What to Eat (and Not Eat) for Healthy Veins

Old wood table with healthy food on it: a white bowl with yogurt, raspberries, kiwis, bananas, 7 strawberries. On the table there is an orange, grapes, two slices of bread, a sliced avocado, a glass of orange juice, and a spoon.

Your veins are an integral part of your vascular system. With the right diet, you can keep your veins elastic, strong and functioning at full capacity.

Listed below are various ways to create a healthier lifestyle. If you are suffering from varicose veins or think you may have them, contact our team at the Vein Clinic of Greater Kansas City for a customized treatment plan and dietary consulting.

Eat Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Fresh fruits and vegetables are some of the most healthy (and lucky for us, flavorful) foods we can eat. That’s because they’re packed with flavonoids. Flavonoids act as antioxidants and may help protect against chronic diseases. Look for deeply colored fruits and vegetables. Cocoa, tea, and wine also contain flavonoids. Fun fact: flavonoids were once known as vitamin P. Whatever you call it, it provides anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that improve the health of your veins. For the biggest impact, eat these fruits and veggies raw: 

  • Broccoli
  •  Spinach
  •  Red bell peppers
  •  Brussel sprouts
  •  Sweet peppers
  •  Garlic
  •  Strawberries
  •  Papaya
  •  Mango
  •  Citrus fruits

If you want the most significant health benefit, eat these food items raw. Increasing your intake of foods that are rich in vitamin P is a vein-friendly way to eat.

Drink More Water

It seems you hear it every time you turn around…drink more water. That should give you some idea of the importance of water in our diet. From lubricating joints to flushing out waste to regulating body temperature, water keeps everything running smoothly. Water also helps nurture the muscles that support your veins when they are under pressure. Find ways to work water into your daily routine. A good goal is eight 8-ounce glasses a day. Here is a list of other functions water helps with: 

  • carrying nutrients and oxygen to your cells
  • flushing bacteria from your bladder
  • aiding digestion and preventing constipation
  • normalizing blood pressure and heart rate
  • maintaining electrolyte (sodium) balance.

Eat Less Salt

Eating foods high in sodium increases water retention, which places extra pressure on your veins. Reducing your salt intake will reduce that pressure. This can be challenging because salt is a common ingredient in almost everything we eat, but all you really have to do is become mindful about what you eat and pay attention to the nutritional facts on food packaging. Beware of foods that are processed, pickled, or canned.

Eat More Fiber 

Any condition that puts excessive pressure on the legs or abdomen can lead to varicose veins. The most common conditions are pregnancy and obesity, and standing for long periods. When veins are under excessive weight, this can lead to cramping, swelling, restless legs, vein damage or blood clots. Adding more fiber to your diet helps you maintain a healthy weight while having the extra bonus of lowering your cholesterol. 

Constipation is another physical condition that places too much pressure on the veins. High-fiber foods, such as walnuts, whole-wheat bread, peas, squash and apples provide relief from constipation.

According to the U.S. government’s dietary guidelines. Women should eat 25 grams of fiber each day while men need 38 grams of fiber daily. Here are some fiber-rich foods to  keep your vascular system functioning properly:

  • Air-popped popcorn
  •  Apples
  •  Avocado
  •  Barley
  •  Broccoli
  •  Brown rice
  •  Chia seeds
  •  Leafy greens
  •  Nuts
  •  Oatmeal
  •  Peas
  •  Squash

Vein Specialists in Kansas City

Eating healthy and drinking enough water are essential lifestyle choices to keep your veins healthy and strong. But if you already have vein disease and need some help, we’re here for you. 

Schedule an appointment here or contact us at (913) 541-3377 or (816) 792-1188 to schedule a new patient office visit in Overland Park or Liberty.