Plant-Based Prescription: 8 Foods That Unclog Your Arteries Naturally
What people need to know is that heart disease is not caused by age or genes for the most part. Rather, it comes from things we can control, with meaty diets and smoking at the top of the list. In America, where meat-heavy diets are the norm, the disease begins in childhood, gradually narrowing arteries to the heart and other parts of the body. Narrowed arteries eventually lead to chest pain, lower back pain, erectile dysfunction, and finally to heart attacks and strokes.
Cardiovascular Disease (the buildup of plaque and gradual clogging of the arteries) is statistically the number one killer in the world, with on average 2,200 Americans dying of cardiovascular disease each day! With mortality rates like that, cardiovascular health is one of the most important body systems to maintain and repair. While progressive clogging of the arteries can be caused by diet, genetics and a sedentary lifestyle, preventing and repairing the damage is not impossible with these artery unclogging (and delicious!) foods.
Heart researchers have found that a low-fat vegan diet is the best diet for lowering cholesterol levels. Plant foods contain no cholesterol, whereas meat, eggs, and dairy products contain large amounts of cholesterol and saturated fats, which can cause arteries to become hard and clogged. Plus, the high fiber content of a vegetarian diet helps eliminate excess cholesterol from the digestive tract.
8 Foods That Unclog Your Arteries Naturally
Garlic Garlic can help treat a slew of viruses, infections and even cancers! Studies show that consuming 4,000 mcg of the compound allicin (found in 1-4 cloves of garlic a day) can lower cholesterol, as well as significantly decrease both diastolic and systolic blood pressure, and prevent blood clots from forming. Load up on your daily dose of cloves with this Creamy Zinger Garlic Spread or Pumpkin Seed and Garlic Pasta.
Turmeric 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.
Spinach Spinach is rich in lutein, a plant carotenoid, which not only protects against age-related macular degeneration, but may also help prevent heart attacks by keeping artery walls clear of cholesterol build-up. Spinach is also high in potassium and folic acid, both of which are main lines of defense against high blood pressure.
Cinnamon You’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.
Pomegranate Pomegranate and its juice are high in antioxidant content, which may help fight hardening of the arteries. pomegranate juice not only appears to prevent hardening of the arteries by reducing blood vessel damage, but may also reverse the progression of this disease. The tests showed that pomegranate juice reduced the effects of stress on human blood vessel cells by stimulating the production of nitric oxide. This chemical is thought to help keep arteries open and keep blood flowing.
Tomatoes Tomatoes are rich in carotenoid lycopene, the compound that gives tomatoes their colour — an antioxidant that can significantly lower your risk of atherosclerosis by 50 percent. lycopene may help to prevent hardening of the arteries or atherosclerosis. In the study, researchers found that women with the highest lycopene levels in their blood had the least stiffness in their arteries and women with lowest lycopene levels had the most.
Berries Berries (such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries) are rich in antioxidant flavonoids (such as anthocyanins) that can help prevent artery hardening and help to scour plaque from the walls of the arteries.
Apples Apples contain ‘pectin’, a soluble fibre that lowers cholesterol, probably by interfering with the intestinal absorption of bile acids, which forces the liver to use circulating cholesterol to make more bile. They also contain quercetin, potassium and magnesium which help keep your blood pressure under control. Other pectin-rich fruit include pears and citrus fruit.
Avocado The 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.
Orange Juice Drinking just two cups of 100% orange juice (no sugar added) every day can help to improve blood pressure and reduce inflammation of arteries. Also, orange juice is full of antioxidant vitamin C which helps to keep arteries clear by preventing oxidative damage in the blood stream.