Vitamins for Healthy Skin

Vitamins for Healthy Skin

What we eat affects our skin’s appearance as much as the products we use regularly. Therefore, it’s important to make sure that you eat healthy foods that contain the following vitamins for healthy skin.

Vitamin D

Most people think that you can only get vitamin D through sunlight. This is not true. There are plenty of other valuable sources. But, getting vitamin D from sunlight may be the easiest way since only 10 minutes of sun exposure a few times a week will produce all your body needs.

That said, it’s important that you protect your skin from harmful UV radiation even in the winter months. As an alternative, you can also increase your vitamin D intake by eating fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, and cod. Or, choose fortified foods like breakfast cereals and orange juice. Here are a few more examples of foods rich in Vitamin D:

  • White beans
  • Soybeans
  • Egg yolks
  • Cheese

Biotin

Bananas

Biotin is a B7 vitamin that plays an important role in the health of your skin and hair. It also helps to convert certain nutrients into energy. Biotin aids in metabolizing fat, which is essential for maintaining healthy skin.

We recommend that you include meaty foods that are rich in biotin, such as fish, pork, and beef. Other examples include:

  • Seeds
  • Nuts
  • Raspberries
  • Avocados
  • Bananas

Vitamin C

Vitamin C has important antioxidant properties and supports collagen production. As one of the most important vitamins for healthy skin, you’ll find it included in many anti-aging skin care products. To achieve the maximum benefits from vitamin C, it’s best to utilize a combination of skin care products rich in this powerful vitamin and to incorporate it into your diet.

We recommend that you include foods that are naturally high in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits and leafy greens. Some of the best options are:

  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Pineapples
  • Strawberries
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Tomatoes

Vitamin B3

Seeds

A strong form of Vitamin B3 is Niacinamide, which is an essential nutrient for skin health. Topical niacinamide is commonly used to treat acne conditions and eczema. Niacinamide also helps boost your skin’s production of keratin, a protein that keeps your skin firm and plump.

Ideal for oily skin types, this powerful nutrient regulates oil production while also minimizing the appearance of pores. There are many topical niacinamide products available, however certain foods have a high amount of Vitamin B3 as well:

  • Spirulina
  • Coffee
  • Rice
  • Peanuts
  • Chia
  • Eggs
  • Beans
  • Milk

Vitamin E

The purpose of vitamin E in skin health is to protect it against UV damage and maintaining proper levels of moisture. Ideally, your body will produce sufficient amounts of this antioxidant through sebum, an oily secretion from your glands.

But, when your skin becomes dry, the addition of vitamin E can help restore its moisture. Vitamin E can be applied topically, taken as a supplement or consumed in the form of nuts and seeds. Some of our favorite foods with vitamin E are:

  •  Sunflower seeds
  •  Peanuts
  •  Almonds
  • Hazelnuts
  • Corn

Flavonoids

Flavonoids

Flavonoids are plant compounds that are known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Dark chocolate is loaded with these powerful compounds, which makes it a popular skin mask if you wish to apply it instead of consuming it.

The best way to boost your diet with flavonoids is through a variety of fruits and vegetables. Many plant-based foods contain flavonoids such as:

  • Dark chocolate
  • Green tea
  • Red wine
  • Berries

Vitamin K

Vitamin K helps your body heal wounds and bruises and aids in your body’s natural process of blood clotting. Vitamin K is especially important for anyone who has spider veins or dark spots, as its ability to promote healthy blood circulation reduces the appearance of these symptoms.

Leafy and green vegetables are the best source of vitamin K, such as kale, spinach, and lettuce. Other options include:

  • Edamame
  • Asparagus
  • Kiwi
  • Avocados

Vitamin K2

Vitamin K2

With its powerful amount of collagen, Vitamin K2 is known to smooth irritated skin as well as plump the skin to appear fuller. Vitamin K is also commonly used to combat acne scars, rosacea, and other skin conditions.

While Vitamin K1 is found in leafy greens and vegetables, Vitamin K2 is mostly found in meats and dairy.

  • Turkey
  • Beef liver
  • Pickles
  • Kimchi
  • Sauerkraut

Coenzyme CoQ10

Coenzyme CoQ10

A naturally produced bodily enzyme, Coenzyme Q10 is a powerful antioxidant. CoQ10 is actually found in every cell of the human body. It’s extremely crucial for the production of new cells, making it a great addition to any anti-aging skincare routine.

