Heart disease is a leading cause of death according to CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention). It’s even considered deadlier because it happens progressively, quietly building up in the inner walls of the arteries and eventually blocking blood flow.
The arteries are responsible for the delivery of blood rich in oxygen to different body tissues from the heart. When there is build up of plaques in the arteries and blood restricted, serious problems could arise like stroke, a heart attack or other diseases.
So how do you keep your arteries unclogged? Foods could be a natural way to prevent clogging and other cardiovascular problems
We have compiled a list of foods that can cleanse your arteries and thus keep your cardiovascular system healthy.
These foods include :
Asparagus is a great food for cleansing your arteries. It’s full of minerals and fibre and helps prevent blood from clotting. It also helps reduce blood pressure while working to soothe inflammation that could have accumulated. It helps boost the production of glutathione, an antioxidant active in combating inflammation and preventing oxidation damage that could lead to clogged arteries. Folic acid and apha-linoleic acid are also compounds contained in asparagus, they help prevent the arteries from hardening. You can have your asparagus anyway you want; steamed, grilled, roasted or even raw.
Avocado helps increase the good cholesterol while reducing the bad cholesterol. It contains great minerals like potassium and vitamins like the E vitamin. The former helps with lowering blood pressure while the latter helps with preventing cholesterol oxidation. You could replace your mayonnaise with avocado comfortably and use in a sandwich, guacamole or as a topping.
Broccoli has a high K vitamin content which helps prevent the arteries from getting clogged by calcium. Broccoli also helps prevent oxidation by cholesterol, reduces stress and lowers blood pressure as a result of its blood pressure. What has stress got to do with the cardiovascular system? Well, it can lead to the tearing and build-up of plaques in the walls of the arteries.
Sulforaphane is a compound that helps the body prevent the build-up of plaques with the use of protein. We recommend you have at least two Broccoli servings every week. You could have it steamed, grilled, roasted, etc.
4. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish are fish rich in healthy fats. These healthy fats help to clear up the arteries. An example of a healthy fat these fishes contain is omega-3 fatty acids which help increase the good cholesterol and reduce triglyceride levels. This in turn helps reduce blood pressure, inflammation of blood vessels and blood clot formation. It is recommended that you eat fatty fish twice every week to prevent or at least reduce the build-up of plaque. Examples of these fishes include tuna, salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring, etc. You could have them baked or grilled as they are your best bet at getting the best out of your fatty fish meal.
Nuts are a healthier alternative to cookies. Almonds, for example, contain monosaturated fats, protein, fiber, Vitamin E and magnesium. The magnesium protects the arteries from plaque build-up and reduces blood pressure. Another great example is the walnut. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acid which helps raise good cholesterol levels and reduce bad cholesterol levels.
It is recommended that you have at least five servings weekly. You could simply snack on them or even have them in your salad.
6. Olive Oil
Olive oil is rich in oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid that raises good cholesterol and reduces bad cholesterol.
Olive oil is also rich in antioxidants and is a healthy oil to cook with or use for dressings. You could use it as a replacement for butter and have it drizzled over pasta or salad.
Watermelon, everybody’s favourite, has a great amino acid content. It contains L-citrulline which helps the production of nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide reduces blood pressure, helps the arteries to relax and reduces inflammation.
Watermelon also helps in the modification of blood lipids and reduces the accumulation of belly fat. When there’s reduced fat in the abdominal area, there is also a reduced risk of heart disease.
Curcumin is the main component found in turmeric. It’s a powerful anti-inflammatory component that helps reduce inflammation and prevents the arteries from hardening. Turmeric causes a reduction in the damage of arterial walls which could lead to the build-up of plaque and damage of blood vessels.
It’s great that turmeric is a spice that can be used as an ingredient in your dishes. You could also try something dufferebt0
The main component of this spice is curcumin, which is a power anti-inflammatory. Inflammation is a major cause of arteriosclerosis, or the hardening of the arteries. Turmeric also reduces the damage to arterial walls, which can cause blood clots and plaque build up. Turmeric also contains vitamin B6, which helps to maintain healthy levels of homocysteine, which can cause plaque build-up and blood vessel damage in excess amounts. You could also drink warm turmeric milk everyday.
Spinach is rich in potassium, fiber and folate. These minerals help prevent artery blockage and reduces blood pressure. One serving can help lower homocysteine levels, which is one of the leading risk factors of heart diseases like atherosclerosis. You can eat it raw or cooked, you’ll get same benefits. You could even try it in salads, smoothies or omelets.
10. Whole Grains
Whole grains are rich in soluble fiber. The fiber binds with LDL cholesterol in the digestive tract and gets rid of it from the body. They contain magnesium, useful in dilating blood vessels and keeping blood pressure at regular levels.
Six servings of whole grains is just fine. You could have foods like barley, oatmeal, pastas, brown rice, quinoa etc. These meals will also balance your cholesterol levels and clear your arteries.
Changing your diet by replacing carbs with whole grains is great for not just your arteries, but your overall health. The replacements are not bad and you could have fun trying out different delicious meals and endless creative recipes.