Holiday Health Check: Avoiding Inflammatory Foods

Between the lights, decorations, gifts, and food, our eyes are generally bigger than our stomachs during the holiday season. But as the saying goes, it’s all about “everything in moderation,” right?

Particularly if you are one of the many Americans living with a form of vascular disease, you’ll want to be careful to scale back on these inflammation-inducing foods and beverages during your next holiday celebration: 

Pass (On) The Salt

Salt is going to be toward the top of your “Do Not Eat” list this year, as foods that contain high concentrations of sodium prompt your body to retain more water. And the more water your body retains, the higher the volume of blood in your veins will become, creating painful pressure relatively quickly.

Thus, we recommend avoiding canned foods, highly processed additives, cured meats, fast food, and more.

But if you’re looking for a kick of flavor without grabbing for the salt shaker, there’s a whole world of sodium alternatives, ranging from garlic to citrus zest and other fresh or dried spices.

When Sugar Isn’t So Sweet

As tempting as the holiday sweets may be, cutting down on one’s sugar intake is critical for vein health, particularly if you or a loved one are living with diabetes.

The reason for this is twofold: For one, the higher your blood sugar levels are, the more likely your veins are to become gradually weakened. And two, weight gain in conjunction with high blood sugar is shown to be tied to additional venous strain and pain.

Thus, if you’re looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, we recommend putting together a fresh fruit platter, snacking on trail mix, freezing yogurt-covered blueberries, and more.

Beware Your Beverage

Soda and alcohol are among two of the most commonly enjoyed beverages during holiday gatherings. After all, who doesn’t like a delicious sip to follow their feast? The trouble is that soda is high in sugar and alcohol can negatively impact your circulatory system, thereby contributing to the development of varicose veins.

That is to say, both of these are capable of impeding proper blood flow throughout your body when consumed too frequently or in large quantities.

In this case, water is the best and healthiest alternative to any traditional drink you might normally reach for at your holiday get-together. That being said, herbal teas, low-sugar mocktails, or natural sparkling juices may be better suited to your taste if water just won’t cut it.

But at the end of the day, managing and mitigating your symptoms does not end with watching your diet. And if you’re not sure how else to tackle your vascular troubles, give yourself the gift of health this year by contacting Duval Vascular Center!

Our specialized staff is ready and available to provide you one-on-one care of the highest caliber, working in concert with your healthcare provider to tailor a treatment plan that best suits your needs. To learn more or schedule an appointment, call us today at (904) 518-1398!