce inflammation, which not only causes varicose veins but can also make existing varicose veins grow larger or begin to ache. Bioflavinoids will also stimulate the blood flow throughout your body, making it less likely that you will form varicose veins at all.
Some levels of salt are healthy for your body, but excess levels of salt will increase your blood pressure and put extra strain on your veins and your heart. If you've noticed that your blood pressure is high lately, salt may be the reason.
Many processed foods contain a great deal of salt, so sticking to a diet that is high in fresh vegetables and fruit can help you naturally reduce your sodium intake.
Drink More Water
Dehydration can have a negative impact on many areas throughout your body, including your veins. Improved hydration will improve your blood flow, while also naturally cutting down on the amount that you eat by reducing your feelings of hunger.
Avoid Potentially Constipating Foods
One of the causes of varicose veins is constipation. Constipation will put pressure on your body and your veins, and chronic constipation will lead to damaged veins over time. A multitude of foods can contribute to constipation, including red meat, starches, cheese, milk, and bananas. If you're finding yourself dealing with constipation frequently, you may want to consult your physician.
Try to Avoid BPA
Though the science is still out on this one, it's possible that the BPA that can leak into food from containers could lead to an increase in estrogen, which is another cause of varicose veins. When looking at food containers, make sure you look for ones that are specifically labeled as BPA-free.
You can't avoid all varicose veins. At some level, varicose veins may be genetic, and many people will develop varicose veins at some point during their lives. Luckily, you can treat any varicose veins that do emerge. If you have varicose veins that you want to treat, contact Dr. Mackay. Visit our website today to learn how we can help.