Do you tend to have heavy legs at the end of the day and even more when it’s hot? It may be related to poor venous circulation. The editorial staff lists five foods that can help you improve it, according to two dieticians.
Chronic venous insufficiency is a frequent pathology in Western countries. In France, this affection would affect at least 18 million people according to INSEE. It results in poor venous return. “The blood circulating in the veins of the lower limbs presents difficulties to go up towards the heart. This condition most often results from a loss of elasticity and tonicity of the veins, as well as a dysfunction of the valves located on the venous wall which have the role of preventing the reflux, or, in other words, to help the blood to go back to the heart”, details the French Federation of Cardiology. Because of this, when standing, the blood stagnates in the veins of the lower limbs. “It can also lead to serious long-term complications such as venous thrombosis (phlebitis) or pulmonary embolism.”
Venous insufficiency: symptoms to watch out for
If the feeling of heavy legs, especially at the end of the day, is one of the first symptoms to watch out for, others can also alert you:
- the appearance of tingling or “an irrepressible urge to move the legs”;
- from muscle cramps evening and night;
- from edema“characterized most often by swelling of the calves, ankles or feet”;
- the presence of varicose veins or small spider veins on the legs;
- Development eczema at the level of varicose veins causing itching;
- from varicose ulcersthat is to say chronic wounds “which imperatively require treatment in order to accelerate healing and avoid secondary infection”.
Many factors can promote blood circulation problemssuch as a sedentary lifestyle, overweight or obesity, smoking, pregnancy, family history, certain jobs involving a vertical or prolonged sitting position (waiter, cook, computer jobs, etc.) or even regular air travel .
The treatment of venous insufficiency is therefore above all preventive, in particular by limiting these risk factors. Food also plays an important role in this prevention. And according to two dietitians interviewed by the magazine eatthis, five kinds of food can improve blood circulation. To discover in pictures.
According to dietitian Sydney Greene, beets contain natural nitrates that help improve blood circulation when they are converted into nitric oxide by the body, which helps blood vessels to dilate.
Dietitian Amy Goodson advises her patients looking to improve their circulation to start the DASH diet which is designed to lower blood pressure and improve circulation.
“The DASH diet involves eating 4-5 servings of vegetables a day,” she explains. “Vegetables are nutrient dense and contain no sodium, a common contributor to high blood pressure and therefore unhealthy blood circulation.”
To avoid salt, the specialist advises seasoning them with herbs and spices.
“One of the other recommendations of the DASH diet is to eat foods rich in potassium,” explains Amy Goodson. Fruits such as Medjool dates, bananas, berries, and avocado provide good amounts. Coconut water is also a good source of potassium, with an average of 600 to 700 mg for a 250 ml glass.
Another aspect of the DASH diet: the consumption of calcium, which “could help lower blood pressure and improve blood circulation”.
“Eating 3 servings of lean dairy products a day can help you get the calcium you need,” says Amy Goodson.
“Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, walnuts have been shown to help lower blood pressure, which may promote good blood circulation,” Sydney Greene tells Eatthis.
According to the specialist, walnuts are also a good source of vitamin E which acts as an antioxidant and can help endothelial function by releasing substances that control vascular relaxation and contraction as well as enzymes that control blood clotting, function. immunity and platelet adhesion”.
The editor recommends: