Unclog Arteries With Foods & Prevent A Heart Attack
Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that about 700,000 individuals every year pass away from it, accounting for around one death out of every five.
Our diet plays a significant and critical role in keeping us healthy. Most diseases are caused by improper nutrition, unhealthy foods, lack of exercise, weight gain, and bad habits like smoking or drinking too much. Having said that, there is no single miracle diet that can prevent plaque buildup in the arteries. With good habits, a better diet, and exercise, you can definitely maintain your health and keep your body disease-free. It is, however, never too late to begin something positive for the future.
Because heart disease is typically brought on by clogged arteries. it is essential to know what exactly the clogged arteries are before going further.
What are clogged arteries?
Arteries are the blood channels that transport oxygen-rich blood from your heart to every cell in your body. They are a significant part of the complex network that makes up your circulatory system, which also includes capillaries and veins. Blood can flow freely as long as those blood arteries are unobstructed and wide open. Your blood vessels may occasionally become blocked with plaque. Calcium, fibrin, cell debris, cholesterol, and fatty substances may act as bad elements.
Your arteries can also get blocked if you eat too much fat, don’t move around or exercise much, have a pre-existing illness, or have inherited conditions like obesity.
A stunning fact is that a large majority of Americans have atherosclerosis, which is an inflammatory disease that causes fatty plaques made of cholesterol and other substances to build up in their arteries. Some estimates say that atherosclerosis is the main cause of 50% of all deaths in Westernized societies and the biggest cause of strokes and Alzheimer’s disease.
The good news is that there are several dietary changes you can make to reduce your risk of atherosclerosis and even reverse the plaque formation that has already occurred. Plaques that accumulate inside a person’s arteries can block them and reduce blood flow, causing clogging. A healthy diet can help control and prevent heart disease. Certain foods cannot remove plaque from the arteries.
How dietary modifications can prevent atherosclerosis
Eating a diet heavy on sugar or carbohydrates, as well as being overweight or obese, are the main causes of insulin resistance and, consequently, atherosclerosis. The positive news Changes to your diet can help with these risk factors and an increase in LDL cholesterol, which is less likely to cause atherosclerosis.
In general, it’s a good idea to consume a diet high in anti-inflammatory, antioxidant-rich foods (including vegetables, low-glycemic fruits, nuts, seeds, fish, and olive oil), drastically reduce your intake of sugar, and replace refined grains like bread with small amounts of whole grains like quinoa. This eating pattern has been demonstrated to lower the risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease and is great for maintaining balanced blood sugar (and so preventing insulin resistance).
Just keep in mind that even whole grains can be a considerable source of carbohydrates, so combine them with healthy fats or protein to reduce blood sugar fluctuations. If you have a glucometer, you can determine which grains—if any—you tolerate the best by checking your blood glucose levels after eating.
Getting motivated right? Increase your consumption of the foods listed below, which have been evaluated for their potential to improve cardiovascular health and may aid in the natural clearing of clogged arteries by promoting healthy blood sugar levels, weight loss, reducing inflammation, and lowering LDL cholesterol.
According to scientific studies, foods high in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, heart-healthy fats, and antioxidants all contribute to heart health. We’ve compiled a list of 12 foods that are good for your arteries and discussed why they are so beneficial.
Salmon, sardines, anchovies, and mackerel are among the fatty fish that are rich in omega-3 fats, which are potently anti-inflammatory unsaturated fats that protect against atherosclerosis and vascular inflammation. Additionally, omega-3 fatty acids can lower triglyceride levels, decrease platelet aggregation (which lowers the risk of blood clots), and raise levels of HDL cholesterol, which works to counteract the plaque-forming effects of bad LDL cholesterol.
Additionally, studies demonstrate that individuals who consume two or more meals of fish per week are less likely to get carotid artery atherosclerosis.
Berries are good for your health in many ways, like reducing inflammation and helping your heart stay healthy. Blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, raspberries, and blackberries are examples of berries.
Berries are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. These include flavonoid antioxidants, which have been shown to improve cardiovascular health.
Berry consumption also dramatically decreases atherosclerosis risk factors, including high LDL (bad) cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels, according to research.
