A Low-Salt Diet for Varicose and Spider Veins

A Low-Salt Diet for Varicose and Spider VeinsWhen it comes to preventing medical issues like varicose veins and spider veins, we hear a lot about the things we should be eating. Many people stock up on the latest “superfood” hoping that this will make a difference, but for every helpful dietary addition we make there’s something harmful we could be subtracting. Because obesity is a frequent contributor to vein problems, you may have already cut out high-fat, high-sugar items if you’re an Atlanta resident hoping to reduce your risk of varicose and spider veins, but there’s something else you might also want to watch out for: salt.

Water Retention and Varicose Veins: A Salty Situation

Though our bodies contain about five liters of blood, our blood volume changes based on diet. We need to maintain the right levels of important nutrients like potassium and sodium to help our cells function properly, so when we eat too much sodium, the body attempts to correct this by keeping more water to lower the sodium concentration. Potassium has the reverse effect—when we eat a lot of it, our cells release water, which we dispose of as urine.

The water retention caused by eating too much sodium or too little potassium will increase the volume of blood flowing through your veins, putting more pressure on the veins and their valves. Over time, this kind of diet can weaken the veins, contributing to issues like spider veins and varicose veins. If you suffer from vein problems in Atlanta, it may be worth cutting down on some of the high-sodium foods in your diet, including:

  • Pickles
  • Pretzels
  • Hot dogs
  • Soy sauce
  • Deli meats
  • Potato chips
  • Frozen dinners
  • Salad dressings
  • Canned soups and vegetables

You may also want to steer clear of foods that release high levels of insulin, like alcohol, simple carbs and sugary foods. These interfere with your body’s ability to get rid of sodium and can contribute to water retention. You can also increase your intake of potassium-rich foods like:

  • Bananas
  • Potatoes
  • Beans
  • Dates
  • Avocado
  • Leafy greens

Many of these foods also contain high levels of fiber, which some evidence shows may further help you reduce your risk of varicose veins. Just be sure that you aren’t adding salt when you eat foods like potatoes and beans.

Your diet can make a big difference in your risk of varicose veins and spider veins in Atlanta, but remember: what you don’t eat is just as important as what you do eat.

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