Eat and hike your way to healthier veins during National Blueberry Month

July is National Blueberry Month, and that means there’s no better time to squeeze in a quick workout while stocking up on this healthy snack. Varicose veins can be diminished and sometimes eliminated by adding certain foods like blueberries to your diet. Blueberries are rich in Vitamin C, which enhances anti-inflammatory compounds that improve vein elasticity and boost blood flow in the lower extremities.

Pair this sweet and succulent superfood with a low-impact activity like hiking and you’ve got an excellent combination for improving blood flow throughout your entire body! Alaska provides an abundance of wild blueberries across the state, which means plenty of opportunities to pick a basket or two of this beneficial fruit:

  • Flattop Mountain Trail in Anchorage has several areas where you can pick fresh blueberries. Just above the parking lot is Blueberry Hill and, if you’re looking for a more strenuous hike, follow Powerline Pass into the South Fork of Campbell Creek.
  • Mount Baldy in Eagle River is a summit of splendor! Pass the small flat summit overlooking Eagle River and head to the left of the ridge trail for a bounty of blueberries.
  • The West Butte Trail in the Matanuska Valley is an easy hike for a beginner and is lined with blueberry bushes. Whether you live nearby or are visiting the area, this quick two-hour hike is for you.
  • Mount Alyeska in Girdwood is a popular blueberry-picking area among Alaskans and visitors alike. Take the tram up the mountain and hike down while picking blueberries or spend the day walking around the base of the mountain filling up your baskets.
  • The Chena Lake Recreation Area in Fairbanks is the perfect place to spend the day scavenging for blueberries. Follow the bike path around the lake and search for bushes just off the path or along the trail.

While outdoors, always remember to stay safe by wearing protective clothing, stretching and drinking plenty of water.