At the heart of varicose veins is the valve failure of peripheral superficial or deep veins. The term “varicose veins” is associated, as a rule, with pathological changes in the veins of the lower extremities of the veins, although the problem of varicose veins is much broader and there are other types of the disease – esophageal varicesphlebectasia), varicose veins of the rectum (hemorrhoids), pelvic varicose veins (varicose veins of the small pelvis), varicose veins of the female genitalia, varicocele (widening of the veins of the spermatic cord). In the complex treatment of varicose veins, especially in the early stages of the disease, conservative therapy, including medication, special gymnastics, massage and diet, becomes more important. As such, there is no standardized diet for venous insufficiency and as an independent measure, a diet in the treatment of varicose veins is not used, but as an auxiliary method, a diet in conjunction with other measures gives a good effect and allows to stop the progression of the disease.
The diet for varicose veins on the legs should be aimed at:
- normalization of body weight;
- strengthening of the walls of venous vessels;
- decrease in blood viscosity to reduce blood pressure and improve its trophic properties;
- Removing puffiness while ensuring the body’s need for fluids.
The diet for leg varicosity is based on the principles of rational nutrition and does not provide for any strict restrictions. If the patient has an increased body weight, then in such cases, dietary nutrition should be directed, first of all, to normalizing weight, since “extra pounds” exert an increased load on the venous system of the lower extremities. For this purpose, a physiologically complete diet with reduced caloric content (2300-2400 Kcal) is prescribed if the weight slightly exceeds the norm.
The energy of the diet is reduced by easily digestible fats (mainly animals) and carbohydrates, with a physiologically normal protein content. Fatty varieties of red meat, boiled and smoked sausages, goose meat, ducks, canned meat, ham, culinary and animal fat, baking, confectionery, mayonnaise, as well as fatty creams, cottage cheese, melted milk, sweet cheese cakes and yoghurt, salted and fat cheeses, fried chicken eggs, semolina and oatmeal porridge, pasta, legumes, rice. Restrictions include table salt, foods and dishes that stimulate appetite, strong meat broths and free liquid.
At a normal weight, the basis of the diet should be whole grains, vegetables, fruits. They contain a rather large amount of fiber, from which fibrous fibers are synthesized, which strengthen the walls of the veins. The diet restricts the consumption of fatty and fried foods, spicy and salty foods, because the thirst they provoke causes excessive consumption of fluid, causing an increase in the volume of blood and, accordingly, the overload of the venous system. In addition, smoked products, fried and spicy dishes in large quantities negatively affect the rheological properties of blood (increase its viscosity), thereby increasing the risk of formation blood clots. In addition, food rich cholesterol promotes the atherosclerosis with the formation of atherosclerotic deposits on the walls of the vessels and narrowing their lumen.
Bulgarian pepper, cabbage of various kinds, carrots, tomatoes, seasoned with any vegetable oil with the addition of garden greens, saturate the body vitamins and microelements, contribute to improving the elasticity and strengthening of the vessel walls. A similar effect is provided by potatoes “in uniform”, sprouted grains of rye, oats, wheat, garlic, as well as berries of black currant, gooseberry, hips and strawberries. In the diet should be present different porridges, beef liver, sea kale, nuts and dried fruits, rye bread, garlic, herbal infusions and green tea.
In order to strengthen the vascular endothelium of the leg veins and improve the circulation of blood in the diet should include products containing organic flavonoidы и antioxidants, which can prevent damage to the walls of venous vessels, increase their impermeability to liquid. A large number of these substances are found in berries, citrus fruits, apples, large leaf green tea, as well as in freshly squeezed juice from natural berries, fruits and vegetables. They are particularly rich routine (vitamin P), which effectively reduces the fragility of capillaries.
Flavonoids also reduce pain syndrome by blocking leukocyte aggression (inhibit the process of adhesion and migration of neutrophilic leukocytes). Expressed by capillaroprotective and anti-edematous action are biologically active flavonoids (isocoverte и quercetin-glucuronide), contained in the red leaves of grapes, and saponins, contained in a horse chestnut. Dishes from these plants must necessarily be present in the diet – in the form of dolma, baked chestnuts.
It is recommended to limit the consumption of meat, replacing it with seafood (squid, crab, mussels, shrimp, oysters) and fish. These products, along with beef liver, contain a lot of copper, which activates enzymes that take part in the synthesis of an important component of the venous wall – elastin.
A prerequisite for proper nutrition in varicose veins of the lower limbs is the restriction of salt, which helps to retain fluid in the body and restrict the intake of fluid (if available edema). It is the properly selected drinking regime that serves as the prevention of thrombosis. To increase efficiency, especially in the presence of excess weight, you can arrange unloading days once in 2 weeks.
It is also recommended to include foods rich in magnesium in the menu, since a decrease in magnesium ions and accumulation of calcium ions causes a spasm of smooth muscle fibers and the appearance of seizures and pain. Products with a high content of magnesium include sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, spinach, pine nuts, wheat bran.
Prolonged violation of venous outflow often provokes the formation of thrombi in deep (thrombosis) or in varicose veins (thrombophlebitis). The diet for varicose veins and thrombophlebitis is not fundamentally different, but from the diet, it is additionally necessary to exclude foods containing vitamin K, which is an active component of the blood clotting process – beef / pork liver, spinach, beans, celery, cauliflower, watercress, cabbage, broccoli, seaweed. If thrombophlebitis has already developed, it is recommended to include in the diet a mixture of garlic, onions, lemons and honey (100 g honey, 200 g onion, 50 g lemon, 100 g garlic) and take on 1 tsp. 3 times a day. An additional welcome is also recommended vitamins A, Е, Р and vitamin preparation Ascorutin, Dietary supplements Hawthorn forte.
Diet for patients with varicose veins should include low-fat poultry (turkey, chicken), rabbit, lean beef, beef liver.
Extremely useful are all kinds of seafood (mussels, squid, crabs, oysters, shrimp) and fish, sea kale and other seaweed.
The diet includes foods rich in unsaturated fatty acids – vegetable oils, nuts, flax seeds, cauliflower.
Especially useful are vegetables and fruits – Bulgarian pepper, tomatoes, carrots, zucchini, potatoes, vegetable greens, sauerkraut, which can be consumed in various forms, both separately and in salads, as well as berries and fruits – apples, apricots, citrus fruits, cherry, black currant.
It is useful to include in the diet various cereals, both in the form of cereals, and in the form of bread.
From dairy products low-fat cottage cheese, sour-milk products are recommended.
To saturate the body with liquid, the use of mineral non-carbonated water, juices, green, fruit or herbal tea, fruit drinks, kissels, compotes is recommended.