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Ways to fight varicose veins

Most women are likely to develop small, ropy varicose veins at some point in their lives. This often makes them self-conscious about how their legs look.

health and fitness Updated: Sep 24, 2012 19:53 IST

Most women are likely to develop small, ropy varicose veins at some point in their lives. This often makes them self-conscious about how their legs look.

What are varicose veins? Varicose veins are enlarged veins that are swollen and raised above the surface of the skin. They are commonly found on the backs of the calves or on the inside of the leg. They develop when valves in the veins that allow blood to flow towards the heart stop working properly. Reasons for varicose veins disease The major reason for the cause of varicose veins could be due to weak or damaged valves. Some of the other causes are:
Heredity: Heredity is responsible for 80 per cent of varicose vein disease. The risk doubles if both parents have the condition.
Obesity: Excess weight places undue pressure on your legs. This weakens the walls of your veins, causing them to lose their elasticity. Eventually the veins widen, separating the valves responsible for preventing the backflow of blood. Lack of exercise: Lack of exercise causes poor circulation, which can lead to varicose veins. Low-fibre diet: Low-fibre diets produce straining during defecation, increasing pressure in the abdomen, causing a weakening and dilation of the superficial veins in the legs, leading to varicose veins.
Age over 40: The walls of the veins lose elasticity with age and normal wear and tear. Ways to fight varicose veins disease To prevent and cure varicose veins, you need to strengthen the walls of your veins.

Below are some natural measures to fight them.

Weight loss: Many people have experienced a dramatic improvement in the appearance of varicose veins by losing as little as 10 per cent of body weight. It is recommended to spread the calories throughout the day by having five to six small meals. Increase intake of protein: Lack of proteins can produce a weakening of the veins walls which can favour varicose veins.
Have Lots Of Fibre: Fibre also contributes to combating varicose veins. A good intake of soluble fibre is necessary to maintain veins health and favour blood circulation by means of preventing blood clots and constipation.
Snack on flavonoids: Flavonoids are adequate to prevent bleeding and have antithrombotic properties. They allow better circulation and prevention of many cardiovascular diseases. Snack on apples, grapes, cherries and strawberries to get your fair share of flavonoids.
Eating foods rich in Vitamin C: Vitamin C is needed for the manufacturing of collagen and elastin, two important connective tissues that help keep veins strong and toned. Vitamin C is also known to increase circulation. Add Vitamin E In Your Diet: Vitamin E can dilate blood vessels and improve blood circulation. Sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, almonds and walnuts are rich in Vitamin E.

Dr Anjali Mukerjee is a nutritionist and the founder of Health Total, a nutrition counselling centre.