If your veins aren’t as vibrant as you wish they were, you’re not alone. In fact, approximately 50 to 55 percent of American women and 40 to 45 percent of American men have some kind of vein problem, including spider veins and varicose veins. Altogether, that means that approximately 80 million people in the U.S. are affected by those unhealthy veins. Varicose veins, for instance, while not a health threat, are swollen, raised veins which could be tender and painful and cause the legs to feel tired, achy, tight and heavy.
People may consider their vein situation more often in the spring and summer months, when shorts, skirts, dresses and other warm-weather clothes can leave areas with troubled veins, such as on the legs, in plain sight. Then there are the problem veins no one wants to talk about—hemorrhoids, a type of varicose veins—even though millions of Americans suffer from them at one time or another. There are some diet and lifestyle measures that can help your vein health, however. Here are a few of them:
Bulk up on fiber and cut down on excessive sodium. Eating a diet (organic, of course) high in fiber and low in sodium can help avoid strain on veins. Fiber can move things along to avoid constipation, while lower sodium intake can help fight off water retention and other swelling. Fresh, organic veggies, fruits, seeds, nuts and whole grains are recommended. Buckwheat, for example, contains rutin, which boosts capillary strength.
Consume flavonoid-rich berries. Consuming bluish-red berries, such as cherries, blackberries, hawthorn berries and blueberries, is a good idea, too. They contain flavonoids which improve the strength and elasticity of vein walls.
Spice it up. Herbs and spices such as cayenne, ginger, garlic and onions help boost circulation, so spice up your diet with them.
Exercise regularly. Getting your legs—and body—in motion boosts circulation, thereby helping vein health. For example, walking is one exercise that can help keep your blood flowing as it should. Likewise, those who must stand for long periods of time or who have limited mobility do not have optimal blood flow. Exercise helps.
Manage your weight. Being too heavy can put undue pressure on your veins. That’s why it’s important to manage your weight.
Be kind to your legs. Take several short intervals daily to elevate your legs above your heart level; this can help improve circulation in your legs. Avoid sitting or standing for too long at a time, and be sure to change position at least every 30 minutes. While it may seem ladylike to cross your legs, some experts believe that leg-crossing only compounds circulation problems.
Go “low” with your heels and "loose" with the way your clothes fit. Avoid high heels and tight clothes around your waist, legs and midsection. Low-heeled shoes work your calf muscles more than high heels do, and that’s a plus for your veins. Tight clothes, however, can strangle vein health.
If you want more vibrant vein health, then try these out.