We’ve all seen them at point or another—those unsightly, purple, often bulging veins that can plague a woman’s or men's legs. But varicose veins are more than just a vanity issue…they are a sign that circulation to the legs has deteriorated, often leading to pain, heaviness, and even discoloration of the skin around the veins and ulcers.

Fortunately, two common nutrients have been found to help increase the tone and strength of your veins and improved their appearance: horse chestnut and bromelain. Horse chestnut contain a compound called aescin that has been shown to seal off the small pores in your veins, thereby strengthening and toning the entire vein and reducing leakage into surrounding tissues. Aim for 50 mg of aescin (from horse chestnut) twice a day, before you eat.

Often, people with varicose veins have a decreased ability to break down fibrin—a naturally occurring protein that is essential for proper blood clotting. An enzyme called plasminogen activator breaks down fibrin. When you have varicose veins, your levels of this enzyme decrease, causing fibrin to then build up in the veins. Enter bromelain.

This digestive enzyme has been shown to mimic plasminogen activator and, when taken in large doses, works to bread down fibrin. Aim for 350-450 mg of bromelain twice a day, taken on an empty stomach. This allows it to work on your veins, not your food!