Although an unhealthy diet increases the risk of arterial blockage, many foods can naturally clear out your arteries and protect your cardiovascular.
According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular diseases are the number 1 cause of death globally, taking approximately 17.9 million lives per year. This represents an estimated 31% of all deaths.
The reason why cardiovascular diseases are so deadly is because of fat in the blood deposits on the walls of the arteries. This may cause atherosclerosis and vascular stenosis, thereby restricting and blocking the flow of blood.
Arteries are like nutrient transmission lines in the body. They transport oxygen and nutrients to the heart, brain, muscle, liver, gastrointestinal tract and other corners of the body to ensure the normal operation of the entire system.
One can imagine how important arteries are!
However, your diet and lifestyle may speed up the aging of blood vessels, increase the risk of inflammation or blockage. As a result, you may have a higher risk of heart disease or stroke.
The fact is that pathological changes don’t happen overnight.
You may not realize that there is a major problem in your body until the day some noticeable symptoms appear (such as severe chest pain).
Although unhealthy eating habits can increase the risk of arterial blockage, many common foods protect the cardiovascular system.
This is what we are going to talk about next – 10 of the best foods to unclog arteries naturally.
These foods are like artery scavengers. They can remove waste from the blood and maintain the toughness and elasticity of blood vessel walls.
Adding them to your daily diet can have a positive effect on preventing or reversing cardiovascular diseases.
1. Fatty fish
Some fish such as mackerel, salmon, sardines, herring and tuna are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.
The main health benefits of Omega-3 include:
- Increased level of “good” cholesterol (HDL).
- Reducing triglyceride levels.
- Reducing inflammation.
- Prevent arterial thrombosis.
- Lower blood pressure.
When inflammation occurs, your body releases cell adhesion molecules.
A cell adhesion molecule is a kind of protein that allows cells to adhere to each other and closely integrate with the surrounding environment.
Studies have shown that Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce cell surface molecules and adhesion molecule expression, thereby reducing the adhesion between cells and between cells and the external matrix, in turn preventing arterial occlusion.
Flaxseeds are packed with nutrients, making them one of the most popular superfoods.
These nutrients such as fiber, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals can provide many health benefits to your body, including helping to prevent atherosclerosis.
Studies have found that flaxseeds contain a lignin compound called secoisolariciresinol diglucoside (SDG), which can fight inflammation and lower cholesterol.
Flaxseed is also one of the best sources of plant-based Omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Therefore, it can be used as a substitute for marine products.
Berries such as blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, raspberries and blackberries, are very beneficial for your body.
They can help fight inflammation, reduce oxidative damage and promote intestinal health.
More and more evidence also shows that berries can improve heart health. Among the berry family, blueberries have the most prominent role in protecting the cardiovascular system.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, in June 2019, by eating one cup of blueberries a day for six months, adults with metabolic syndrome have shown sustained improvement in arterial function and cholesterol levels.
Researchers found that blueberries can improve the flexibility of arteries throughout the body by increasing the ability of arteries to respond to changes in blood flow.
Additionally, blueberries can increase the concentration of good lipids and lipoproteins in the blood (such as good cholesterol HDL), remove potentially harmful fats, thereby improving the environment in the blood vessels.
Other studies have also proved that berries can help prevent clogged arteries by reducing inflammation and cholesterol accumulation, improving arterial function and preventing cell damage.
Onions are high in flavonoids. Flavonoids are antioxidants that act as anti-inflammatory and have anti-cancer properties.
According to a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, the flavonoids found in onions can help reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (also known as “bad” cholesterol) in obese people.
People who are overweight and obese have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Therefore, this research is good news.
In addition, the sulfides contained in onions may also have the ability to prevent inflammation of blood vessels, inhibit the aggregation of platelets in the blood and increase the utilization of nitric oxide. [*]
All of these may help prevent atherosclerosis and improve arterial health.
Beetroots, commonly known as beets, are packed with essential minerals, vitamins and plant compounds, some of which have medicinal properties.
In particular, beets are high in antioxidants, which can effectively fight inflammation.
Beets can reduce blood vessel walls’ inflammation by lowering homocysteine levels and eliminating plaque, thereby preventing stroke and cardiovascular diseases.
A recent study also confirmed that beets positively affect lowering blood pressure and promoting blood flow.
