8 Best Foods to Eat to Prevent Varicose Veins
What are the best foods to eat if you want to prevent varicose veins? Here's our top 8 list of healthy anti-varicose-vein foods that can help prevent varicose veins and spider veins, while providing you with the vitamins and other nutrients your body needs for its daily processes.
This page of HealWithFood.org's Guide to Fighting Varicose Veins is focused on foods that can help keep varicose veins and spider veins at bay. If you are interested in more general information about varicose veins and nutrition, visit this Guide's Home Page and the Diet for Varicose Veins section. For delicious recipes that combine some of the best foods for preventing varicose veins, visit this Guide's Recipe Directory.
Blueberries are one of the greatest health foods of all time, and they're a boon to anyone prone to varicose veins. Due to their high concentration of anthocyanins (flavonoid pigments), blueberries contribute to the health of the collagen matrix by neutralizing enzymes that destroy connective tissue and by scavenging free radicals. They also repair damaged proteins in the blood vessel walls and promote the overall health of the vascular system. On top of that, blueberries are a good source of both insoluble fiber and soluble fiber such as pectin. Furthermore, compared to other berries, blueberries (especially wild blueberries) are a good source of vitamin E.
This ancient plant that most people either love or hate is a true superhero food that has been used to treat and prevent a vast range of ailments. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, called watercress the 'cure of cures' and located his first hospital close to a stream where he could grow watercress to help treat his patients. In modern herbal medicine, watercress is often recommended to people with varicose veins. Watercress is available in larger supermarkets year round, but you can also grow your own crop if you have a garden. With its unique peppery taste, watercress can make a delectable addition to salads, sandwiches, or even mashed potatoes!
Avocados are brimming with natural compounds that fight varicose veins. They contain both vitamin C and vitamin E, two key vitamins for vascular health. Avocados are also at the top of the list of plant foods with the highest concentration of glutathione, a tripeptide molecule that protects the heart, veins, and arteries from oxidant damage. Glutathione also ensures vitamin C and vitamin E can function properly. As an additional bonus, avocados are typically low in pesticides and other harmful chemicals.
Rosemary stimulates circulation and may thus be beneficial in the treatment of varicose veins. Furthermore, rosemary contains rosmarinic acid, a plant polyphenol that can help protect the tissues from free radical damage. It also contains ursolic acid which strengthens the capillaries. In the kitchen, rosemary can be used to flavor fish, roast meats, and tomato sauces, but also fruits, especially oranges. Outside the kitchen, rosemary extracts are used in an increasing number of natural skin care products designed to treat varicose veins (try, for example, Dr. Hauschka's premium Rosemary Leg and Arm Toner available from Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk).
Even before the term 'superfood' was coined, ginger has been enjoyed throughout the ages for its aromatic, pungent flavor and its health promoting properties. In herbal medicine, ginger is often used to treat varicose veins because of its ability to dissolve fibrin in blood vessels and to improve circulation. People with varicose veins have an impaired ability to break down fibrin (fibrin is what causes veins to become lumpy and hard). Fresh ginger, which is said to be the most effective form of ginger, is available year round in the produce section of supermarkets.
Regular inclusion of beets in diet may help prevent varicose veins. Betacyanin, a phytochemical compound responsible for beets' intense color, is known to significantly reduce levels of homocysteine, a naturally occurring amino acid that can damage blood vessels. Also the green leafy tops of beets are edible and highly nutritious, so don't throw them away; they can be cooked and eaten like spinach.
If you are concerned about varicose veins, asparagus is a good vegetable to add to your shopping list. It helps strengthen veins and capillaries and prevents them from rupturing. As a bonus, asparagus is typically low in pesticides, even the non-organically grown produce. When preparing asparagus, make sure you clean the shoots thoroughly as the bottom part of the plant often contains dirt. It is however not necessary to peel the asparagus shoots, especially if you have selected thin, fresh asparagus shoots.
Buckwheat is one of the best natural sources of the flavonoid rutin. Many nutritionists recommend foods rich in rutin to people with varicose veins due to rutin's ability to promote vascular health. It has even been hypothesized that varicose veins and spider veins could be caused by a lack of rutin in the diet. Buckwheat groats can be used to make a delicious hot breakfast porridge, and buckwheat flour (also known as beechwheat flour, kasha, and saracen corn) can be used in baked goods. Buckwheat groats contain only 92 calories per 100 grams and are loaded with protein, which makes them an excellent food also for those who are watching their waistline. Furthermore, not only is buckwheat high in protein, but the protein it contains also includes all eight essential amino acids, all of which are needed for tissue repair.
For further information on the nutritional approach to preventing varicose veins and spider veins, visit: