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August 12, 2020

10 Artery Cleansing Foods to protect your heart

Introduction

Arteries are blood vessels that help in the passage of nutrients and oxygen via the heart to different parts of the body. For the occurrence of this process, arteries should be hard, stretchable and flexible and free from any kind of accumulation. If there is an accumulation of the plaque, it results in a decrease in the flow of blood and could result in rupturing of the arteries, results in the clotting of the blood, which results in a heart attack or stroke. The plaque accumulation in the arteries is termed as atherosclerosis, which becomes the main cause of heart ailments.

In the United States, heart ailments are considered to be the major factor of death for women. Approximately every year, 44 million women of the United States (US) are affected by heart conditions, resulting in 1 in 3 deaths of the women. Coronary Heart Disease is considered to be one of the common forms of heart ailments.

Coronary Artery Disease is a cause of plaque build-up resulting in narrowing of the artery walls and decreases the flow of blood to the heart. Over some time, this could result in “heart attack” or “cardiac death.”

Prevention or treatment through lifestyle modifications is the key for coronary artery disease. Diet plays a major role to prevent or manage heart disease.

Several heart-friendly nutrients have a role in the health of the heart such as fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, healthy fats, antioxidants.

Below are the 10 foods that help to keep the arteries clean:

Avocado

Avocados are considered “good news” when talking about arteries. This is a heart-friendly food which helps increase the “good cholesterol” and to reduce the “bad cholesterol.” Even more than a banana, avocados consist of the higher content of Potassium. Potassium has shown benefits in preventing heart ailments and vascular calcification in an individual’s arteries. You could add avocado to your food like in sandwiches, chicken-based salad, tuna salad or in smoothies.

Fatty Fish

Fat is not bad for your heart or health. Anything in moderation is required. The kind of fat we consume plays a major role in your diet and health. Similar to avocado, fish consists of healthy fats i.e. the unsaturated fatty acids. The levels of triglycerides and heart attack could also be lowered by the intake of fish which is high in omega-3 fatty acids.

This dish could be added to your diet. Consume tuna, mackerel at-least-once or four times every week to get the benefit of the dish. It is also beneficial to consume fish oil supplements for the health of the heart.

Omega-3 benefits: helps reduce hypertension, decreases the formation of plaque in the arteries, decreases the possibilities of dysrhythmias, decreases the chances for heart attack and stroke, and decreases immediate death of people with heart conditions.

Nuts

They are considered to be a power-pack for the health of the heart. They are rich in unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and is an amazing snacking option. Higher content of magnesium is found in nuts like almonds, cashews or Brazil nuts. Magnesium is important for the co-ordination of the activities of the muscles of the heart and nerves that start the beating of the heart. It also blocks the accumulation of plaque and cholesterol in the arteries, which helps in preventing the blocking of the arteries.

As per the American Heart Association (AHA) for proper health, they recommend the consumption of three to five servings of nuts every week. It can be consumed as a healthy snack or added to a variety of other food options.

Olive Oil

Are we sick of constantly hearing about healthy fats? I hope so not. They are yummy! But we always conclude our course of fats that are healthy with the all-rounder and famous of all i.e. Olive Oil.

Olive oil consists of monounsaturated fatty acids (Oleic Acid) i.e. “three times fast” that helps in the protection of the heart and decreases the risk for heart ailments and stroke.

It could be added to your salads, using the right type of oil for cooking. Try to go for 100 percent extra virgin oil (organic if possible), that would provide anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants benefits.

Coffee

This would make all the coffee lovers happy. As consumption of coffee helps clean your arteries. It has been observed in a study that consumption of three cups of coffee would help reduce the danger/harm of the development of atherosclerosis or blocking of the arteries.

If coffee is not your choice, you could also choose green tea as an option. That would help in benefiting with heart health. Green tea also consists of antioxidants which are good for health.

It is important that while the consumption of these beverages, avoiding the intake of sugar and too much cream. It is important to keep your coffee “healthy and beneficial.”

Turmeric

It is also seen that turmeric consists of a strong anti-inflammatory substance that would help in decreasing the damage to the walls of the artery. There has been a direct relation seen between inflammation and arteriosclerosis i.e. arteries getting hardened.

There has been seen a reduction of approximately 25% of fatty accumulation in the arteries observed in a study done on rats by consumption of “antioxidant-rich spice” i.e. turmeric.

You could add turmeric to your diet in tea or preparing dals or vegetables or milk.

Pomegranate

For getting proper heart health, it is important to consume pomegranate juice. Pomegranate has shown powerful results as it helps avoid blocking of the arteries and blood flow is also improved. This occurs because fruits consist of high amounts of anti-oxidant levels that protect against free radical damage. Also, it consists of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. The antioxidants also help in the production of nitric oxide in the blood i.e. vasodilation which helps in the relaxation of the muscles of the blood vessels, which causes the blood vessels to increase in width and higher levels of circulation.