Beets naturally contain a lot of nitrates, which can improve blood circulation throughout the body, including blood flow to the brain and heart.
Nitrates increase the content of nitric oxide molecules in the blood vessels. This relaxes and widens blood vessels to increase oxygen content in the blood, thereby lowering blood pressure.
Beetroots are delicious and easy to add to your diet. However, compared with other ways of eating beets, drinking one or two cups of fresh beet juice daily can better promote cardiovascular health.
It should be noted that beets are relatively high in oxalate, which can cause kidney stones.
Therefore, people who have poor kidney function or have a history of stones should not frequently consume beets.
Beans and other legumes are packed with heart-healthy nutrients such as fiber, plant protein and other micronutrients while being low in fat and free of cholesterol.
Many studies have shown that regular consumption of beans can reduce the level of bad cholesterol, thereby reducing the risk of clogged arteries.
Beans may also help to lower blood pressure, improve arterial function and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
All of these can prevent the occurrence of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases.
Turmeric is a bright yellow spice commonly found in Indian cuisine. It is the main ingredient in curry.
Recently, medical experts discovered that turmeric has great benefits for human health.
Turmeric contains an antioxidant called curcumin which has anti-inflammatory properties.
Inflammation is a major factor in arteriosclerosis. Turmeric can reduce the damage of inflammation to arterial walls and prevent fat deposits in the arteries from causing plaque.
Another study found that increased levels of homocysteine in the blood can cause plaque buildup and blood vessel damage.
Fortunately, vitamin B6 in turmeric helps maintain healthy homocysteine levels.
Therefore, consuming more turmeric can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Cinnamon is another commonly used spice. It is rich in antioxidants with powerful anti-inflammatory properties. This helps scavenge free radicals, improve blood lipid levels and reduce platelet clumping in the blood.
Eating cinnamon in moderation can also help relax blood vessels and improve insulin sensitivity, thus helping to control blood pressure and blood sugar. This helps to slow down the aging of blood vessels.
A study found that taking one and a half teaspoons of cinnamon powder per day can lower blood sugar and triglycerides while reducing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) levels.
Oats are a whole-grain food, commonly eaten for breakfast as oatmeal.
Among the top ten healthy foods selected by the American magazine “Time”, oats ranked fifth.
Studies have found that the phenolic antioxidants in oats can prevent fat in the blood from adhering to the walls of blood vessels.
This polyphenolic compound is called Avenanthramides which is unique to oats. It is also called oat amide.
Avenanthramides can help inhibit cytokines (an inflammatory protein) and adhesion molecules, thereby preventing atherosclerosis.
In addition, oats are high in fiber. Regular consumption of oats can reduce the level of bad cholesterol (LDL) and the level of inflammatory markers. [*]
Asparagus is one of the cleanest vegetables. It has the lowest pesticide residues while being high in essential nutrients.
The content of various amino acids, proteins and vitamins in asparagus is higher than that of most fruits and vegetables, making asparagus the King of Vegetables.
Asparagine is a unique amino acid component found in asparagus. This amino acid component can help lower blood pressure, expand peripheral blood vessels and enhance myocardial contractility.
The flavonoid glycoside, called rutin in asparagus, has anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-allergic and anti-viral properties. It also helps enhance the toughness of blood vessels.
As mentioned earlier, homocysteine is considered to be a major risk factor for arteriosclerosis. However, the large amount of folic acid present in asparagus combined with other B vitamins can help break down homocysteine, thereby reducing the risk of stroke and heart attack.
Arteries are important nutrient transport lines in your body, which are important to the health of the entire system.
Your eating habits and lifestyle determine whether these transportation lines can maintain their normal function.
One of the best ways to help keep your arteries in good condition is to focus on a healthy diet. Try to stay away from junk foods that are high in salt, sugar, carbohydrates and unhealthy fats. You should also try to quit smoking, limit your use of alcohol and exercise regularly.
In addition to the 10 best foods that clean out arteries mentioned above, other foods like avocados, extra virgin olive oil, broccoli, tomatoes, dark chocolate, nuts and citrus can also help to unclog your arteries and lower your cholesterol.
All these foods are very beneficial to your body. Adding them to your daily diet can greatly reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and improve your overall health.
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