Varicose and spider veins, as well as chronic venous insufficiency, are now becoming one of the most chronic conditions in America – up to 50% of all Americans have experienced some symptoms of vein-related disorders. There are various factors that contribute to the development of varicose veins, such as heredity, increasing age, hormonal changes, prolonged sitting or standing, etc. One of the most important factors involved in varicose vein formation is diet.
Being overweight or obese is never good for your body, and your veins are negatively affected by excessive fat as well. Not only does excessive weight affect your veins and arteries, varicose veins are much harder to diagnose with obese and overweight people. Obese people usually already suffer from many symptoms related to varicose veins, such as discomfort and heaviness of the legs. Since the bulging veins and discoloration are hidden under the excess fat, they don’t often realize they have varicose veins and don’t seek treatment. Over time, the damage to the skin on the lower leg can become irreversible and thus obese people are more prone to leg ulceration than any other individual with regular weight.
So what diet is appropriate for varicose veins, better yet are there particular foods that are more beneficial when treating varicose veins or preventing the formation? Yes, and one of them are flavonoids.
Flavonoids, sometimes called bioflavonoids, were formerly referred to as Vitamin P, but that term is no longer used. I am not going to bore you here with chemical structures and other details. The important thing is that flavonoids have a lot of health benefits: they are antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, antibacterial, antiviral, etc. What’s more, recent studies have shown that flavonoids have a positive effect when treating cardiovascular diseases:
- They help blood circulation
- They relax blood vessels
- They reduce arterial blood pressure
- They reduce hypertension
- They prevent formation of blood clots
- They reduce atherosclerosis
Here’s a list of foods that are rich in flavonoids and adding them as part of your diet will make your veins very happy:
- Blueberries, strawberries, cherries and apples
- Citrus fruits
- Grapes, wine
- Cocoa and dark chocolate (at least 70% of cacao)
- Bell peppers, Brussel sprouts, spinach, broccoli, parsley
- Onions and garlic
- Green tea and black tea