When the summer heat strikes, so do tired and heavy legs. As the mercury rises, our body does all it can to maintain our inner temperature stable, and not let it get too high. That is when veins and vessels close to the skin’s surface are not contracting as efficiently as they usually do in order to stop the heat from being evacuated as easily, thus maintaining our bodily temperature around 37oC. However, when veins become dilated it becomes harder for them to pump blood upwards again, and this is precisely when your legs begin to feel heavy.
It’s important to remember that many people do already suffer from what is called CVI, which stands for chronic venous insufficiency. People suffering from non-complicated CVI are subject to the constant sensation of heavy and tired legs due to a bad blood circulation in the veins. When blood circulates poorly, it is not efficiently pumped back to the heart and can get pooled in the legs. The venous walls therefore get dilated, creating the sensation of swollen and tired legs.
So, it should come as no surprise that the summer heat or even long walks don’t help at all under these circumstances. With time and if left untreated, this can get quite painful. Varicose veins, which are small red and purple lines under the skin, can appear. Sadly, wearing a skirt or shorts can then be harder on the self-esteem. It has been reported that almost 50% of people are inflicted with varicose veins.
Luckily, a proper nutrition can help. To protect the venous walls in your legs, it’s best to include fruits that are rich in proanthocyanidins. Proteins can help nourish the muscles of the body, even those responsible for vein contraction and blood circulation. One particular ingredient that has been shown to be quite effective in helping relieve symptoms related to non-complicated CVI such as the sensation of swelling, heaviness and tingling of the legs is grape seed. It has been found that grape seeds can help with these symptoms by affecting the permeability of blood vessels, therefore helping reduce the risk of your legs feeling swollen and heavy. When combined with maritime pine it can be beneficial to the relief of symptoms associated with non-complicated CVI. It can be a challenge to remember to include these ingredients into your daily routine. That is why a supplement such as Active Legs can help, and where both those herbal ingredients are available in beneficial concentrations.
Therefore, although the sun is not the cause of CVI or varicose veins, it is always good to help prevent them early on in life. Try exchanging your high heels with flats, aim for a healthy weight, exercise for a better muscle tone and enjoy a high fiber low salt diet. Put a spring in your step and make sure the right nutrients are available to you to enjoy those summer walks.
By Jennifer Soueida, B.Sc.