Varicose veins also known as varicoses and varicosities, often appear raised and swollen and have a bluish purple color which can often be painful. Varicose veins affect largely the women and appear on the lower legs. Obesity, family history, standing for longer period of time, pregnancy, menopause and age can the factors responsible for varicose veins. Diet rich in rutin, antioxidant laden foods and light exercise can help in relieving the condition. Hence we will see here some diet for varicose veins.
If we experience swelling, aching and pain in the legs with slight discomfort of the legs, we need to consider for the treatment of Varicose veins. Varicose Veins are enlarged, swollen and twisting veins which often appear as bluish purple in color. Varicose can happen in any of the veins but the veins that is seriously affected is the legs as there is too much pressure on legs due to standing and walking upright.
For many people, Varicose or spider veins are just a cosmetic concern which can be shooed off easily but no, varicose is a signal for circulatory problems and hence proper treatment is essential.
Why Does A Varicose Vein Occur?
The veins consist of Valves that allow the movement of blood only in one direction. If the walls of the veins become less elastic, the valves get weakened as a result of which the valves allow the blood to leak back ward and hence move into the backward direction. This leads to accumulation of blood in the veins which become enlarged and swollen. The veins which are farthest from the heart are affected the most such as the veins in the legs. The gravity makes it difficult for the blood to flow back into the heart. Apart from this, any condition that puts pressure on the stomach like pregnancy, constipation or tumor can also be the cause of varicose veins.
There can be reasons why veins lose its elasticity like age, obesity, pregnancy, sex (Women being affected more compared to males), family history or standing or sitting for long period of time.
What Could Be The Symptoms Of Varicose Veins?
Majority of the time, the condition may not be painful, but symptoms include blue or dark purple colored, twisted, swollen and bulging veins. Many patients experience pain in the legs, swollen ankles, leg cramps when you stand up suddenly, the heaviness of the legs, brownish or bluish coloration in the legs. Treatment may involve self-care measures or care under doctor to remove or close the veins.
How Diets Play A Role In Treating Varicose Veins?
Certain foods have anti-inflammatory properties and improve the blood flow thus helping the varicose veins to heal faster and preventing from forming the new ones. When we have a diet rich in Trans fats, sugar, processed foods, caffeine and alcohol, it can lead to hormonal imbalances, blood pressure problems, low circulation, arterial damage and weight gain. Following a proper and healthy diet helps in preventing varicose veins. Adoption of diet rich in fibre, rutin, flavonoids, Vitamin C and Vitamin B can help in easing varicose veins.
Some of the diet tips essential for the people suffering from varicose veins are:
1. Restrict The Calories Consumed
Increasing the energy intake can result in increase in the occurrence of varicose veins as it can result in the development of obesity and overweight. Losing the body weight by 10% has shown marked improvement in the appearance of varicose veins.
2. Improve The Intake Of Foods Rich In Vitamin C
It is essential to improve the intake of foods that are rich in Vitamin C. Vitamin C is necessary for the manufacture of collagen and elastin; two connective tissues that are needed to keep the veins strong and toned. Vitamin C improves circulation.
3. Increase The Intake Of Water
Drinking plenty of water is needed to avoid constipation and also try to avoid alcohol, tea and coffee as these drinks can aggravate dehydration in the body.
4. Increase The Intake Of Fibre In The Diet
Soluble fibre like apples, carrots, oats, barley, berries and flaxseeds have the ability to make the stools softer and bulkier and hence prevents constipation. This is very essential as constipation can increase the pressure on the veins thus contributing to the development of varicose veins.
5. Prefer Foods Containing Rutin Which Can Strengthen The Veins
The best foods preferable for varicose veins are rutin containing foods. Rutin is a part of the large family of flavonoids that can reduce the fragility and permeability of the capillary thus preventing the formation of new varicose veins. Apart from this, rutin has anti-inflammatory, vaso protective, antioxidant and anti-thrombotic properties. Foods rich in rutin are apples, buck wheat, apricots, cherries, grapes and black berries.
Regarding the diet for varicose veins, some foods that are preferred for people suffering from varicose veins are:
Best Diet For Varicose Veins
Blue berries have been a boon for anyone prone to varicose veins. They consist of anthocyanin that contributes to the health of collagen matrix thus neutralizing the enzymes that can destroy connective tissues and scavenges the free radicals. They are also rich in soluble and insoluble fiber such as pectin and a good source of Vitamin E.
Watercress also is known as the cure of cures and has been useful in treating patients from varicose veins. Watercress has been an addition in salads, sandwiches and mashed potatoes due to its peppery taste. Watercress is also gaining popularity as an herbal medicine. You do get watercress from supermarkets but you can also grow watercress in your home by yourself.
Rosemary is essential for varicose veins as it enhances circulation. Rosemary contains rosmarinic acid, a plant polyphenol that help to protect the tissue from free radical damage. It also contains ursolic acid that can strengthen the capillaries. Rosemary is used to flavor fish, meat and even fruits. Rosemary has been an essential ingredient for skin care products needed to treat varicose veins.
Adding a slice of nutrient packed fruit in sandwiches can be beneficial for heart as well as legs. This fruit consists of Vitamin C and Vitamin E that are essential for vascular health. It also contains glutathione, a tripeptide which provides protection to the heart, veins and arteries from oxidation. Glutathione also makes a point to see that Vitamins A and E are functioning properly.
Buckwheat is a rich source of flavonoid rutin which is a necessity for people suffering from varicose veins. Foods rich in rutin have the ability to promote vascular health. Diets that lack in rutin have the susceptibility towards developing varicose veins. Buckwheat groats are good for hot breakfast porridge and buckwheat flour is added to prepare baked goods. Buckwheat consists of 92 calories per 100 gms and is loaded with protein that is good for those who watch upon weight.
Ginger helps in improving the blood circulation and in treating varicose veins. Having ginger root tea can provide results. Even massaging the affected area with ginger oil frequently in a week or adding drops of ginger oil into the bucket of water can help in relieving the problem. People with varicose veins do not have the ability to break down fibrin in the veins thus making the veins lumpy and hard. Ginger has the ability to dissolve fibrin in blood vessels. Ginger is available throughout the year and you can take its benefits every time.
If you are concerned about varicose veins then make a point to add asparagus into the shopping list. Asparagus is needed for vein health and prevents rupturing of capillaries and veins. It is also rich in vitamins and minerals like Vitamin A, C, E and K, folate and chromium. Apart from this, it is also rich in calcium, niacin and phosphorus. Asparagus is a treat if added to salads or it can be steamed with a dash of lemon and butter.
Apart from the diet for varicose veins, exercise also plays an important role in preventing venous diseases and maintaining healthy legs and veins for life. Walking for at least 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week is a low impact activity that helps in improving the circulation and strengthening the calf muscles. Even riding a stationary bike and using elliptical is a great exercise for calf muscle thus improving the pumping of blood from the calf muscle without putting strain on the joints and the bones.
Hence basic lifestyle changes with proper diet and regular exercise can improve the condition of varicose veins. It is very essential to act upon this condition as soon as possible so that you can improve upon the circulation. You even take the help of the nutritionist regarding this condition.