Elevated glucose levels and damaged blood vessels…do they go hand-in-hand? New evidence might say so. So, as the holidays have quickly come and gone, watching your sugar intake and working to detox your system, might help down the road to maintaining healthy and thriving blood vessels.
According to SELF, trying to pump blood full of sugar through blood vessels is basically like pumping sludge through a teeny tiny pipe. “The pipes will finally get tired. That’s what happens with your vessels,” Gradney explains. So any area relying on small blood vessels can become affected—kidneys, brain, eyes, heart. “It can lead to chronic kidney disease or kidney failure, high blood pressure, and you have an increased risk of stroke if you have high blood pressure.”
Aside from just pumping blood through your system, a diet high in sugar can contribute to obesity, leading to a multitude of health problems like: insulin resistance, liver functions, diabetes and other health challenges.
Need a few quick tips to a gentle detox from the holidays, we love this article from Well + Good for some tips and tricks to getting that sugar out! Click here to read more!
‘TIS THE SEASON.
It’s the time of year that indulging, feasting and FOOD are the center of every gathering; however, we want to help ease the guilt, while still being to enjoy the duration of the holiday season. To kick off the month, we want to give you some tips and tricks to making Thanksgiving a healthier, guilt-free holiday from Glamour.
- Health-ify your fave recipes:“Instead of loading up your mashed potatoes with cream and butter, use roasted garlic instead! Simmer peeled garlic cloves in a layer of olive oil on the stove top. Once they’re soft enough to mash up with a fork, just add them to your taters and mash away! They provide a rich creaminess and flavor with far less fat and calories than the traditionally prepared dish.” –Gretchen Powell, blogger at Honey I Shrunk Gretchen
- Focus on the people, not the food:“Focus on your family and the social aspect of Thanksgiving, rather than just the food. But, also realize that one day won’t derail your whole diet, so if you overdo it, start back up with your healthy habits the next day!”–Beth Klein, blogger at Beth’s Journey
- Go on a morning jog! Yes, the turkey trot is great and all but who really wants to go out and run or walk after a heavy meal? Honestly? Not me (although I admire those who do this every year!). That’s why running (or walking, or biking–whatever you like!) before is so great. Do something active in the morning, and you can feel better about treating yourself a little in the afternoon. And, bonus, by starting your day active, you will burn more calories throughout the day!
Although it has not been scientifically proven, many Essential Oils have been said to help with the pain and discomfort of Spider and Varicose Veins. Essential Oils usually aid in reducing inflammation and improving circulation which is important in vein health. Some of the most recommended oils for vein health include lavender, cypress, lemongrass, geranium and sage oil. These oils work similarly in that they help soothe and increase blood flow.
Lavender oil is one of the most popular oils and has calming effects as well as works to relieve pain. According to Health Watch List, “Cypress helps relieve muscular spasms and cramps, which can be associated with varicose veins.” Lemongrass oil works well as a pain reliever to the skin when applied to the specific area. Geranium tightens skin and can lower blood pressure. Sage oil has many uses, but works well to minimize skin issues and heal wounds.
Many people apply a few drops of the right essential oil to a damp cloth and place it on the veins they want to treat for around 15 minutes. Oils can also be added to carrier oil and massaged into the affected areas or added to bath. While the Essential Oils do not make the appearance of the Varicose and Spider Veins go away, many people have felt pain and swelling relief. For everyday use of Essential Oils, diffusers can also be used to spray a mist of a combination of oils into the room.
ACV- what’s the deal? On top of Vitamin C, Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is all the craze in the media, in the news . But what are the benefits? And can it help with varicose veins? Let’s see!
While ACV is known to improve circulation and blood flow, it can also assist with reducing the swelling and heavy feeling that comes with varicose veins, according to a recent article. ACV has a variety of uses, and can even be directly applied to the legs or as a refreshing drink or tea twice a day. Additionally, ACV can also reduce body fat, help the immune system, and boost energy.
Here’s how to use it inside and out:
- Every night before going to bed and every morning (for a few months) apply apple cider vinegar on the affected area and gently massage it (using upward strokes).
- Add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and drink this twice a day for at least one month – and get the added bonus of an improved digestion in the process!
If ACV is too strong, we love this recipe for a Berry Lemon Refresher recipe:
- 2 tablespoons fresh or frozen berries (I love using raspberries the best!)
