The Best Foods to Eat if You Have Varicose Veins

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healthy dietWhile it’s true that varicose veins and venous insufficiency can be somewhat uncomfortable and painful, it does not mean that you are doomed to a life of pain or that you will never be able to wear shorts in public again if you have them. Furthermore, in addition to a wide variety of invasive and minimally invasive treatment options available to you, you can also make certain lifestyle choices in order to minimize the discomfort that you feel on a day to day basis, as well as reduce the appearance of your unsightly veins.

One of the most beneficial lifestyle choices you can make, in addition to maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, and making sure to exercise frequently, is that of addressing your diet. Not only does a proper diet help you in maintaining a healthy weight, which can do wonders for varicose veins, but it can also be beneficial to know which foods to stay away from, such as those that might increase water retention, as well as which foods to incorporate for their specific benefits. Some of the most beneficial foods for varicose veins are highlighted below.

Foods that are high in vitamins C and E.
Not only is vitamin C known to add in overall circulation, but it also contains two very important connective tissues that are responsible, in part, for keeping veins toned and strong: collagen and elastin. Furthermore, vitamin E also helps varicose veins by fortifying vein walls and promoting healthy blood flow, and is also known to strengthen the effects of vitamin C when used in combination. Additionally, vitamin E has even proven to be effective when applied topically at reducing the appearance of both varicose veins and spider veins.

Foods high in vitamins C and E include:

  • Peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Citrus fruits
  • Spinach
  • Nuts

Foods that are fiber rich.
Constipation is one of the worst enemies to varicose veins and venous insufficiency. Because it increases pressure on the veins, not only can it make current varicose veins feel increasingly uncomfortable, but it can also contribute greatly to the formation of varicose veins in the first place. How can one ensure that this doesn’t occur? Eat plenty of fiber, which makes the stool bulkier and softer, allowing it to pass through the intestines relatively intact and without problems along the way. However, make sure that you are consuming soluble fiber, as opposed to insoluble fiber, as the latter can actually cause more harm than good.

Foods high in fiber include:

  • Bran
  • Broccoli
  • Leafy Greens
  • Berries
  • Beans

Foods that are high in bioflavonoids.
Bioflavonoids, sometimes referred to as “flavonoids,” are super-antioxidants that are found naturally in plants, and subsequently the fruits and vegetables produced by such plants. Interestingly, bioflavonoids are found in many of the same foods that contain high amounts of vitamin C, and the two seem to compliment each other quite well when consumed in combination. Bioflavonoids have been shown to reduce the appearance of varicose veins by strengthening vessel walls and preventing stress within the veins from free radicals, and furthermore, bioflavonoids are believed to improve one’s overall health. They are often recommended for combating other conditions such as heart disease and Alzheimer’s as well.

Foods high in bioflavonoids include:

  • Strawberries
  • Peppers
  • Garlic
  • Citrus fruits
  • Teas

If you’d like further advice on how to manage your varicose veins or venous insufficiency through diet and lifestyle choices, or if you’d simply like more information on treatment options available for your condition, contact Dr. Zuzga of the West Florida Vein Center today by calling (727) 712-3233.

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