Through research and studies, science and the medical community have provided a wealth of knowledge concerning how diet and nutrition affect overall health. This research has given us information that shows how different foods affect various functions of the human body, including blood flow and circulation. The top foods that improve circulation and vein health can help control blood sugar, muscle spasms, and reduce the pain caused by inflammation and chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia.

While we may not think about it every time we sit for a meal, our circulation affects every aspect of our health including digestion, energy, weight gain or loss, pH levels, and even body temperature. The circulation system provides the oxygen necessary for the body’s organs to function correctly and is critical to an individual’s overall health. A diet rich in antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids, whole fiber, and essential nutrients along with moderate exercise can contribute to healthy circulation and veins.

Key nutrients keep your veins strong and flexible. But, not all nutrients are ‘created equal’ and some foods make more of an impact on vein health than others. While there are many food choices for some of these nutrients, we have included the top suggestions for your reference.

Bioflavonoids-Rich Food

Bioflavonoids give foods their vibrant colors. Therefore, you should choose colorful vegetables in your diet. A diet containing a higher percentage of bioflavonoid rich foods will help prevent the development of varicose veins and may improve the condition over time. Choose a colorful diet including leafy greens, rich purples, orange, red and yellow. The more colorful your diet is, the better.

Celery

Celery is an excellent source of Vitamin K which is essential for blood clotting and healthy blood flow. Low in calories, high in several vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber, celery is also a natural diuretic and high in electrolytes. Often overlooked, this amazing vegetable helps to eliminate toxins and is delicious in smoothies, soups, salads, or eaten raw and topped with hummus, peanut butter, or salsa.

Fiber

In addition to helping you feel full so you can maintain your weight, Fiber encourages vein health. Soluble fiber helps prevent constipation that can increase pressure on your veins. This will contribute to the development of varicose veins over time. Insoluble fiber can reduce your cholesterol levels. High fiber foods include apples, oats, carrots, flaxseed, berries and barley.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C helps boosts your body’s production of collagen and elastin. It also improves your circulation. These connective tissues keep your veins healthy and strong. Vitamin C deficiency has been associated with an increased risk of developing varicose veins. Be sure to include citrus fruits and tropical fruits, broccoli, onions, spinach and red bell peppers into your diet. These foods all contain higher levels of vitamin C.

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits are among the best anti-inflammatory foods you can eat. Lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruit are all high in Vitamin C and are remarkable internal body cleansers. These fruits are naturally sweet and contain critical soluble fibers for the heart and blood. Enjoy a whole orange or grapefruit for a snack or light meal, use a squeeze of juice as a healthy dressing for a salad or to add some pizzazz to a smoothie.

Garlic

A natural blood thinner, garlic has been used medicinally for centuries. If you already take a blood thinning medication, you should check with your doctor before eating garlic or adding additional garlic to your diet.

Ginger Increase Blood Circulation

Often used to aid in digestion or relieve nausea, ginger is also known to increase blood circulation.  Add some to your stir fry or make into a tea.  Ginger can also help clear congestion.

 Olive Oil and High Phenol Foods

The high phenol content of olive oil reduces your risk of developing a blood clot. Olive oil is also high in Omega 3 fatty acids that benefit your health in many ways. Phenol rich foods act as a protectant and can give our bodies a boost. Other good sources of phenol foods are peas, beans, soy milk, black and green teas, parsley and broccoli.

Raw Nuts and Seeds Prevent Circulation Problems

Nuts contain niacin or vitamin B3 which essentially gives our blood a “lift” and therefore can prevent circulation problems. Two of the most beneficial nuts are almonds and walnuts, each containing unique antioxidant components to improve the blood even more. Hemp, chia, flax, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds have large amounts of omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, antioxidants, and are a good source of anti-inflammatory proteins which can help remove cholesterol and improve the quality of the blood overall.

Because many nuts and seeds are rich in Vitamin-E and L-Arginine, they are among the list of foods that improve circulation.  Vitamin E and L-Arginine helps blood vessels relax and dilate to increase blood flow.  Add nuts or seeds as a topping on soups and salads or simply munch on them for a nutritious snack.

Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper strengthens the arteries and blood vessels so it’s a great option among the foods that improve circulation. It’s best to eat raw or juice it and add some to a smoothie.

Drink Lots of Water

One of the most important habits you should focus on for the health of your veins is to be sure to stay adequately hydrated. Your best source of hydration is water. You should try to include at least 64 ounces every day. Water keeps your blood from becoming too thick, which can increase your risk of blood clots.

One-third of our population over the age of 45 has some form of vein disease. Early symptoms may be minor but could get worse over time and can ultimately become quite severe. While vein disease can be hereditary, your lifestyle and food choices also affect the health of your veins. A healthy diet can improve circulation and vein health, providing benefits to the entire body and improve overall health.

It is important to treat vein disease to prevent permanent damage or disability. If you have concerns about the health of your veins, consult with a healthcare professional. Contact The New Jersey Vein and Vascular Center for the diagnosis and treatment of venous disease and varicose veins. We can relieve your symptoms, improve your appearance and help you prevent complications.