The Worst Foods to Eat if You Have Varicose Veins

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bad dietWhile varicose veins are often caused by factors outside of a patient’s control, they can be more easily prevented or managed through a healthy diet, weight, and lifestyle. And while much of the advice available in the field of nutrition is quick to tell you what you should be eating, this same advice often neglects to tell you what you should not be eating, which can be just as important if not more so.

When it comes to preventing varicose veins or healing current ones, two conditions that you want to avoid are constipation and water retention, both of which cause added pressure to vein walls, and if you’ve already got varicose veins or venous insufficiency, then your veins are already quite fragile. To avoid finding yourself in this uncomfortable situation, do your best to stay away from the following varicose vein culprits:

Refined Grains
Fiber is important because it contributes greatly to vein wall formation and is essential to the circulatory system because it prevents constipation and blood clot formation. While grains would typically be assumed to be good for varicose veins, grains that are refined have had most of their fiber removed in the process, so food items like refined pastas, white rice, and anything made with white flour are not recommended.

Refined Sugars
Because processed grains tend to behave just like sugar in the bloodstream, it should come as no surprise then that refined sugars are also on the list of foods to avoid. Not only does a diet high in refined sugar lead to obesity and a variety of other health complications, but it also contains very little fiber and in turn can contribute to constipation.

High-Sodium Foods
Eating too much sodium can cause the body to retain more water in order to lower the sodium concentration present in the cells – also known as water retention – which in turn results in an increase in the volume of blood flowing through your veins. This immediately adds pressure to the veins and valves, and over time, can greatly weaken vein walls and contribute to the formation of varicose veins and spider veins.

An excess of alcohol can lead to venous disorders in that, like both high-carb and high-sugar foods as well, it leads to the release of high levels of insulin. High levels of insulin are problematic in that they inhibit the body’s ability to get rid of sodium, causing an increase in water retention. Alcohol also negatively affects the overall circulatory system by attacking the liver’s ability to properly filter toxins and waste in the blood, creating blood that is thicker and more viscous, further weakening already fragile leg veins.

Avoiding the above foods is not only wise if you want to prevent varicose veins or to alleviate some of the symptoms from current varicose veins, but is also recommended for anyone who wants to avoid a variety of other illnesses and medical conditions as well. For more information on varicose vein prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, or to simply schedule a vein screening of your own, contact Dr. Zuzga of the West Florida Vein Center today by calling (727) 712-3233.

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Tampa Vein Specialists

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