As with most any medical condition, nutrition can assist your body in healing or even avoiding varicose veins, Jacksonville’s St. Johns Vein Center says.
“A basic healthy diet, plus certain vitamin and mineral supplements can help strengthen the walls of your veins,” says Dr. James St. George. “And vein wall strength is a major factor in whether and to what extent varicose veins form.”
Varicose and spider veins form when weak or damaged blood vein valves fail, causing blood that should be pumping upwards to the heart to fall backwards into the lower leg. Blood pools inside the veins, causing them to stretch, bulge and show through the skin’s surface.
To help strengthen your vein walls and keep blood pumping effectively, adopt a healthy diet rich in vitamins C, E, B6 and B12, plus copper, fiber and bioflavonoids.
Vitamin C helps the body manufacture connective tissues collagen and elastin, both of which the body uses to repair and maintain veins, keeping them strong and flexible. Vitamin E helps prevent blood clots by keeping platelets from sticking together and adhering to the sides of blood vessel walls. Vitamins B6 and B12 also help clear the blood of homocysteine, which has been linked to recurring blood clots.
Copper, a trace mineral found in shellfish, lean red meat, whole grains, nuts and seeds, is essential in building and repairing endothelial cells, the smooth protective cells that line the insides of blood vessels. It’s used in the body to knit together collagen and elastin and appears to help protect blood vessels against microscopic tears and rough spots that can lead to blood clots and plaque-filled veins. Bioflavonoids are found in deep-colored berries like blueberries, blackberries and cherries and may help keep capillaries from breaking down and forming spider veins.
A fiber-rich diet will help you avoid constipation, which can create pressure in your abdomen and block the flow of blood back to your legs, weakening vein walls over time. Cutting out salt helps, too. Too much salt will cause your legs to swell, placing added stress on your veins.
If you have spider veins or varicose veins, Jacksonville’s St. Johns Vein Center can help. Call 904-402-VEIN (8346) or complete our online form to schedule a consultation.