Varicose and spider veins can be very unsightly and often painful. Both are caused by weakened valves in the leg veins that causes the blood to pool up, which forces the vein to expand. People who are on their feet or sit for long periods of time often develop spider veins. There are many natural alternatives that may help.

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Eat blueberries, cherries, blackberries, and purple grapes, which all contain pigments that are rich in anthocyanins. These compounds have been known to improve the health of veins. Eating 1 cup of these types of fruits will help to prevent and treat varicose and spider veins.

Try not to put any extra stress on the veins. This includes not sitting nor standing for long periods, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding tight, constrictive clothing. Getting regular exercise is critical. Muscle contraction helps the flow of blood through the veins and keeps it from pooling in the legs. Walking is an excellent choice for gentle exercise that most everyone can do.

Eating high-fiber foods helps prevent constipation, a major contributing factor for varicose and spider veins. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds daily.

Add spices to your diet to help your body break down fibrin, the protein that contributes to the creation of the hard, lumpy tissue surrounding varicose veins. Add garlic, onions, ginger, and cayenne to your cooking for great flavor and health benefits.

Grape seed extract is an excellent source of antioxidants, which help strengthen capillaries and veins. Take 300 milligrams a day of a standardized extract that contains 85 to 95 percent procyanidins. Grape seed extract can also be found in creams that can be applied directly to the skin to improve varicose veins.

Make a soothing aromatherapy treatment using 4 ounces witch hazel, 10 drops cypress essential oil, and 10 drops yarrow essential oil. Mix ingredients together in a bottle and shake well. Apply as often as you like to your legs to reduce swelling and inflammation.