Varicose vein disease, otherwise known as chronic venous insufficiency ((CVI), has a very strong genetic component. However, even if varicose veins run in your family, you can ward off varicose vein treatment, or at a minimum, delay such treatment, by eating a diet that will do the most to keep your veins healthy. The following are some good diet tips for healthier veins that are easy to remember and easy to follow.
Antioxidants Are Your Friend!
A precursor to varicose veins is inflamed veins. Inflammation also makes varicose veins that are already forming progress more quickly. So, increasing your dietary antioxidant intake is one good way to improve your vein health and ward off varicose vein treatment. Some health advocates will simply give you a list of a few antioxidant superfoods to eat every day, or at least every week, to ward off varicose vein treatment. However, an easier approach is simply to eat colorful plates of food! Another way of saying this is to eat every color of the rainbow.
Unlike vitamins and minerals, antioxidants let their presence known by giving plant-based foods deep and rich color. Think of deep blue blueberries, blood orange grapefruit, red ripe tomatoes, purple potatoes, crimson beets, green kale, and multiple colored chards just to name a few. To maximize your antioxidant intake, try to eat fresh fruits and vegetables whenever possible. When you can’t get them fresh, try to get fresh frozen or sun-dried versions. Also note that white vegetables like onion, garlic, jicama, turnips, and cauliflower contain a diversity of antioxidants. Please note too that the zest (peel) on all citrus fruit is exceptionally good for improving vein health.
Eat Foods High In Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Vitamin B3 (niacin) is well known to rebuild and strengthen the collagen and elastin fibers in your vein walls. It also gives them strength and flexibility. You can get niacin by eating healthy animal-based proteins like salmon, tuna, sardines, chicken, turkey, and liver. Niacin is also found in squash family vegetables like summer yellow squash, pumpkin, winter squash, and butternut squash. Southern “soul food” like black-eyed peas, okra, and sweet potatoes are also high in niacin.
Please note that many people now supplement with a form of niacin branded as “Niagen” that is purportedly more powerful than normal niacin but the jury is still out on this. Not many people seem to know this but Niagen is a GMO supplement (genetically modified) so if you want to avoid GMOs, you’ll want to go for a more natural form of niacin.
Eat More Fiber Rich Foods
Dietary fiber prevents constipation which can lead to the formation of varicose veins. In fact, hemorrhoids, often caused by straining in the bathroom, are actually a form of varicose veins! Fiber also slows down the release of sugar which improves vessel health overall and helps you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
Grains and seeds are excellent sources of fiber. Foods like oatmeal, brown rice, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, quinoa, and flaxseeds are all full of fiber that can ward off varicose vein treatment. Beans, peas, and lentils are another great source of fiber that many people turn into delicious soups and dips! Add some guacamole and you’re ready for movie night with your friends.
Don’t Each So Much Processed Foods
The standard American diet has become inundated by frozen foods, boxed foods, canned foods, take out foods, and other processed foods. Unfortunately, these “convenient” foods are all highly processed. They have a greatly reduced inventory of antioxidants, vitamins, nutrients, and fiber that is needed to maintain healthy veins, especially if you are already genetically prone to developing varicose veins. This is why so many people seeking varicose vein treatment have a poor diet, filled with highly processed foods.
Many foods that would otherwise be healthy for veins become far less healthy when overly processed. For example, oatmeal is a high fiber healthy food that can help ward off varicose vein treatment. However, if you buy “instant oatmeal,” i.e. highly processed oatmeal, there is much less fiber. Here’s another example. Most fruit juices are pasteurized which kills the antioxidants and other nutrients. For example, bottled pomegranate juice contains far less antioxidant than fresh pomegranate! So, you’re better off eating the whole fruit, juicing your own at home, or finding a natural food store that sells fresh juices.
Get a Free Evaluation of Your Veins
Metro Vein Centers, a prominent chain of varicose vein treatment clinics, offers a free evaluation of veins. This is a very useful service for those people who may have a family history of varicose veins but they don’t know if they themselves have any type of venous damage. The symptoms of varicose vein disease can sometimes progress so slowly that people don’t even realize they have a problem until the disease is quite advanced. Getting evaluated at Metro Vein Centers is a good way to catch the disease early so that less varicose vein treatment may be necessary.