Eat your way to perfect pins
As well as a structured gym routine and LOTS of walking, there are 12 major foods you should incorporate into your diet to keep your legs in perfect shape.
• Oily fish and fish oil, these days also available in vegan varieties, help keep blood vessels in top form and red blood cells elastic, and also fight inflammation, thereby helping keep circulation going and leg healthy in the heat of the summer.
• Turmeric and curcumin, its active ingredient, are known for their anti-inflammatory action and are an ideal companion to oily fish / fish oil. Turmeric can be added in smoothies, soups and almost all food recipes and curcumin is available as a supplement.
• Horse chestnut and escin, its active ingredient, have a long history of use against water retention and as circulation enhancers. Available as supplement in all good health food stores.
• Berry fruit contain polyphenols which are known to protect vein function and support microcirculation. Blueberries and blackberries are the best, but literally all berry fruit are the perfect summer snack, both for leg health and as a yummy refreshment on a hot summer day.
• Rutin and hesperidin, contained in citrus fruit and in supplement form, also have a long history of use as circulation enhancers and hesperidin is even contained in medication for heavy legs in Europe
• Vitamin C is crucial for blood vessel health and is found in tomatoes, citrus fruit and several other fruit and vegetables, as well as supplements
• Protein is normally not associated with leg health and wellness, but considering that skin and blood vessels are made of protein, it make sense to get enough in order to be able to repair your skin and blood vessels. Most women do not have enough protein, due to their avoidance of meat, but with the huge choice of quality and tasty vegan and whey protein powders available these days, there is no excuse being deficient in protein.
• One tablespoonful of ground chia or flax seeds, always taken with two large glasses of water once or twice a day, is guaranteed to eliminate most cases of constipation – no laxatives, herbs, colonic irrigation or “detox” retreats needed – and it’s much cheaper too. Constipation is a leading cause of water retention and poor circulation on legs and leads to the accumulation of toxins in the body. Unforgivable, especially in the heat of the summer.
• Water is not a food per se, but plays an important role in keeping the lymphatic system healthy and functioning well and helps prevent constipation. Two litres of water a day are essential in the summer.
• Red pine bark and gotu kola extracts are both very well researched for their circulation boosting properties and are available as supplement on the internet or in health food stores.
• There are plenty of studies on the circulation enhancing properties of cocoa flavanols, so it makes sense to invest in a quality ‘high flavanol cocoa powder’ (available at health food stores or on the internet), which makes a wonderfully refreshing shake when mixed with a quality whey protein powder, some vanilla and some stevia, for taste. And by the way, avoid indulging in 70% chocolate, thinking that “it’s healthy”: 30% of it is pure sugar, which is your legs’ worst enemy.
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