There’s no evidence that coffee consumption has any impact on varicose veins. But some nutrients can support overall vein health, helping reduce your risk of developing new varicose veins.
Experts know that exercising regularly, maintaining a moderate weight, and avoiding extended sedentary activity are key to preventing varicose veins.
There are also many claims that consuming certain foods and drinks, including coffee, can prevent varicose veins. But there’s little evidence to back them up.
Here’s what to know about the potential link between coffee consumption and varicose vein development.
Researchers did find higher predicted coffee consumption to be associated with a lower risk of varicose veins in a subset of people in the United Kingdom. But the results weren’t replicated in a sample of Finnish people, which has the highest consumption of coffee per capita.
The authors speculated that higher coffee consumption could also be correlated with higher tea consumption in the U.K. group. Tea contains thousands of compounds with antioxidant and cholesterol-lowering effects, which could account for the difference between U.K. and Finnish groups.
While it’s still possible that drinking coffee might offer some kind of benefit for preventing varicose veins, more research is needed to reach a firm conclusion.
The jury’s out on whether drinking coffee prevents varicose veins, but some also claim that using coffee grounds as a scrub can get rid of varicose veins.
There’s no evidence to support this claim. It’s possible that topical application of coffee grounds could temporarily plump the skin and boost circulation, which might make varicose veins appear less visible in the short term. But it’s unlikely that it will have a longer-term effect.
Keep in mind that coffee grounds could cause skin irritation in some individuals, so always test it on a small patch of skin before applying liberally.
Eating a balanced diet can help you maintain a moderate weight, which can decrease your risk of developing varicose veins or help with pain and discomfort caused by existing ones. But there’s no evidence that consuming any particular food or drink will shrink varicose veins.
In the 2021 study mentioned above, the authors suggested that avoiding excessive iron may help prevent varicose veins. But there wasn’t enough evidence to support any link between varicose veins and other nutrients they evaluated, including magnesium, calcium, and vitamin B12.
While there’s no dietary change that will cause varicose veins to disappear, some foods may offer some general benefits to your overall vein health, which may reduce your risk of developing new varicose veins:
- Foods high in fiber: Dietary fiber is essential for healthy bowels. If you regularly experience constipation, it can cause abdominal pressure that damages surrounding vein valves. High fiber foods include:
- sweet potatoes
- whole grains
- Foods with potassium: Not getting enough potassium can cause your body to retain water. This boosts blood volume in your body, which can put pressure on vein walls. High potassium foods include:
- leafy greens
- winter squash
- Foods with flavonoids: Flavonoids are compounds known to help improve cardiovascular health by boosting blood flow, reducing blood pressure, and easing the blood vessels. Flavonoid-rich foods include:
- bell peppers
- leafy greens
- citrus fruits
According to a
- Rutosides: The bioflavonoid rutin is found in many plants like apples, citrus fruits, buckwheat, St. John’s wort, and Ginkgo biloba. It has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antidiabetic qualities. It may help strengthen blood vessels, preventing them from turning into varicose veins. It’s sometimes taken as a dietary supplement to help manage spider and varicose veins.
- Centella asiatica: Also known as Gotu kola, this native Asian plant may help strengthen weakened vein valves that can lead to venous insufficiency or varicose veins. It can be applied topically or taken orally in pill form.
- Grape seed extract: Grape seed extract is made from the seeds of wine grapes and is often used as a dietary supplement for venous insufficiency. It could benefit vein health due to its high quantities of vitamin E, flavonoids, and other beneficial compounds.
While coffee won’t help you get rid of varicose veins, there are several effective treatment options to consider:
- Sclerotherapy: This is currently the most popular treatment to remove spider and varicose veins. It involves injecting a chemical solution into the veins that seals them off. They then break down and disintegrate.
- Laser therapy: Laser technology heats the veins, sealing them off so that they continue to break down over the course of several weeks.
- Endovenous ablation: This is a more invasive method used to treat varicose veins in the legs. It involves cutting into the skin and using either laser or radiofrequency technology to dissolve the veins.
- Surgery: This may be an option for larger varicose veins that don’t respond to other treatments.
Several ways to reduce the risk of varicose veins developing in the first place include:
- regularly exercising
- maintaining a moderate weight
- elevating your legs when sitting or lying
- avoiding prolonged sedentary activity
- avoiding smoking
- wearing compression socks
No evidence currently exists to suggest that drinking coffee causes or worsens varicose veins. There’s also no evidence that applying a coffee ground scrub to the veins will help fade them. While certain nutrients can help support overall vein health, no single food or drink will remove varicose veins.