Incidences of cardiovascular conditions are increasing around the world, and more and more people are dying from them. One of the major components of cardiovascular disease is clogged arteries. Arteries are blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients from your heart to the rest of your body.
Healthy arteries are strong, flexible, elastic, and free from any deposits. However, when fat, cholesterol and other substances build up in the arteries, they become clogged and eventually narrow and harden. This condition, which reduces the blood flow through the arteries, is known as atherosclerosis. Arteries do not get blocked overnight - the blockage develops over time and diet and lifestyle choices play a major role in the development of this condition.
The good news is that eating healthily can prevent clogged arteries and any related health issues. Here are the 10 top foods that you should eat each day to keep your arteries clean:
Garlic is extremely rich in antioxidants that help to inhibit the action of free radicals, making it a great ingredient to prevent heart problems and blocked arteries. Regular intake of garlic reduces the level of LDL cholesterol in your blood. Furthermore, it widens blood vessels, improves blood flow, and helps prevent hardening of the aorta.
• Eat 1 to 2 cloves of raw garlic on an empty stomach every morning.
• You can also add it to soups, stews, casseroles, and salad dressings.
Pomegranates have a high level of antioxidants that help fight free radicals in the body. They also help to reduce fatty deposits in the arteries, thus helping prevent serious problems like atherosclerosis. Pomegranates also stimulate the body's production of nitric oxide, which helps keep your arteries open and your blood flowing. Ultimately, this prevents plaque buildup and blood clots in the arteries.
• Eat 1 to 2 fresh pomegranates daily.
• Drink a glass of fresh pomegranate juice once a day.
3. Green Tea
Green tea contains powerful antioxidants that help keep your arteries clean and healthy. These antioxidants also play a major role in improving the health of the delicate endothelial cells which line the blood vessels, which in turn decreases the risk of heart disease.
• Drinking 2-3 cups of green tea daily is all you need to reduce arterial blockage.
This nutritious green leafy vegetable has a load of health benefits, including heart health. Spinach is a great source of nitric oxide, which makes arteries resist contraction, plaque and blood coagulation, which in turn reduces the risk of strokes and heart attacks. Spinach is also full of potassium and folic acid, both of which help fight against high cholesterol and blood pressure.
• Eat 1/2 a cup of spinach each day. You can enjoy this vegetable in soups, salads, vegetable juice, or in a green smoothie.
This is a natural artery-clearing food. It has been found to lower blood pressure and prevent blood clots. The B vitamins, especially B6, help lower homocysteine (an amino acid linked to heart disease) and C-reactive protein (a marker of inflammation) levels.
Furthermore, the vitamin K present in asparagus prevents hardening of the arteries and keeps calcium out of the arterial linings.
• Can be eaten as an appetizer of a side dish.
Avocados contain a high amount of healthy fats and other nutrients that improve blood cholesterol by lowering LDL and raising HDL levels. High-density lipoproteins (HDL) is the good type of cholesterol that helps to keep your arteries clear from obstructions.
They also contain vitamin E which helps to prevent cholesterol oxidization. Furthermore, they also contain folate that helps to reduce dangerous homocysteine levels in the blood, along with potassium that helps to lower blood pressure.
• Include 1/2 an avocado in your diet each day. You can use it as a healthy substitute for cream or butter on bread and toast.
Turmeric contains curcumin, which is an anti-inflammatory that helps to improve heart health. Curcumin helps to protect the cardiovascular system by reducing and preventing artery blockages. Furthermore, it lowers the level of LDL, which reduces buildup in the arteries.
• Add a teaspoon of turmeric powder to a glass of warm milk. Drink it 1-2 times a day.
• You can take curcumin supplements of 400-600 mg, 3 times a day. However, please consult your doctor before doing so.
Broccoli is rich in sulforaphane, which protects the arteries from inflammation and damage. This vegetable is also full of vitamin K, which prevents calcium from damaging your arteries. Furthermore, the fiber present in broccoli can help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
• Consume 2-3 servings of broccoli each week. A serving is equal to 1/2 a cup of raw broccoli.
Apples contain pectin, a fiber which reduces the level of bad cholesterol in the bloodstream. To add to this, the high percentage of flavonoids in apples help to significantly reduce your chances of heart disease and other cardiovascular conditions. The magnesium and potassium in apples help to keep blood pressure under control.
• Eat a fresh apple daily, preferably organic ones.
10. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds have a myriad of health benefits. They are full of omega-3 fatty acids and fiber, making them a heart friendly food. They can lower bad cholesterol, manage blood pressure, and clear your arteries.
• Add a tablespoon of chia seeds to 3 tablespoons of water. Let it sit for 30 minutes. The resulting gel-like mixture can be used in smoothies, and even baking recipes.
• Sprinkle dry chia seeds on yogurt and oatmeal. If you prefer them crunchy, then you can sprinkle some on dry foods such as salads.