Eating for Vascular Health

shutterstock_224737129

Consuming a well-balanced diet is always important for maintaining healthy systems within the body. But did you know there are certain nutrients that will specifically help improve the health of your veins, arteries and heart? Vitamin C, vitamin E, niacin, antioxidants and fiber all help promote optimal functionality for these components within the vascular system.

Vitamin C: Building blocks of collagen

Vitamin C has shown to build the elastic fibers, like collagen and elastin, that help to keep arteries and vein walls flexible and strong. Collagen and elastin also help to repair and maintain the arteries by preventing broken capillaries, which lead to spider veins. Red bell pepper, broccoli, tomatoes, and citrus fruits are great sources for vitamin C.

Vitamin E: Preventing blood clots

Vitamin E serves as a natural blood thinner that aids in the prevention of blood clots. A blood clot (thrombus) can be potentially very serious if formed in a deep vein, known as deep vein thrombosis (also known as DVT). Foods rich in vitamin E are eggs, dark leafy greens, liver, sweet potatoes, nuts, and seeds.

Niacin (vitamin B3): Lowering cholesterol

Niacin helps to boost “good” cholesterol (HDL) levels. HDL eliminates excess bad cholesterol (LDL) in the blood by transporting it back to the liver for disposal. You can find niacin in protein-dense foods like chicken, salmon, turkey, liver, mushrooms and cottage cheese.

Antioxidants: Reducing inflammation

Antioxidants are known to reduce inflammation, which will help to maintain the elasticity in the blood vessels. Antioxidants also improve blood vessel function and protect the lining of the arteries from damage. Antioxidants can be found in pomegranates, garlic, chili peppers and certain teas.

Fiber: Minimizing pressure

To help reduce your risk for hemorrhoids (which are a venous problem), fiber can assist in digestion and reduce constipation, which can put pressure on your abdominal region. Fiber can also combat high cholesterol by flushing out unhealthy fats from the digestive system, which can lead to plaque buildup in the blood vessels. Whole grains, chia seeds and oatmeal are great sources.

If you would like more information on how to maintain your vascular health, call the vein specialists at Northern Illinois Vein Clinic today at (877) 999-7912.