Certain foods and supplements have the potential to heal and prevent varicose veins. Vitamin C and flavonoids are recommended for their ability to rejuvenate the blood vessels. These substances are found in oranges and grapefruits (eaten with the white inner rind intact). Dark red and purple berries are also rich in flavonoids. A naturopathic physician may recommend eating several servings of flavonoid-rich berries a day, including:
- black currants
In addition to the whole fruits, extracts may also prove helpful. Supplements of vitamin E may provide benefits to the vessels as well.
Foods and spices that work with the blood to break down the substance called fibrin can also be helpful. That's because people with varicose veins have an abnormal tendency to store fibrin, which can disrupt the action of the blood vessels. Garlic, onions, cayenne pepper, ginger, and bromelain (derived from fresh pineapple) all help to dissolve fibrin.
Just as straining to have a bowel movement can lead to varicose veins in the anus (more commonly known as hemorrhoids), it can also lead to varicose veins in the legs. To prevent this straining, softer, bulkier stool is needed. Here are some ways to boost your fiber intake:
- Increase your intake of fiber by eating more vegetables, unrefined grains (such as brown rice, oatmeal, rye, and buckwheat, not white bread), beans, and fruits.
- Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily.
- Add fiber-rich psyllium seed husks to the diet.
- Excess body weight can also increase the susceptibility to varicose veins, so weight loss is recommended.