Contrary to what you might think – many docors and nutritionists believe that making changes to your diet can make a big difference to vein health. What you eat on a daily basis can improve the appearance of both spider and varicose veins now and prevent the problem getting worse in the future.
The trick is to eat the right things on a daily basis to improve your circulation and keep your vein walls strong and healthy.
So – here’s ten great tips to get you eating for healthy veins:
1. Eat colorful fruit
Add berries to your cereal or yoghurt in the morning. Foods like blueberries and raspberries are full of bioflavonoids – natural compounds that work with Vitamin C to help strengthen your blood vessels.
The darker the color the more bioflavonoids they contain. There are two bioflavonoids important for vein health – rutin and quercitin which are found in all citrus fruits, apricots, blueberries, blackberries, cherries, rose hips, and buckwheat as well as in white fleshed fruit like apples and pears.
2. Leave some peel on your citrus fruit
Many of us do everything possible to avoid the white bits on citrus fruits because of the a slightly bitter taste but eat it together with the juicy bits and it tastes fine.
You may not realize that the white membranes of citrus fruit like oranges clementines, tangerines and grapefruit are also a rich source of bioflavonoids – the goodness isn’t all in the juicy bits.
3. Increase your vitamin C intake
Eating a large amount of fruits containing bioflavonoids also delivers high quantities of vitamin C and the two together act to build up and restore tissue, stengthening vein valves and vein walls.
Other sources are leafy green vegetables and salad leaves. If you take a supplement combine a high strength vitamin C supplement with bioflavon.
4. Eat a high fiber diet
Avoid constipation – lack of regularity makes all vein problems worse because of the added pressure it puts on the vascular system.
Ditch processed white bread and eat wholemeal rye or spelt mixtures, add bran to your cereal or buy natural unprocessed muesli, eat nuts and dried fruit as a snack, consume as much fresh fruit and vegetables as you can, use pulses and legumes in soups and stews.
There are many ways you can get added fiber into your daily meals and all of them are delicious.
5. Take gingko biloba
Ginkgo biloba is a great natural supplement that helps to strengthen the tissues that make up your vein walls and increases blood flow around the body. Try a 120 mg dose every day.
6. Get more vitamin A
Vitamin A (beta carotene) is important for tissue healing and strength. Carrots are the best known source (try a fresh juice for maximum beta carotene intake) but any orange colored fruit and vegetables like mangoes or sweet potatoes are high in beta carotene.
7. Boost B complex vitamins
The eight individual B vitamins in the B complex group are vital for strengthening tissue and improving muscle tone which helps to heal damaged blood vessels, stem leaks and stop further problems arising.
Take a tablespoon of brewer’s yeast or nutritional yeast daily. Brewer’s yeast is an inactive form of the yeast used in brewing and is full of natural B complex vitamins. Get it in the vitamin section of most supermarkets or from a health food store.
B vitamins are also easily obtained in food – provided you eat enough of the right thing. They are found in all whole foods and whole grains but are very low or completely absent in processed carbohydrates like white flour or sugar.
Ready meals, pastries and most processed breads have virtually no B complex vitamins. You probably get most of your B vitamins in meat or meat products and turkey and fresh tuna are good sources. Other food sources for B vitamins are whole potatoes, bananas, lentils, molasses and chile peppers.
8. Take one tablespoon of lecithin daily
Lecithin or vitamin F is a wonderful natural substance that improves vascular health by breaking down fatty deposits in the blood allowing the blood to flow freely.
It also has a key role to play in restoring and repairing tissue damage. Lecithin is present naturally in foods such as: cabbage, cauliflower, soy beans, split peas, organic meat, seeds, nuts and eggs. Today’s average Western diet is unlikely to provide enough lecithin for optimum vein health so a supplement may be a good idea.
9. Build up your vitamin E
Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant protecting vitamins A and C and other important substances in the body so it plays a key role in the health of your vascular system.
Food sources are limited but it can be found in vegetable oils, wheatgerm, hazelnuts and avocados. As it may be difficult to get enough from food alone you should consider a supplement.
10. Make sure you get enough zinc
You may be deficient in zinc because your body may not be metabolizing enough of the zinc you consume in your diet. Low absorption of zinc is a common problem – the body is only able to absorb around 20% of the zinc made available to it through diet.
Zinc is vital for healthy connective tissues including capillary walls and vein valves as it plays a big role in collagen formation.
The best sources of zinc are proteins like meat and shellfish. Other sources include: wholegrains and cereals, pumpkin seeds, muesli, sesame seeds and tahini paste, yoghurt and wholemeal bread. Take a 50 mgs daily supplement if you don’t think you are getting enough zinc through food sources alone.
You may find it difficult to follow all ten tips for healthy veins but the more you can do to get the nutrients your body needs for strong veins and improved circulation the better.
The upside of improving your diet is that not only will you suffer less from spider veins or varicose veins in the future but you will feel great, do wonders for your looks and take years off your natural age as well!