Because it boosts the production of new cells, CoQ10 is often used to treat acne scars and can improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. CoQ10 can be found in meat, various nuts, beans, and vegetables such as:

  • Peanuts
  • Soybeans
  • Spinach
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Oranges
  • Pork
  • Beef

Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)

Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)

ALA is a compound that comes straight from our mitochondria, otherwise known as the “powerhouse of the cell”. Our bodies naturally produce ALA, however, it’s often in small amounts.

Therefore, getting an extra boost in your diet is necessary for your skin. ALA is often used to combat dark spots, reverse sun damage, and even protect our skin from harmful pollutants.

ALA also has strong antioxidant properties, making it a great anti-aging aid. ALA can be naturally found in red meat and many vegetables such as:

  • Yams
  • Potatoes
  • Beets
  • Tomatoes
  • Red meat
  • Brussel sprouts

Conclusion

Vitamins from foods and supplements support the health and appearance of your skin from the inside out. The right skin care routine with nutrient rich products will help to create a beautiful look from the outside in. Utilize a combination of both the important vitamins for healthy skin and good skincare products to achieve the best results.

Editor’s Note: This blog was updated in May 2024

The Benefits of Pumpkin for Your Skin

The Benefits of Pumpkin for Your Skin

Ah, Autumn. Also known as Pumpkin Spice season. Every year around this time, pumpkin-flavored everything makes its annual appearance. Pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, even pumpkin chili hits the shelves of stores and restaurants.  

While you are likely familiar with all of the ways to eat this versatile veggie, did you know pumpkin also greatly benefits the skin?  

It Starts with Super Ingredients

From the seeds to the flesh, pumpkins are loaded with nutrients that are helpful for the skin. Since pumpkin has a small molecular structure, it can penetrate deep into the skin. These nutrients do everything from hydrating to repairing damage from the inside out. Some of the beneficial enzymes and vitamins in pumpkin include:

 

  • Alpha hydroxy acids
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Beta-carotene
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin E
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Awesome Anti-Aging Benefits

Pumpkins contain enzymes and alpha hydroxy acids that break down dead skin cells. By removing dead skin cells, normal cell regeneration speeds up. This has a smoothing and brightening effect, resulting in glowing skin.

Pumpkin enzymes are plentiful in antioxidant-rich vitamins A and C. These amazing ingredients refine and soothe the skin, reducing fine lines and wrinkles. 

A derivative of vitamin A, beta-carotene, boosts collagen production to help minimize wrinkles. Beta-carotene also helps to reverse UV damage and improve uneven skin pigmentation. So, if you have any dark spots or freckles, pumpkin is the superfood for you. 

Because of its high content of magnesium, zinc, and antioxidants, the pumpkin seed oil is especially useful in preventing the signs of aging. It promotes moisture retention and improves the skin’s elasticity.  

Fights Free Radicals

Free radicals are skin-damaging molecules in our environment: light, smog, cigarette smoke, and fried foods – just to name a few. They speed up the aging process and may even be linked to cancer.

The vitamin C and beta-carotene in pumpkin works to combat free radicals. Both nutrients reverse UV damage and counteract free radical effects on the skin.

Using pumpkin to fight free radicals is easy. Make a simple pumpkin puree mask by spreading it onto your skin and allowing it to sit for 30 minutes.

Solves Skin Problems

Pumpkins have powerful acne-fighting and oil regulating properties. Thanks to a potent combination of zinc, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, you can ditch the zits.

Along with potassium and magnesium, zinc regulates oil production in the skin. This removes those obnoxious, overly oily and dry areas. Zinc also works in tandem with vitamin E to fight acne breakouts and improve skin tone. At the same time, anti-inflammatory vitamin A minimizes acne scarring.

Zinc, vitamin E, and omega 3- and 6- fatty acids are especially concentrated in pumpkin seeds. Simply eating these seeds is a great way to reap their many benefits. Roast pumpkin seeds at home (it’s super easy!) and then enjoy them on their own or sprinkled into yogurt or trail mix.

Hair Regrowth

Hair-Loss-or-Thinning

Pumpkin can also help with hair loss or thinning. It is full of minerals like potassium and zinc which work to keep hair healthy and promote re-growth.

Pumpkin is also a good source of folate, a B vitamin that helps improve blood circulation which stimulates hair growth.

