It’s true: We are what we eat. Most people know that a balanced diet is vital to overall good health. But does nutrition affect the circulatory system? The answer is yes. There are foods and nutrients that are known allies to your arteries and veins. But it’s important to be aware of the foods that can negatively affect your veins.
Certain “bad” foods can stress and constrict the arteries that carry blood from the heart and other major organs to the tissues and cells throughout the body. Those same foods can also damage the veins, which move blood back to the heart. Eventually, the vein valves that move the blood weaken, causing blood to pool in the legs. The result is often the appearance of varicose veins.
Good nutrition for veins: What not to eat
When you think of food as fuel for your healthy veins, it’s a little easier to make smart nutritional choices. The key is recognizing the foods that cause:
- Water retention
- Weight gain
Water retention and your veins
If your body retains water, it adds pressure to your veins, stressing the tiny valves inside, which can eventually lead to vein problems. Avoid water retention by steering clear of these sodium-packed foods:
- Canned foods
- Processed meats
- Certain cheeses
Constipation negatively affects your veins
Constipation also places undue pressure on the veins in the lower legs where varicose veins are more likely to occur. To stay regular, avoid:
- Refined starches
- Red meat
- Dairy products
Weight gain and vein health
Excess weight is another source of added pressure on leg veins. To prevent gaining weight, keep these foods off your plate:
- Foods packed with refined starches and artificial ingredients
- Soda, processed juice drinks and alcohol
- Deep fried foods
- Foods high in sugar
Advanced vein care for effective results
If you are bothered by your varicose veins or spider veins and are concerned about your vein health, Northern Illinois Vein Clinic can help. Our dedicated team of nurses, surgical techs and vascular ultrasound techs is lead by Dr. Gilvydis — a board-certified vein specialist. Among the first to perform advanced, minimally invasive treatments as soon as they were available, Dr. Gilvydis has more than 20,000 successful procedures to his credit.