The blood vessels are flexible, hollow tubes, through which blood flows to every part of the body (arteries) and back to the heart (veins), making up the circulatory system. While arteries depend on the beating heart to maintain blood flow, the veins rely on muscle contraction and valves to return blood to the heart and prevent back flow, respectively. Let’s discuss tips on keeping your veins healthy.

Venous disease can damage the valves inside your veins, preventing them from closing completely. This in turn allows blood to flow backward, resulting in various vein disorders that are not only unsightly and embarrassing, but also painful – sometimes to the extent of making it difficult to walk or stand.

In some cases, the appearance of vein disorders indicates the presence of dangerous blood clots or other serious health issues. So it is important that you keep your veins healthy.

Keeping Veins Healthy

Here are some ways to keep your veins healthy:

1. Proper nutrition

Your diet influences every aspect of your health. There are certain foods that promote healthy blood circulation and strengthen your veins, such as:

  • Vitamin C – strawberries, oranges, kale, broccoli, kiwi, guava, and red peppers are rich in vitamin C, which promotes the body’s ability to generate collagen and elastin proteins that keep vein and artery walls strong and flexible. Strong veins walls ensure steady blood flow towards the heart, and reduce the risk of veins expanding and allowing blood to pool and form varicose veins.
  • Vitamin E – leafy green vegetables, fish, papaya, squash, plant oils, nuts, and other foods rich in vitamin E help prevent your blood platelets from adhering together to form blood clots. Blood clots in your veins are one of the main causes of venous disorders.
  • Bioflavonoids – these substances are known to give vegetables and fruits their color, including berries, grape seeds, beets, papaya, mango, red cabbage, and spinach. They are also incredible antioxidants that help reduce inflammation associated with varicose veins and rebuild collagen proteins that promote the strength and pliability of blood vessel walls.

2. Wear loose fitting clothes

Comfortable, loose-fitting clothing help to improve blood flow and general range of motion, which are essential for vein health.

3. Exercise

A sedentary lifestyle and weight gain are responsible for a wide range of health problems, including venous disorders. For vein health, you don’t necessarily need to join a gym. Instead, try to walk for at least 20-minutes, a couple of times a week, or take the stairs instead of the lift or elevator whenever possible.

Studies show that moderately overweight women are 50% more likely to get varicose veins than those of healthy weight. Regular physical activity can help to burn excess fat and prevent additional weight gain, which will in turn make you less likely to develop varicose veins.

When to Visit a Vein Specialist

If you feel that you have abnormal veins – varicose veins, spider veins, or other venous disorder – that are affecting your health and self-image, you should visit a vein specialist near you for proper diagnosis and treatment, which may include self-care, minimally invasive treatments, or surgery.

Visit the Center for Vein Wellness to schedule a consultation with Dr. Shah.

Spider veins affect nearly 60 percent of adults as they age. They appear as tiny red, blue, or purple blood vessels on the skin surface of your feet.

The causes of spider veins are not very clear, though they are often associated with genetics, oral contraceptives, and hormonal imbalance.

For instance, sitting or standing for prolonged periods can affect circulation. Weight gain can also strain the veins in your feet and legs, since they have to work harder to push blood to the heart. The increased strain can interfere with the ability of deeper veins to transmit blood, pushing it to the surface veins. Exposure to sunlight can also cause the veins on your feet to weaken and become noticeable, especially if you have fair skin.

Prevent Spider Veins

Keep Spider Veins from Appearing

With the exception of spider veins associated with genetics, other causes can be managed to keep spider veins from appearing. You can prevent spider veins by:

  • Using sunscreen – Always apply a high SPF sunscreen when stepping out for more than a few minutes to protect the fragile skin from harmful UV radiation. It will also help to prevent the appearance of spider veins on your feet, ankles, calves, and legs as you age.
  • Watching your weight – A healthy body weight will relieve your feet and legs from carrying excess load, reducing the stress on your blood vessels in those areas. Ask your doctor to help you reach an appropriate weight for your body type.
  • Exercising – Besides maintaining a healthy diet and managing the portions, you should also exercise every day to develop strong muscles in your foot, lower leg, and thighs to aid in blood flow through the veins.

In addition to these tactics, you should consider wearing compression hose to stimulate blood flow and maintain proper body position when sitting or lying down. This includes avoiding crossing your legs, and elevating your feet 6-8 inches above the heart level when resting.