What you eat can play a major role in your vein health. First, it’s important to maintain a sensible weight and avoid added pressure on your lower body. Second, there are some foods that are just better for your overall health, including your veins, than others. You also want to make sure you stay hydrated and avoid foods too high in sodium because salt and dehydration can actually add to swelling and pain in the legs associated with varicose veins. Getting your meals under control is pretty easy to do with all the resources available, but what about snacking? It’s time to ditch the potato chips and opt for healthier alternatives. Your veins — and the rest of your body — will thank you.

1. You can’t go wrong with fresh vegetables.
Of course, the healthiest snacks you can have on hand are fresh veggies. Opt for those that are higher in vitamin C, as it can improve the strength and flexibility of your vein walls. Red bell peppers, cauliflower, and broccoli are all good options. Carrots, celery, and cucumbers are not as high in vitamin C, but they still contain important nutrients. Eat them plain or with your favorite light dip.

2. Pick up a piece of fruit.
Speaking of vitamin C, you’ll find plenty of it many fresh fruits, which also happen to be another convenient yet healthy snack. Oranges, tangerines, strawberries, papaya, pineapple, and kiwi are all loaded with it. If you get bored with one fruit, chop some up together to make a fruit salad, or throw it in the blender with some yogurt to make a smoothie.

3. Don’t skimp on fiber.
Foods high in fiber benefit your veins in two ways. First, fiber helps prevent the accumulation of cholesterol in your veins and arteries, which can lead to circulatory diseases. Second, fiber is a must for healthy digestion. Chronic constipation is thought to contribute to varicose veins in some situations. Snacks high in fiber might include apples, pears, oatmeal or granola bars made with oats, and bran cereals. Avocados are high in fiber, so consider making some light guacamole. Artichokes are also packed with fiber, so maybe a spinach-artichoke dip for your veggies is on the menu.

4. Eat more vitamin K.
Another vitamin essential to vein health is vitamin K. Studies have shown that people who don’t eat enough of it are more likely to end up with varicose veins, because the vitamin activates a protein that is necessary for healthy and strong veins. There are a few ways to get more vitamin K into your diet. Leafy green vegetables, like kale, are loaded with it. Kale chips make a healthy and delicious snack. Grass-fed products, like cheese, also contain the vitamin, so go ahead and indulge in your favorite dairy product.

5. Nuts and seeds for the win.
Nuts and seeds offer numerous benefits for your entire body, including your veins. Take almonds for example. They are packed with magnesium, which is essential for vein strength, and they help take care of bad cholesterol. Chia seeds are loaded with fiber, and many people use them to make pudding and other delicious snacks. Just watch how many of these you eat in one day, as most nuts and seeds are high in calories and can lead to weight gain if you aren’t careful.

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