Varicose veins can be painful, unpleasant and cause a lot of distress. Usually caused by weak valves, there are several factors that increase the likelihood of getting these. Being female, being overweight having a genetic predisposition or having a job that involves standing for long hours can all be factors.
However, science suggests that there are certain things you can do to reduce the chance of varicose veins and to relieve them if you already have them. This includes having a good diet and losing weight - to take pressure off of your veins. Certain food types can also be beneficial:
Foods low in salt – may prevent swelling and reduce varicose veins:
Fresh fruit and vegetables, non-processed foods
Foods high in Rutin – this antioxidant is thought to improve blood flow through the body. It can also strengthen capillaries thus reducing the chance of developing varicose veins.
Buckwheat, asparagus, figs, elderflower tea, unpeeled apples, black olives, cherries, raspberries, grapes
Foods high in fibre - fibre can reduce constipation which could increase pressure on your veins:
Oats, apples, flaxseed, berry
Foods high in vitamin C - can help to strengthen blood vessels and vein walls. It can also help to reduce circulation and reduce inflammation:
Berries, citrus fruits, avocados
Foods high in magnesium – this helps blood flow and keeps blood flowing smoothly. It can also relax the walls of the blood vessels lowering blood pressure:
Watercress, dark chocolate, avocado, nuts, whole grains, bananas, leafy greens
There are a few specific foods that are thought to be good for varicose veins:
Beetroot: These contain betacyanin, a phytochemical compound that can lower the levels of homocysteine in the body. Homocysteine is a natural amino acid that can harm blood vessels.
Asparagus: is a diuretic that can reduce swelling
Ginger: is an anti-inflammatory that can help to improve circulation and dissolve fibrin in the blood vessels. This is what can cause the veins to become hard and lumpy.
Rosemary: stimulates circulation and contains rosmarinic acid, a compound that can help prevent damage to your tissues from free radicals.
For an easy way to get some extra vitamins and minerals why not try this smoothy:
1 sachet of Britt’s Superfoods organic beetroot juice
1 sachet Britt’s superfoods organic ginger and Turmeric juice
1 sachet Britt’s Superfoods organic wheatgrass juice
1 cup organic apple juice
Blend together and enjoy.