Considering heart disease is the #1 killer in the world, killing more people each year than all the other diseases and cancers combined, I figured I’d write short article about the 21 best foods that are clinically proven to help clean your arteries, improve blood flow and circulation… and help you avoid a heart attack or stroke.
So let’s get started:
Atherosclerosis is when the arteries harden which is caused by inflammation. A yellow spice known as turmeric, contains an active ingredient curcumin, which reduces inflammation in the arteries. This in turn helps improve blood flow.
Fruits rich with antioxidants improve the walls of the arteries. Pomegranate is especially heart-friendly due to the presence of phytochemicals that are powerful antioxidants. Pomegranate increases the production of nitric oxide, which improves blood flow and expands the arteries.
Broccoli is a good source for proteins for vegetarians. Broccoli contains vitamin K which is beneficial for bone formation. Vitamin K also protects the arteries from damage by taking cholesterol out of the blood and into your bones, where it should be. Besides vitamin K, broccoli is rich in fiber, which can lower cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Seafood is beneficial on various levels – mental health, brain, vision, building muscles and also acts as a potent anti-inflammatory. One of the reasons for all of these benefits is the high levels of Omega 3 fatty acids – which protects your heart, improves your lipid levels and lowers triglyceride levels. The best fish is wild-caught salmon.
Almonds, walnuts or hazelnuts are heart-friendly nuts. These nuts contain vitamin E that can protect the walls of the arteries. Nuts also contain fibers that also help to reduce cholesterol in the blood. However, the best “heart health” nut is probably walnuts because they are also high in Omega 3 fats.
Monounsaturated Fats (Olive and/or Macadamia Nut oil)
Olive oil is known to have several health benefits, but it is one of the best oils to prevent a buildup of cholesterol in the blood. Besides cholesterol, olive oil can also reduce high blood pressure. Olive oil comes under monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are both beneficial fats for the body. Olives also contain powerful polyphenols. Don’t cook with olive oil, eat it raw.
Another monounsaturated fat, similar to Olive oil is Macadamia nut oil. It’s also very heart friendly. The one benefit is that you CAN heat and cook Macadamia nut oil, when you shouldn’t the olive oil.
Cinnamon has many benefits. The first is that it lowers fats in your blood, which helps prevent blockages in the vessels. Additionally, it helps lower blood sugar levels. Most people don’t know that high blood sugar and insulin, corrodes the lining of your vessels and arteries, making them weak.
Oranges are great because they’re high in vitamin C, which helps lower the stress hormone, cortisol. This is important because it also helps reduce inflammation. Additionally, oranges contain a fiber called pectin, which helps lower cholesterol levels and also improves blood flow.
Tea has many health benefits, especially for your heart. One of the best is green tea because it helps improve your metabolism, which can help you lose weight – which is always beneficial for your heart. Green tea also contains antioxidants such as polyphenols, which can help strengthen the arterial walls and also reduce blood clots.
Watermelon contains an amino acid called Citrulline, which helps increase nitric oxide levels. This relaxes and dilates blood vessels and thus, helps improve blood flow and circulation.
Spinach contains carotene, which helps prevent cholesterol from getting clogged in the arteries. Spinach can also help reduce high blood pressure, which is another bonus.
Like in pomegranate and tea, tomato too contains antioxidants that protects the arterial walls. In tomatoes, lycopene keeps the cholesterol levels low and improves blood pressure levels.
Beans contain fiber and folic acid, which prevents arteries from getting clogged. Beans are also a good source of low-glycemic carbohydrates, which means your blood sugar won’t spike up.
Like oranges, apples also contain the fiber, pectin … which absorbs cholesterol from the blood. However, make sure you eat the skin, that’s where the majority of the fiber is.
The pink grapefruit is rich in antioxidant lycopene, which is also present in tomatoes. Pink grapefruit helps prevent damage to your arteries and doesn’t affect blood sugar levels very much.
One of the best vegetables for clearing arteries is asparagus because it’s full of fiber and minerals, as well as a long list of “heart-healthy” vitamins including K, B1, B2, C, and E. Asparagus is a natural diuretic, helps lower blood pressure and prevent blood clots!
Studies have shown that the daily consumption of avocado result in improved blood cholesterol with a decrease in triglycerides and LDL (“bad” cholesterol) of around 22% and an 11% increase in HDL – the “good” cholesterol. All of this keeps your arteries clean and improves blood flow.
The fiber and alpha-linolenic acid contained in just two ounces of Chia seeds, can help keep arteries clear by regulating blood pressure, reducing LDL cholesterol, lowering triglycerides, and increasing HDL cholesterol.
Disregard 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. This way, there won’t be plaque buildup in your arteries.
I know a lot of people think carbohydrates are bad, but they aren’t. Man-made, “bleached” carbs such as certain breads, pastries and snacks should be avoided. However, whole grain breads, rice, quinoa, barley, and oatmeal have good amounts of fiber, they lower cholesterol levels, keep arteries clear, your colon happy and help reduce many diseases.
Ginger has many amazing qualities. It’s anti-inflammatory and works similar to aspirin, but without any of the side-effects. Ginger fights against atherosclerosis, which is the hardening of the arteries. Ginger inhibits abnormal platelet aggregation, which is a part of blood that can “clump” together and cause blood clotting. Ginger may also increase ATP production in the heart and enhance calcium transport within heart cells.
So there you have it… 21 clinically proven foods that’ll help clean your arteries.
Eat as many of them as you can and stay consistent by eating at least 1-2 of these foods daily.
Don’t forget to exercise!
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