How do you keep your veins healthy?
If you’ve never really thought about it, don’t worry—you’re not alone. Most people don’t think twice, let alone once, about how their veins are doing.
Until it’s too late. Once you’ve got a problem, like varicose veins or deep vein thrombosis, they might be all you think about.
Learning how to prevent vein problems can save you pain and discomfort—and promote a healthier lifestyle in the process. Maintaining a healthy weight, getting exercise, and not spending too much time sitting can all help build strong veins.
But today we’re going to focus on diet. Eating might not seem like an essential component for vein health, but it is. The nutrients you consume can help keep veins open, flexible, and ready to work against gravity to shuttle blood back to your heart.
Fiber: Fiber helps you maintain a healthy weight and limit inflammation, both of which can influence vein health. Fiber may promote weight loss by improving satiety, thereby easing the pressure on veins that boosts the risk of varicose veins.
Popcorn, oatmeal, broccoli, beans, and apples are all good sources of fiber, as are fruits, vegetables, and whole grains generally.
Low-Sodium Foods: You need sodium and some can be good for you. Too much can be harmful, particularly when it comes to vein health. High sodium leads to water retention and makes it harder for fluids to circulate through your veins.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C helps your body produce collagen and elastin to promote flexible veins, so blood flows through easily. These compounds also allow veins to contract, so blood stays flowing in the right direction.
You’ll find plenty of vitamin C in strawberries, broccoli, pineapple, dark leafy greens, and bell peppers.
Water: Water helps deliver nutrients to your veins and helps thin blood, so it flows more easily.
Next time you’re planning a meal, think a little bit more about your vein health. Doing so can lead to a healthier overall diet with far-reaching benefits.
Devon Andre holds a bachelor’s degree in forensic science from the University of Windsor in Canada and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Pittsburgh. Andre is a journalist for BelMarraHealth, which first published this article.