Pomegranate juice should be a hundred percent pure, with no sugar added in it or any snack on pomegranate seeds. The juice could be added to smoothies, in combination with a mocktail, the seeds to could added to the morning oatmeal or oats porridge.

Citrus Fruits

These consist of antioxidants and vitamin C- which are good for heart health. Citrus fruits consist of both of these. Studies are proving that Vitamin C has a benefit in decreasing the chances for heart conditions or ailments. Flavonoids present in them would help in the protection of the wall of the arteries.

This could be added to the diet in the form of lemon water without sugar through-out the day, could consume fruits such as breakfast or mid-morning or mid-evening snack options. There are fruits named Bergamot fruit that helps reduce the levels of cholesterol as mentioned in the International Journal of Cardiology and Frontiers in Pharmacology.

Whole Grains

Whole grains consist of good amounts of fiber in the diet. This dietary fiber helps reduce the level of blood cholesterol and protects against heart ailments or issues. There has been an observation done via few studies done recently that diets with whole grains are related to carotid artery walls that become thin. The function of this artery is to deliver the brain with blood. If the arteries get thick, it would result in atherosclerosis accumulation and the chances for heart conditions or stroke increase.

As per the American Heart Association (AHA), consumption of whole grains needs to be at least “half of the grains, coming from whole grains.” Intake of fiber needs to be at least 25 grams every day for women and 34 grams for men. Whole grains include quinoa, oats, jowar, bajra, nachni, whole pulses, dals, whole grain pasta, barley, fruits, vegetables and more.

Broccoli

Similar to whole grains, they are packed with fiber and provide benefits to heart health. Some of the vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, have shown benefit by preventing blocking the arteries and protect from any vascular conditions.

This could be added to salads or consumed in the form of soups.

Spinach

This is a green leafy vegetable that consists of both Vitamin C and Vitamin A. These help in avoiding the cholesterol to get oxidized, therefore avoids the formation of plaques in the artery.

Tomatoes

These are a rich source of lycopene. It is an antioxidant that helps in the reduction of cholesterol, which is less prone to get oxidized i.e. the first move towards the formation of the plaque and is the main risk for heart ailments/disease.

Garlic

This help improves the heart and arteries in various ways such as:

Increasing the production of “nitric oxide in the lining of the blood vessels”, that helps in vasodilation or relaxation of the blood vessels.

Avoids any calcification of the coronary artery, which acts as a marker for the formation of the plaques.

Avoids cholesterol to get oxidized.

Avoids the formation of plaques that are nano i.e. “the first building blocks of plaque”, at-least to 40%, and decreases the “size of nanoplaque”, which has already developed by 20%.

Reduce the intake of salt

If salt is reduced to just half teaspoon every-day, it would help in the reduction of the development of coronary artery diseases as reported by the researchers in the New England Journal of Medicine. The increase in healthcare cost is majorly due to salt in the United States. Foods that are prepared in restaurants and hotels are high in salt and lead to processed and restaurant based foods. Excess intake of salt affects blood pressure and the health of the heart.

Asparagus

This is a very good food that helps in the cleansing of the arteries. It is packed with fiber and minerals. This helps in the prevention of hypertension and any kind of heart disease or conditions. They help in decreasing inflammation that has build-up over time. It helps in higher production of glutathione, which is an antioxidant that helps avoid inflammation, prevents damage via oxidation that results in blocking of the arteries. It also consists of alpha-linolenic acid and folic acid, which avoid the arteries to get hard.

Water-Melon

This is a summer fruit, which consists of amino-acid L-Citrulline which helps increase the production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps in vasodilation i.e. relaxation of the blood vessels, reduction of inflammation, reduces the blood pressure. This fruit also helps reduce blood fats, reduces fat build-up. Decreased fat in the abdominal areas reduces the risk of heart conditions.

Conclusion

If an individual is diagnosed with blockages in the artery, you need to get healthy. Prevention is the main key for any additional build-up. Important to follow a life-style that is heart-friendly and helps lower bad cholesterol i.e. LDL Cholesterol and improves “good cholesterol” i.e. HDL Cholesterol. It also helps to be healthy overall.

It is important to follow an appropriate lifestyle to avoid any sort of plaque formation or any blocked artery. If any point of time you can remove the blockages or clog it is fine to do everything that helps avoid further build-up of plaque to lead a healthier and longer life.

References

  1. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.4137/CMC.S17071
  2. https://www.nature.com/articles/nrcardio.2016.103

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