Did you know that certain nutrients have been shown to aid the body in maintaining and restoring veins and the valves that keep our blood pumping? Adding certain foods high in these nutrients into your diet can be an effective way to supplement your treatment plan or work on your vein health preventatively.
Here Are 5 Nutrients Your Veins Want More Of:
Rutin is a type of flavonoid, a compound found in plants that is often responsible for giving pigment, like to apple peels and berries. It is an antioxidant that has been shown to reduce inflammation in damaged veins and improve structural integrity and blood flow in veins and capillaries, even preventing blood clots.
The food most often touted for its rutin contents is buckwheat, both eaten as a grain and taken as a tea or extract. But in addition to rutin, buckwheat also contains a combination of other vascular-supportive nutrients, including a high dose of magnesium (which lowers blood pressure and relaxes vessels) and several other antioxidants including quercetin, hyperin, and catechin.
Rutin can also be found in unpeeled apples, citrus zest, asparagus, rooibos or green tea, figs, mulberries and cranberries, or taken as an oral supplement.
You may think of fiber primarily for digestion, but it also prevents your body from absorbing unhealthy fats and accumulating cholesterol, which can build in the vascular system and contribute to vein disease.
While many fiber supplements and food products are available on the shelf, the best form of dietary fiber is fresh fruits and vegetables and whole foods, especially lentils, split peas, beans, leafy greens, artichoke, broccoli, avocado, pears, flax, chia, bran, and oatmeal.
When they’re under pressure, it’s the collagen and elastin in the veins that allow them to contract and dilate, regulating blood flow. These proteins keep the veins flexible and strong, and also prevent the valves from leaking.
One of the many ways the body uses vitamin C is to manufacture collagen and elastin. Along with oranges and citrus fruit, which have traditionally been noted for their vitamin C levels, you’ll also find it in dark leafy greens, chile and bell peppers, papaya, broccoli, strawberries, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, pineapple and kiwi.
Deep Vein Thrombosis, or DVT, is one of the higher-risk forms of vein disease that occurs when a clot forms in the deep muscles, often of the leg. Thrombosis, or blood clots, can cause all kinds of problems in the body. But the antioxidant vitamin E can help prevent them from happening.
A study by Harvard Medical School professor Robert J. Glynn shows that vitamin E shows great potential for reducing the risk of DVT, especially among women who had a history of clots. This may be because of the anti-adhesion effect it has on blood platelets, which might prevent them from sticking together to form the clot.
Foods with high doses of vitamin E include dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds, avocados, shellfish, fish, olive oil, broccoli, squash, pumpkin, kiwi, blackberries, mangos, and peaches.
A study published in the Journal of Vascular Research in 2007 showed that the development of varicose veins could be due in part to a lack of vitamin K.
This vitamin activates a number of “dependent” proteins, one of which, the matrix GLA protein (or MGP), plays a key role in keeping veins clean, healthy and strong. When the body doesn’t have enough vitamin K, the protein doesn’t activate, and veins are at risk.
There are two main forms of vitamin K. K1 can be found in broccoli and leafy green vegetable like spinach, kale, chard, mustard greens, beet greens, and dandelion greens. K2 can be found in grass-fed and fermented dairy, including natto, Gouda, and Brie.
Even the healthiest diet full of vein-enriching nutrients isn’t enough on its own to reverse varicose veins or venous insufficiency. If you’re experiencing leg pain, aching, or swelling, call Bunker Vein at (512) 726-0599 to schedule your complimentary consultation. Combined with these vein-supporting foods, your treatment plan will get you back to happy legs in no time.