Arteries are the system within your body to move all the essential nutrients and oxygen it needs to survive, from the heart to the rest of your body.
A huge part to stay healthy and keep arteries clean has to do with your diet. It is very true when it says "You are what you eat" . It is also true that what you put in your body will determine your overall health, including cardiovascular health. Adjusting your diet to include foods friendly to arteries can improve the condition of your Heart, and your overall health.
Here are six natural foods to help cleanse and unclog the arteries to help prevent a heart attack or stroke :
1. AsparagusOne of the best vegetables for clearing arteries, asparagus is full of fiber and minerals, as well as a long list of vitamins including K, B1, B2, C, and E. Asparagus can help to lower blood pressure and prevent blood clots that can cause serious cardiovascular illness. Try steaming raw asparagus for maximum vitamin potential!
2. AvocadoThe next time you make a sandwich or salad, consider adding a few slices of avocado in lieu of mayonnaise or heavy salad dressing. Studies have shown that the daily consumption of avocado result in improved blood cholesterol with a decrease in triglycerides and LDL of around 22% and an 11% increase in HDL – the “good” cholesterol that helps to keep arteries clear of obstructions. Not only can this delicious fruit help to keep your blood flowing smoothly, the average avocado also contains around 4 grams protein and 11 grams of fiber, not to mention an impressive list of vitamins and antioxidants.
Broccoli is another vegetable that is loaded with vitamin K which helps to prevent calcification or hardening of arteries. Eating vitamin- and antioxidant-packed broccoli can also help to prevent oxidation of LDL cholesterol which can lead to serious heart conditions. This super healthy veggie also offers a heart-healthy dose of fiber which helps to normalize blood-pressure and reduce stress that may cause tears (and eventually plaque build-up) in arterial walls.
4. Olive OilRich in monounsaturated oleic acid – an essential fatty acid (EFA) known for its positive effects on cholesterol levels and oxidative stress in the blood stream – olive oil is widely considered to be one of the healthiest oils for cooking and dressing food. According to a recent study, use of olive oil for these purposes can actually reduce the risk of serious cardiovascular illnesses by up to 41%.
A word of caution: When shopping for olive oil, avoid buying the lowest-priced option on the shelf. These products are inexpensive for a good reason. Low-cost olive oils are often cut with cheaper, less-healthy oils or have been damaged by heat during the extraction process. Instead, go with a certified 100% organic virgin olive oil.
5. CinnamonYou’ve probably heard that a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. But did you know that a spoonful of cinnamon makes your risk of heart disease go down? Just one tablespoon of ground cinnamon per day can work to reduce cholesterol levels while at the same time clearing and preventing plaque build-up. Cinnamon is also full of antioxidants which further improve cardiovascular health by protecting blood from damaging oxidation. So put down the sugar and start enjoying cinnamon. Try this fragrant spice in a cup of tea or sprinkled on top of coffee. Or check out these recipes on EatingWell with cinnamon.
6. Coconut OilDisregard the old myth that all saturated fats are bad and the leading cause of cardiovascular diseases like atherosclerosis. Regular consumption of coconut oil– about 2 or 3 tablespoons per day – can help to reduce plaque build-up in the arteries by aiding the conversion of cholesterol in the blood stream into a form that our bodies can use. The high concentration of medium-chain triglyceride, lauric acid present in coconut oil is also thought to improve blood coagulation as well as to perform antioxidant functions in the blood stream, further diminishing the risk of heart disease.
7. CoffeeAlso contrary to popular belief, coffee is not bad for your health. Studies have found that drinking between 8 and 16 oz of coffee per day can reduce your risk of heart disease by around 20%. Just remember to take all things in moderation, including caffeine. Over-consumption of any stimulant has the potential to increase your blood pressure and heart rate, which can lead to some serious health problems.
8. Green TeaGreen tea – especially nutrient-rich Matcha green tea – contains high levels of catechins, antioxidant plant phenols which hinder the absorption of cholesterol during digestion. Enjoy a cup or two of green tea every day to improve your blood-lipid levels and help reduce arterial blockage. Green tea also provides a natural boost to the metabolism which can help you to lose weight, further bolstering your cardiovascular health.
9. NutsA heart healthy snack alternative to prepackaged and processed foods, raw nuts are a delicious way to clear arteries with many auxiliary benefits, to boot! Almonds are by far the best option, being very high in monounsaturated fats, vitamin E, fiber, and protein. Walnuts are another great choice. As an excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) – the same EFA that gives flaxseeds their favorable reputation – eating a serving of walnuts every day can help to improve blood-pressure, reduce inflammation, and keep arteries clear of obstructions.
Curcumin, the main component of Turmeric, is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Adding turmeric to your diet can seriously reduce inflammation and damage to arterial walls which are leading causes of plaque build-up and blood clots. Furthermore, studies have shown us that the high levels of curcumin in Turmeric can aid in the reduction of fatty deposits in the arteries by up to 26%.
If you have an artery that supplies blood to the heart become clogged, then you might suffer a heart attack. Not all heart attacks are fatal, but all heart attacks will leave behind some damage to the heart. However, if the heart left coronary artery is completely blocked, a heart attack is fatal. Eat foods that cleanse your arteries.