Fight Dry Skin

Fight-Dry-Skin

Pumpkin has the power to penetrate deep into skin to provide many benefits. It’s full of the antioxidants, Vitamin A and Vitamin C, that both help to soften and soothe dry skin. Pumpkin also boosts collagen production which keeps skin from looking cracked and scaly.

If you want to protect your skin from becoming dry, pumpkin will do the trick. It’s are rich in essential fatty acids and Vitamin E that nourish the skin and fight free radicals.

Bonus – Recipes Packed Full of Pumpkin

Recipes-for-Pumpkin

Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

Ingredients

1/2 c. Warm Whole Milk (105ºF)
1/4 c. Honey, Divided
2 1/4 tsp. Active Dry Yeast
1/4 c. Salted Butter, Melted
1 can (15 Oz. Size) Canned Pumpkin (Not Pumpkin Pie Filling Or Mix)
1 Large Egg
1 1/2 tsp. Salt
5 c. All-purpose Flour, Or More As Needed

Directions

Place warm milk and 1 teaspoon of the honey in a small bowl. Sprinkle yeast on top. Allow to activate for 5 minutes.

Place milk mixture and remaining ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until a shaggy dough forms. Switch to the dough hook. Knead on medium-low speed for 15 minutes. You can add more flour if dough is extremely wet, but dough should be quite sticky and won’t clean the sides of the bowl completely.

Scrape dough into a large, generously greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Scoop dough out onto a piece of parchment paper or a greased work surface. Divide dough into 15 to 24 pieces, depending on how large of rolls you prefer. Using buttered hands, shape the pieces into balls by first pinching the edges into the center, then rolling the ball on your work surface to create surface tension. Place in a greased 13×9-inch pan or 10- to 12-inch cast iron skillet.

Cover with a tea towel and allow to rise until the rolls fill the pan, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Half an hour before the rolls are done proofing, preheat oven to 375° F. Bake risen rolls for 25–30 minutes, or until golden and an instant read thermometer registers 200° F when inserted into the center of one of the rolls.

Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Invert onto a cooling rack to cool further. Serve warm or at room temperature (with butter, of course!).

Pumpkin-Hard Cider Cheese Dip

Ingredients

4 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 clove garlic, minced
1 12-ounce bottle hard cider
½ cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Kosher salt
¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Pinch of cayenne pepper
4 ounces cream cheese, cut into pieces
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Chopped fresh chives, for topping

Cook the bacon in a medium skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and garlic; cook, stirring, until incorporated, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the cider, pumpkin puree, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt, the pie spice and cayenne until smooth. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 3 minutes.

Gradually whisk in the cream cheese and cheddar until melted and smooth, about 2 minutes. Transfer the dip to a bowl, top with the bacon and chives.

Serve with sliced apples or raisin-nut bread.

Pumpkins are much more than just recipe ingredients or decorations. They also have amazing skincare benefits. Reversing the signs of aging, fighting acne, and improving skin texture are just some of the powers pumpkins hold. This October, before tossing your jack-o-lantern, consider using the remains for the benefit of your skin.

While pumpkin may be the perfect fruit for your complexion and health, it may not be enough. Whether you’re looking for a brighter glow or ways to get rid of wrinkles, contact us.

Editor’s Note: This blog has been updated in May 2024

How the Summer Heat Affects Your Veins

How the Summer Heat Affects Your Veins

We all love summer. But if you suffer from symptoms of varicose veins, the heat can be a hazard to your health. Don’t let summer keep you indoors. Use our tips to beat the heat.

It’s the time of year to go to the beach, hike, or simply enjoy relaxing on your deck.  Throughout the season, your first concern may be the sun’s effect on your skin.

But did you know how seriously the summer heat affects your veins? From swelling to discomfort, the heat can wind up being a real inconvenience. 

What the Summer Brings

Summertime naturally leads to more time spent outdoors. The combination of outdoor activity and rising temperature means more pronounced vein conditions.

In the heat, veins naturally dilate for better blood flow. However, when veins swell it can cause issues.

Dilated veins mean your body must fight gravity harder to circulate blood back up to the heart. This added stress can lead to weary veins.

Often, this results in damaged veins and the accumulation of blood in the lower legs. This is how varicose veins can develop and where added discomfort and pain begin. It is also the precursor for a more serious issue called Chronic Venous Insufficiency.

