As we age, varicose veins can begin to appear in the lower extremities as these veins weaken, causing blood to pool and the walls of these veins to bulge. Several factors can affect this condition, including genes, obesity, pregnancy and long periods of time sitting or standing. Nutrition can also play a role. Here are some foods and natural remedies for varicose veins to choose and avoid.

Low Calorie, Nutrient Dense Vegetables

Filling your plate with light foods like vegetables instead of heavy meats and starches like rice or potatoes can help you to lose weight. Obesity is a contributing factor to varicose veins, and losing even 10% of your body weight can begin to improve this condition. As an added bonus, losing weight can boost your cardiovascular health in general, and protect you from stroke and heart attack.

Buckwheat, Apples, Cherries, Apricots, and Figs

All of these foods contain the bioflavonoid rutin, which helps to reinforce vascular walls. This strengthening keeps the veins from bulging, and keeps blood moving along properly instead of pooling in the lower extremities. Rutin helps to alleviate symptoms like swelling and pain that can accompany varicose veins.

Oranges, Leafy Greens and Berries

These nutritional powerhouses are all rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant which helps protect against cellular damage. This helps to keep the walls of veins strong and supple, which in turn stops varicose veins from forming.

Sunflower Seeds, Almonds and Spinach

These foods are all good sources of vitamin E, which is another powerful antioxidant that helps in preventing cell damage. It also helps to stop platelets in the blood from sticking together and improves circulation and blood flow. All these benefits of vitamin E will aid you in your fight against varicose veins.

Tuna, Chicken and Turkey

Vitamin B 3, or niacin, helps promote healthy circulation, and is another valuable nutrient to protect your veins. These three foods are excellent sources of this nutrient.

Foods to Avoid

Alcohol should be avoided if you have a predisposition for varicose veins, or a family history of the condition. Alcohol increases blood pressure which puts strain on the circulatory system and thus the veins, and could cause this condition to worsen. Additionally, alcohol is filtered by the liver, which also filters the blood. In extreme cases of alcohol abuse, the liver can become damaged and subsequently the blood will not be filtered properly. When this occurs, the blood can become viscous and good circulation can be impeded.

While you can’t control all the factors that contribute to varicose veins, you can ensure you get proper nutrition which can help to alleviate symptoms and keep your veins healthy.