Arteries exist throughout the body as one of the major components of your circulatory system transporting blood and oxygen to the organs, your brain and throughout the body.
Atherosclerosis’ is a hardening of the arteries. Due to high bad cholesterol and various factors of lifestyle, plaque starts building up within your arteries narrowing them. They get hardened and thickened which in turn leads to dysfunctional arteries. As a result, there is reduced blood flow to the organs fed by particular arteries. Atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries can lead to heart problems like coronary heart disease. Moreover, thickening of arteries can also result in impaired blood flow and lack of sufficient oxygen throughout the body.
Clogged arteries cause cardiovascular disease affecting 42 million people in USA
According to the American Heart Association, 25% of deaths each year are due to heart disease. What’s sad about such a figure is that it could be reduced considerably if only people were more concerned about their health. Heart disease is reversible and preventable by simply improving lifestyle and dietary habits. Today in the USA almost 42 million people live with cardiovascular disease. Much of this is caused by clogged arteries because of cholesterol and plaque buildup.
The biggest risk factors for narrowing of arteries are high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, and high cholesterol. Besides smoking, all of these are lifestyle related problems which can be rectified if you learn to eat healthily by omitting processed foods, fast food, excess sugars and unhealthy carbs. To support artery health, here are 15 of the best foods for your arteries.
The orange is the perfect item to start any list of foods for clogged arteries. Because of its high levels of pectin being a soluble fiber, it absorbs or sucks up bad cholesterol in foods and blocks the absorption of it by the body. Oranges are rich in potassium that counterbalance sodium intake and keeps blood pressure in check. Research has also found that oranges can neutralize proteins that cause scar tissue and congestive heart failure.
While all leafy greens are good for your arteries, kale is especially good being rich in antioxidants, fiber and omega 3 fatty acids. Kale should be a permanent feature in any person’s diet at risk of artery issues and for those who want to prevent them.
3 Water Spinach
Water spinach contains anti-oxidants as well as vitamins A and C. It is also rich in beta-carotene. Together these ingredients prevent cholesterol from oxidizing in the body. The good thing about water spinach is that it is a fairly affordable item and available easily.
4 Pomegranate juice
Pomegranate juice fresh and without sugar is great for unclogging arteries. It is rich in Punic acid and antioxidants that prevent plaque buildup and atherosclerosis. Research done in the American Journal of Cardiology proved that drinking 240ml of pomegranate juice for 18 months daily reduced the risk of carotid artery disease.
5 Sesame seeds
A 3-month long study in 2006 and published in the Journal of Medicinal food proved that sesame seeds are good for atherosclerosis. Sesame seeds contain fatty acids that prevent bad cholesterol, triglycerides and blood cholesterol.
Garlic is one of the best foods to reduce artery plaque and blood pressure. Research has found that garlic contains an enzyme called angiotensin that constricts blood vessels. A study also found that those suffering from plaque issues saw a 50% reduction in plaque buildup when taking garlic extract daily in form of pills.
7 Red Wine
Bottoms up!! Did you know that red wine could be good for your health? Red wine improves levels of HDL in the body. It also reduced clotting and maintains blood vessel flexibility. Studies have also found that red wine is as effective as aspirin and can reduce the risk of heart attacks. But don’t overdo it.
8 Dark Chocolate
Here’s another nice way of keeping your arteries safe. Dark Chocolate has high levels of cocoa and contains rich compounds called flavonols that increase blood vessel flexibility, low blood pressure and prevents the risk of heart disease.
Lemon or even lemon juice is excellent for heart health. Lemons are good for arteries and heart health by reducing levels of cholesterols and preventing oxidative damage to arteries. Lemons are also rich in vitamin C that prevent inflammation, reduce cholesterol, increases HDL or good cholesterol and strengthens arteries.
A 2001 study published in the Journal of Molecular Nutrition and Food research that Turmeric was more effective in reducing cholesterol and preventing atherosclerosis than the drug Lovastatin. Turmeric is rich in the polyphenol cumin that is well known for its cardiovascular properties. Cumin can prevent carotid artery clogging and damage.
Many people don’t like sardines but don’t stick your nose up at it because sardines are rich in omega3 fatty acids that lower triglyceride levels in the body. Sardines also raise good cholesterol and reduce inflammation in the body.
International studies have found that those who eat a good amount of lentils or legumes have a reduced risk of heart disease. Lentils reduce high blood pressure and are rich in magnesium, potassium and protein all of which reduce plaque in arteries.
Almonds contain a high amount of plant sterols good for reducing bad cholesterol and prevent its absorption. A University of Toronto study found that those who ate almonds reduce their risk of heart disease by 28%.
Watermelon is rich in the amino acid L-Citrulline that cleans arteries, lower blood pressure and fights inflammation. Watermelon also boosts nitric oxide production god for artery health and reduction of blood pressure.
Fresh blueberries are one of nature’s super health foods that should be part of your diet every day. Blueberries combat aging, are a rich source of energy without fear of being stored as calories or fat, and a rich dose of antioxidants and nutrients. Blueberries reduce cholesterol and plaque buildup in the walls of arteries. They also eliminate free radicals that cause cancer and heart disease.
17. Green tea