You were concerned that your varicose veins might be a symptom of chronic venous insufficiency or other blood circulation problems beneath the surface, so you consulted your qualified vein specialist. Together, you decided on your best varicose vein treatment, and you are committed to doing all that has been prescribed for your aftercare. What you really want to know now is what you can do to ensure that varicose veins are a thing of your past.
Of course, no one can promise you that you will never again have another varicose vein, especially if it runs in your family. However, there are so many things you can do to maximize your vein (and overall) health, and to minimize that “inevitability” of your genes.
Odd as this sounds, you are not the same person you were seven years ago.
In that time, just about every cell in your body has been repaired, regenerated, replaced. Your body’s systems are working hard every day to keep you healthy and functioning well. They just need the right conditions. While it is not everything in the equation, food is a big part of it.
You have heard the old adage, “you are what you eat.” This is literally true. Your digestive system breaks down what you eat into its constituent components, and transports those components to individual cells where nanoscopic (very, very tiny) organelles use them to repair and replace the cell structure in all parts of your body—including your veins. The calories you consume provide the power to propel your movements, and the energy required to hold all your tissues together.
Knowing this, you have to consider whether you want to trust the integrity of your veins and other body structures to the components found in puffed cheese snacks and all the other “edible non-food products” that line grocery store aisles these days. No judgment. We all love them. But they contribute nothing to your health and may, in fact, gum up its digestive and detoxification processes.
One of your best strategies for minimizing or avoiding varicose veins in the future (and taking care of the veins you have now—whatever their state) is to do everything that you can to increase the efficiency of your digestive system.
Vein specialist Dr. Rimas Gilvydis of Gilvydis Vein Clinic in Sycamore, IL, recommends you pack vein-strengthening nutrients into your diet, such as vitamins C, E, B3 (niacin), bioflavinoids and fiber.
“By choosing foods rich in specific nutrients,” he says, “you can help keep your veins robust and elastic, decreasing the risk of serious circulatory problems.”
Arizona vein specialist Dr. Jilanne Rose, of Advanced Vein Institute of Arizona in Tempe, AZ, has a few other suggestions for cellular rebuild and repair.
"After taking the first step in improving your vascular health with varicose vein treatment, it's important to do everything you can to maintain the momentum." she says.
Besides eating good quality food, she says, there are a number of things that you can do to keep your guts digesting the food you need, happily and efficiently.
Try eating your meals at the same time every day. Studies have shown that by doing so, your guts actually “learn” to ramp up production of digestive enzymes in anticipation of the coming workload.
Skip the ice water. In order to work, digestive enzymes require a very specific temperature. If things get too hot, their protein structure gets gobbled, and they are destroyed. If things get too cold, those enzymes basically take a nap.
Eat in a relaxed way. Many of us live our lives in hyper drive; food is an afterthought, and often eaten on the run. Cortisol, the hormone associated with this stress, runs high—and it shuts down digestive function, diverting that energy to survival mechanisms.
Chew well. Digestion begins in the mouth where food is ripped apart and where the enzyme amylase begins to break starches down into simple sugars. The more thoroughly you chew your food, the easier it is for your guts to complete the job.
Even better, Dr. Rose notes, eating thoughtfully and eating a healthy diet, filled with a wide variety of foods and nutrients, will make recovery from modern varicose vein treatments even easier than it has already become in recent years.
“When you eat well,” she says, “you feel well. You feel like moving, and you feel like taking care of yourself. Exercise is great for improving vascular health. It's a Win-Win!”
Dr. Rose adds that if you currently have varicose veins, or are suffering from other structural leg vein health issues, a shift in diet is important going forward, but it is unlikely to reverse your current condition. If this is your situation, consider consulting with a qualified vein specialist. You might be amazed by what they can do to help improve your vascular health!