It’s easy to think that varicose veins are primarily caused due to vein issues in the leg. However there are a number of reasons why they develop and the health of our whole body affects our veins, especially weight and diet. When you’re overweight, the physical strain on your body causes veins to struggle. When your diet is poor it can also cause build-up within the veins themselves, weakening blood-flow and putting you at risk of blood clots. To help navigate the myriad of diet tips available, we’ve put together an outline of how diet can affect varicose veins.
Focus on low fat and low calories
Saturated fats aren’t good for your body in general, especially your veins. When you have too much, it can start to build up and form plaque which narrows the vein canal, slowing blood flow. This leads to the formation of varicose veins and potential clots. It’s also important to avoid high-calorie foods as these, along with fat, cause weight gain, which has an increasingly deteriorative effect on veins.
Deep-fried foods, soft drinks, processed food and alcohol all have lots of sugar and should be minimised.
Avoid salt, and keep hydrated
While it’s important to keep a healthy level of salt in your diet, too much can increase your blood pressure and put extra strain on your veins and heart. The best way to manage this is to stick to a diet high in fresh fruit and vegetables and minimising any processed foods.
Keeping hydrated is also important in the maintenance of healthy veins. Drinking water throughout the day will help to improve your blood flow and reduce feelings of hunger, making it easier to stay a healthy weight.
How can diet affect varicose veins?
While fresh fruit and vegetables are a great place to start, if you’re looking for some key foods which are especially good for vein health these seven foods will give you the boost you need!
- Beetroot: contains a compound called Betacyanin, which lowers the levels of other compounds that damage your veins.
- Asparagus: rich in a range of vitamins and minerals, this vegetable is excellent for veins health, preventing rupturing and strengthening the veins and capillaries.
- Rosemary: contains rosmarinic acid, which protects your tissue from free radicals (atoms from damaged cells that cause disease and other health problems).
- Ginger: boosts circulation, dissolves fibrin (the compound that forms blockages in veins) and provides other health benefits.
- Avocadoes: containing Vitamin C and E, as well as Glutathione, this delicious fruit boosts vascular health and help protect the arteries and veins from oxidant damage.
- Watercress: high in a wide range of vitamins and minerals, watercress has a wide range of health benefits that boost your vein and blood health as well as improve circulation.
- Blackberries: high in antioxidants, these tasty little fruits also contain rutin, a compound that is antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. These protect the blood vessels against blood clots. Other fruits high in rutin include apples, cherries, grapes, black olives, buckwheat and raspberries.
- Flavonoids: such as grape seed extract
Flavonoids are classified as food supplements. They come mainly from plant sources such as citrus fruits and, and they contain antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties. Daflon, (MPFF), is another new naturally based compound that some feel eases aching and swelling of the legs.
Looking for non-surgical options for varicose veins? Try: can essential oils treat varicose veins?
Seek expert advice
The doctors at The Vein Institute specialise in varicose vein treatment. We offer patients a comprehensive program using non-surgical laser treatment techniques. You can learn more in our Definitive Guide to Varicose Vein Treatment.
The benefits of non-surgical varicose vein treatment are:
- Walk-in walk-out treatment
- 98% success rate
- Extremely effective
- Can be performed at a clinic (no hospitalisation)
- No general anaesthetic
- Medicare rebates apply
- No downtime or time away from work
To book a consultation and discuss our treatment program, call 1300 981 402. Or, make an enquiry via the Contact Us page.