- 1 tablespoon ACV
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Optional: 1 teaspoon raw honey or sweetener of choice
- Place the berries in the bottom of a cup. If you are using a sweetener, add that in now. Muddle the berries and sweetener with the back of a spoon.
- Add in your ACV and lemon juice. Fill the cup with ice and add in enough water to fill the rest of the cup. Stir and enjoy!
It is important to keep up your fruit and vegetable intake when taking care of your veins! Many delicious summer salads allow you to get both your fruits and vegetables in, in the same meal. Try this Strawberry Avocado Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing, it only takes 15 minutes to make, and invite family and friends to try it too!
- 6 cups fresh baby spinach
- 1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced (or you can double this to 2 avocados!)
- 4 ounces crumbled gorgonzola or blue cheese
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
- half a small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 batch poppyseed dressing (recipe below)
POPPYSEED DRESSING INGREDIENTS:
- 1/3 cup avocado oil (or any oil, such as olive oil)
- 3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- pinch of ground dry mustard (optional)
- salt and pepper
TO MAKE THE SALAD:
- Toss all ingredients together with your desired amount of dressing until combined. Serve immediately.
TO MAKE THE POPPYSEED DRESSING:
- Whisk all ingredients together until combined. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, or more to taste.
For more details and other healthy, summer recipes go to: https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/avocado-strawberry-spinach-salad-with-poppyseed-dressing/
Did you know there are easy, low-impact exercises that can greatly improve symptoms of vein distress without surgery? Exercise keeps blood flowing to your legs and other parts of your body that are crucial for vein strength. Even if it is a short period of time each day, cut out a half hour to exercise and keep your veins in great shape! It is important to take care of existing Spider and Varicose Veins as well, and exercise is a great, surgery-free way to do so! Here are some easy exercises to try out this summer:
- Brisk Walking
This gets the blood flowing specifically to your legs and feet. Brisk walking does not need to be extremely fast or strenuous. Try going to a park or scenic area near you, inviting a friend, and taking a quick walk for 20-30 minutes each night. It is a good excuse to get outside if you work indoors during the daytime, and a chance to enjoy nature while improving vein health.
Biking is another great exercise that requires leg work. Find an easy route to ride, or ride to your favorite restaurant or coffee shop in the morning. Biking if better for the environment and overall better for your health. Try biking for half an hour every day or every other day and slowly increase the time you spend on your bike. You will be amazed at how far you can go and how long you can ride!
This form of exercise is great for blood flow to the veins and a perfect activity to cool down in the summer. This may not always be the most accessable form of exercise if you do not have your own pool, but try and find a public pool in your area and go for a swim with friends on weekends. Even a couple laps around the pool is great exercise without being super tiring or strenuous.
These exercises can be modified to be comfortable for different bodies and injuries. Both Pilates and yoga classes build muscle strength without being strenuous or cardio-heavy. Try signing up for a drop-in class at a local studio and ask an instructor for help regarding any injuries or pain due to Varicose Veins. Find the class that works for you and try to incorporate that into your daily, or weekly, routine!
- In-Home Workouts
Busy schedules can make it hard to get out and exercise each day. In-home workouts are an important way to stay active when you are unable to go outside. Try short reps of jumping jacks, crunches, squats, sit-ups, and lunges in an open area of your home or yard. These exercises are easy, don’t take up too much room, and are important for maintaining vein health.
What is better than a refreshing smoothie on a hot summer day? Well, one that can also help in maintaining and boost your vein health! Vitamin C is one of the most effective vitamins that can reduce varicose veins. According to A. Vogel, Vitamin C promotes good blood circulation, reduces inflammation, and strengthens the walls of our veins. Check out this Turmeric Pina Colada Smoothie that is not only Vitamin C packed, but also contains the many health benefits that come from turmeric, a powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant. Try the recipe below and tell us what you think!
- 1 cup fresh pineapple chopped, approximate
- 1 banana
- 1 orange or 2 small (skin removed)
- 1/2 cup coconut milk or one of those cute baby tins
- Small thumb sized piece of fresh turmeric peeled (or 1/2 tsp ground turmeric)
- Add everything to your blender, blend until smooth, and enjoy
- If you don’t have a high-speed blender, finely grate the turmeric first otherwise you’ll end up with little chunky bits in your smoothie.
To learn more about this recipe, or find other healthy recipes, go to: https://quitegoodfood.co.nz/turmeric-pina-colada-smoothie/