Who is at Risk

There are over 24 million people in the United States that suffer from varicose veins. But the people most at risk are females over fifty years of age.

Women who have had multiple pregnancies are also at a higher risk because of additional stressed placed on veins.
Hormonal changes also affect the onset of venous disease. Women in menopause should be particularly careful during the warmer months.

Although it may seem like varicose veins is a disease that targets women, it’s a guy thing too. In fact, nearly 45% of people who suffer from varicose veins are men.

Certain occupations are also more at risk for varicose veins than others. Jobs that include standing or sitting for long periods of time are prone to vein issues.

People who suffer from varicose veins are often affected physically and mentally. Constant pain, even if slight, can greatly impact your attitude and mental state.

Prevention and Preparation

The appearance of varicose veins and unwanted pain can take its toll on anyone. But trying to prevent vein conditions and slow existing ones is a step in the right direction.

Prevention of vein conditions in the summer is similar to prevention during the rest of the year. But it’s important to remember that conditions can easily be exacerbated in hot and humid weather.

By following these guidelines, you should make it through the summer months without added discomfort:

Good General Health

Maintaining a healthy weight, activity, and eating properly are all important for vein health.

Extra weight can put a lot of stress on your body and particularly your legs. Staying in good physical condition means not only a healthy diet but also regular moderate exercising.  The combination of movement and eating right may also help reduce excess weight.

Eating foods that improve circulation is another great way to protect your veins.

And believe it or not, standing up and walking around for only a few minutes really does help!

Stay Hydrated

Drink.  Drink.  Drink. Getting plenty of fluids to stay hydrated is one of the most important things you can do to remain healthy in the summer heat.

Do you know the recommended amount to drink?  Divide your weight in pounds by 2. The answer is the number of ounces you should be drinking daily.

For example, a 150-pound woman should drink 75 ounces of water per day. Though water is the best for hydration, consider supplementing with herbal teas, electrolyte drinks, or fruit-infused water for variety. Just make sure it doesn’t include added sugar or caffeine.

Hydration is key to blood flow. If you aren’t drinking enough water, you may want to start bringing some with you wherever you go.

Remember, by the time you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated.

Wear Loose Pants

Wearing loose pants allows the blood to flow properly with no added resistance.

Try wearing loose-fitting pants if you are going to be out for an extended time. Lightweight, natural fabrics will still allow you to be cool, and can cover your skin from the sun’s direct rays.

Leg Room When Traveling

When traveling in a car, plane, or even sitting at work, giving yourself the appropriate legroom helps with circulation.

Extended plane or automobile trips can result in lengthy periods of sitting in one position. It’s important during these prolonged periods of inactivity to use specific exercises while-on the go.

Get up from your seat on the plane and walk up and down the aisle. Pull into rest areas so that you can get out of the car and move around. Your veins will thank you.

Wear Compression Socks or Stockings

Compression socks and stockings use pressure to help push blood through your lower legs. They are an amazing way to help counter the effects of gravity. It’s really important to wear them if you sit or stand for prolonged periods of time.

Wearing compression stockings or leggings can help your legs feel better and assist your veins in working at an optimal level.

Compression garments are readily available at drug stores, sporting goods stores, and online. They are more comfortable than in the past and are designed to breathe better.

Wear them while working out, being active, or most importantly while traveling.

Put Your Feet Up

Gravity is the main cause of varicose veins, but it can also be a factor that prevents them. By elevating your legs, you are causing the blood to flow to other parts of your body.

Even if there is no place to put your feet up on that plane or in the car, elevate your legs whenever possible. At the beach, try putting your feet up on your bag, a towel, or even a beach ball.

If you are at the park, don’t be afraid to use a bench to elevate your legs.  Even a slight elevation will help get your blood pumping back towards your heart and out of your legs.

Cool Down

Beat the heat and cool off. Try to sit in the shade. Wear a hat. Take a dip in the pool. Sip on a cool drink. Go inside occasionally to cool yourself down. And always, always, always wear sunscreen!

Exercising and other activities are best done early in the morning or later in the evening so that the midday sun isn’t bearing down on you.

New-Jersey-Vein-and-Vascular-Center

Help is Available

Summer is a great time of year to enjoy the outdoors. Staying active, traveling, going on vacation, and soaking up the sun are all ways to enjoy the season.

However, over-exposure to hot temperatures for extended periods of time can cause pain and discomfort for those who suffer from varicose veins.

