A: Varicose veins are the result of a number of potential factors, including hereditary disposition, hormonal changes, weight gain and overall health.
That being said, there are a number of things you can do to help strengthen valve health. Really, it comes down to two things: exercise and diet. Sounds simple enough, right?
It’s important to exercise regularly and strengthen thigh and calf muscles. If you work behind a desk, take frequent breaks to walk around the office or outdoors to stimulate blood flow in your legs.
You can even try elevating your legs above your heart at least once a day for 10 to 15 minutes. That sounds like a little much, but when it’s part of a regular yoga routine it doesn’t seem that absurd.
Maintaining a healthy weight helps prevent varicose veins, and eating right is a large part of the equation. Fiber is important for digestive health and should be part of a well-balanced diet because its addition helps reduce high cholesterol. The buildup of fatty plaques in blood vessels due to high cholesterol can damage artery walls.
Good sources of fiber include fruits, vegetables, oatmeal, beans and brown rice.
Bioflavonoids, the pigments that give fruits and vegetables their color, are healthy nutrients that can help strengthen blood vessel walls and valves. Vitamins C and E are also important dietary boosts that can help vein valves from leaking, prevent broken capillaries and reduce clotting.
Finally, it’s important to drink enough water each day – about 13 cups (3 liters) for men, and about 9 cups (2.2 liters) for women. Remember that eating foods with high sodium causes the body to retain fluid, and that could cause damage to veins in the long run.
Vein Specialists of southeastern Florida, with offices in Fort Meyers and Bonita Springs, provides state-of-the-art services for the treatment of varicose veins, spider veins and other vein disorders. To contact a vein specialist, visit http://www.weknowveins.com, or call 239-694-VEIN (8346).