In addition, your lifestyle, including an unhealthy diet, inactivity, or not staying sufficiently hydrated, can cause pain and swelling. By employing compression, heat management, activity breaks, and hydration you can reduce your symptoms.

But if you would like to eliminate discomfort quickly, make an appointment with a vein specialist about medical treatment options.

Suffering from venous issues doesn’t mean you have to forgo the outdoors this summer. Keeping a healthy weight and limiting strenuous activity in the heat are important.

Knowledge and preparation will allow you to enjoy the outdoors while minimizing discomfort.

The New Jersey Vein and Vascular Center is here to help, please contact us today to learn more.

This blog has been updated and republished in August 2021.

The Effects of Sleep on Your Health

The Effects of Sleep on Your Health

How well did you sleep last night? If you didn’t get a full seven or eight hours, you aren’t alone. About one-third of adults get less sleep than recommended, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s important to understand the effects of sleep on your health.

Bouncing between work, family, friends, and responsibilities can leave very little time for rest. However, when you don’t get your daily recommended dose, you are putting your routine and health at risk.

Sleep and Your Immune System

Everyone knows that sleep is important for both mental and physical recovery. Without the proper amount of rest, your body is in danger of infection and disease.

When you choose to stay up over going to bed, your body starts to produce fewer cytokines. Cytokines are essential proteins that promote sleep. These proteins are very important when you’re sick, as the body needs more rest.

Studies have shown that when your body is sleep deprived you are more susceptible to infection. Even coming into contact with simple viruses such as the common cold puts you at risk of becoming very ill.

Long-term and serious problems from lack of sleep include diabetes, hypertension, heart attack, stroke, obesity, depression, and lower sex drive.

Sleep and Your Personal Life

There are many short-term effects from lack of sleep that can occur even when missing as little as 1.5 hours. These effects include lowered alertness and the inability to remember and process information.

Surprisingly, scientists have stated that when we sleep our memory may be emptying unneeded knowledge. It does this to free up space for new information and memories we make in the future. Without clearing this  knowledge, it’s difficult for us to grasp new information.

Being able to properly process what you are being told, whether it’s at work or school, is important for keeping your job or maintaining a good GPA. Lack of sleep can also make you moody and more likely to have conflicts with family and co-workers. 

Sleep and Your Veins and Arteries

According to research recently reported by Science News, people who do not get enough sleep have lower levels of good cholesterol. Sleep usually protects your arteries by removing bad cholesterol.

When bad cholesterol isn’t removed, it builds up in your arteries causing heart disease. Atherosclerosis, a condition caused by plaque buildup in the arteries, increases the risk of heart health issues and stroke.

Just one week of fewer hours of sleep changes your immune responses and metabolism. The metabolic processes needed to keep good cholesterol flowing through the body is affected.

Not only have artery problems been found more often in people who sleep less but vein issues arise as well. In a recent study, scientists saw a decrease in three major miRNAs.

RNAs are vital for the cardiovascular process. When we have fewer of these essential micro RNAs, our veins become inflamed much easier. Inflammation of the veins leads to blood clotting, stroke, and heart attack.

Varicose Veins and Sleep Problems

About six quarts of blood circulate three times every minute throughout your body. This blood carries essential oxygen and nutrients to every cell. When blood flow changes due to varicose veins, more than appearance is at stake.

Varicose veins can cause restless leg syndrome. This may interrupt your sleep-wake cycle, sometimes to a worrisome degree.

Restless leg syndrome just about always occurs when you are laying down or sitting. This specific issue is defined as the irresistible urge to move your legs.

When you are trying to get some sleep, the only way to stop the uncomfortable feeling is to get up and walk around. However, this only removes the issue for a short period of time.

People with RLS report fewer hours of sleep than those without. Typically, they get less than 5 hours of sleep each night.

How Much Sleep Do We Need?

By now you’ve probably heard it a hundred times, but you can never hear it enough. When it comes to sleep, children should have 9-10 hours while adults should have 7-8 hours of uninterrupted rest.

During this time, you should remove anything that may interfere with sleep. Why we need this amount of rest is currently unknown, but we do know it’s vital for staying healthy and happy. 

If you have been feeling lucky because you sleep less than the recommended amount but still feel fine – beware! You may be wrong about not needing the same amount of rest as everyone else.

Researchers believe while some people may not feel tired with less rest, the lack of sleep catches up to individuals as they get older.

Fix Your Sleeping Habits

When your sleep schedule gets messed up, it can be hard to get back into a good routine. Here are some tips to getting that much-needed rest:

  • If you’re feeling fatigued during the day, start small. Moving your bedtime up 10-15 minutes is a good way to get used to going to bed early. 
  • Everyone loves a good nap, but your body doesn’t like it as much as you may think. When it comes to naps, you should only be sleeping for 20-30 minutes before 3 pm; never after.
  • Caffeine is the enemy to sleep. Try avoiding anything caffeinated in the late afternoon.
  • Exerting energy is a sure-fire way of going to sleep early. Make plans to go to the gym for a good run or lift.

NJVVC Can Help You

If your vein problems are affecting your sleep, we have solutions. Our specialists offer the world’s most advanced methods in medical diagnostic technologies.

We can recommend a specialized and precise treatment plan for your unique situation. Our services will relieve your worrisome symptoms and improve your health and appearance.

Please contact us with your questions and concerns or to schedule an appointment. We look forward to helping you! 

How Does Yoga Benefit the Cardiovascular System?

How Does Yoga Benefit the Cardiovascular System?

When it comes to heart-healthy exercises, yoga may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But anyone who has spent time at a yoga studio knows that this mind-body exercise can get your heart pumping. As it turns out, yoga is good for the you, but how does it benefit the cardiovascular system?

Can You Be Too Old for Yoga?

Yoga has become increasingly popular for young adults. Studios are beginning to pop up everywhere for those looking to better their mind and body. You may investigate a yoga class and think, “I’m not that flexible, I can’t do that.” In reality, there is a type of yoga for everyone.

Ashtanga Classes 

An ashtanga class is centered around conscious breathing and meditation. This form of yoga fits people who may have limited mobility and energy. 

Online Yoga

If you’re worried that a yoga course offered by a studio may be too much for you, start online. Whether it’s YouTube or a fitness coach’s website, you can find a large selection of yoga programs that are age and skill level appropriate. 

Custom Classes

Talk to the yoga instructor before starting a course. Many instructors are willing to work one-on-one to help you get started. They can work at your pace until you feel ready to join a group class. Look for a qualified instructor with certifications and experience. 

The above course offerings are beneficial for any age group. When you start, you may find you can’t touch your toes. But, with some patience and practice, even the least flexible person will see huge benefits in mobility and overall health.  

Yoga and the Cardiovascular System

Yoga affects cardiovascular health in several ways. Some postures (or asanas) and certain forms of yoga, such as vinyasa or ashtanga, can raise the heart rate to aerobic levels. Heat-building postures – such as Navasana (Boat Pose), Utkatasana (Chair Pose) and Dolphin Plank – increase heart strength when held for long periods of time. 

Other gentler forms of yoga can benefit the heart by helping the blood flow more efficiently. 

A 2019 study found significant blood pressure benefits for people who practice yoga. This was especially true for people engaging in hot yoga; a yoga course that uses heated studios.

In a control group of people with elevated blood pressure, many saw a significant decrease after 12 weeks of being in a hot yoga class. In the same study, those people who did not attend yoga saw no decrease in blood pressure in that 12-week period.

Heart-opening postures improve blood flow to the chest while stretching the front of the body. As a result, more oxygen-rich blood enters the heart space. 

Yoga and Vein Health

We know that yoga can benefit cardiovascular health, but what about vein health? In a way, the two go hand in hand. 

Certain postures can benefit varicose veins. This is particularly true for positions where the lower legs are elevated above the heart. These positions make it easier for veins to push blood back to the heart.

Postures that engage the calf muscles can have the same effect while alleviating pain and pressure. 

A Natural Stress-Buster

Yoga can also benefit the heart in a more indirect way by relaxing the mind and body. When we’re feeling stressed, our bodies release cortisol and adrenaline. These stress hormones narrow our arteries and raise our blood pressure. 

Lower stress levels can lead to healthier blood pressure. Yoga’s emphasis on deep breathing and stretching reduces tension and stress. 

Practicing yoga for just a few hours a week can help you enjoy these cardiovascular benefits. Young or old, even gentle stretching can help to maintain heart health.

Yoga can be great for your heart health, but it may not be your end-all for vein issues. If you are having trouble with varicose veins or are experiencing leg pain, contact us. We can help alleviate any vein issues you may be having in a quick and effective way.

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