By lowering inflammation and cholesterol accumulation, enhancing arterial function, and protecting against cellular damage, berries may aid in the prevention of clogged arteries.
They are rich in fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, including calcium and magnesium, and antioxidants. Flax seeds are a great source of nutrients, and they may also help keep atherosclerosis from happening. Along with fiber and the antioxidant plant components known as lignans, flax seeds are a strong source of plant-based omega-3s (alpha-linolenic acid), which have anti-inflammatory properties. They are known to be small nutritional powerhouses.
Regular flaxseed consumption has been linked to better insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar and insulin levels in overweight and obese people with prediabetes. Additionally, preliminary studies on animals indicate that consuming flax regularly may slow the development of atherosclerotic plaques.
Secoisolariciresinol diglucoside (SDG) is a lignan molecule with anti-inflammatory and cholesterol-lowering effects that combat atherosclerosis.
If you frequently consume side dishes made of grains, think about switching to legumes (beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils). These include a good amount of fiber, including soluble fiber, which can reduce LDL cholesterol significantly and hence prevent atherosclerosis. Even eating one serving of beans a day has been linked to a big drop in LDL cholesterol. Additionally, legumes have been associated with lowered blood pressure and chronic inflammation, two factors in atherosclerosis and blood vessel damage.
Beans are quite low on the glycemic index, which means that even though they include some carbohydrates, they are unlikely to cause a blood sugar surge, according to the American Diabetes Association. Legumes can lessen their tendency to cause blood sugar to spike by eating them alongside a source of fat and/or protein. In a meta-analysis of 26 high-quality trials, bean consumption was related to considerably reduced levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol compared to control diets.
Tomatoes and tomato-derived goods
Tomatoes and tomato-based products include plant components that may be especially beneficial for preventing atherosclerosis. Tomatoes, for instance, contain the carotenoid pigment lycopene, which may provide significant health advantages.
Consuming lycopene-rich tomato products may reduce inflammation, increase HDL (good) cholesterol, and lessen the risk of heart disease, according to studies.23Trusted Source). Intriguingly, cooked tomato combined with olive oil may provide the highest protection against clogged arteries. Compared to raw tomatoes and ordinary tomato sauce, tomato sauce with olive oil had the highest effect on lowering adhesion molecules and inflammatory proteins in a trial of 40 persons. All tomato preparations, however, increased HDL (good) cholesterol and decreased total cholesterol.
Even cinnamon, which you most likely already have in your pantry, is a rich source of healthy chemicals that can assist the heart and arteries. According to research, type 2 diabetic individuals who consume cinnamon may have lower HbA1C and blood pressure readings. In other words, this spice may be able to mitigate the harmful consequences of insulin resistance, which result in atherosclerosis.
Cinnamaldehyde, an organic molecule found in cinnamon, has also been shown to have anticoagulant properties that may help lower the risk of blood clots. Ginger, turmeric, and garlic are a few more spices that may help lower some of the risks of atherosclerosis. Spices like ginger, pepper, chile, and cinnamon may offer some protection against artery blockages.
These spices may help scavenge free radicals, enhance blood lipid levels, and lessen platelet clumping in the blood due to their anti-inflammatory characteristics. By adding these adaptable seasonings to oats, soups, stews, and pretty much any other cuisine you can think of, you can quickly enhance your spice intake.
Cruciferous veggies If you eat cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower, you might be less likely to get clogged arteries.
According to studies, cruciferous vegetable consumption is connected with a reduced risk of atherosclerosis. Intake of cruciferous vegetables has also been linked to lower arterial calcification and risk of death from atherosclerosis-related disease. Arterial calcification causes atherosclerosis-related arterial hardening.
Flavonoids and other antioxidants, comprising a range of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, are present in citrus fruits. Citrus flavonoids help stop the body’s free radicals from oxidizing LDL (bad) cholesterol and possibly reduce inflammation. The onset and progression of atherosclerosis are linked to oxidized LDL.
This could explain why eating citrus is connected to a lower risk of heart disease and stroke, two illnesses linked to atherosclerosis.
Oats are a wonderful option for people with atherosclerosis or those attempting to prevent atherosclerosis. Consuming oats can considerably reduce atherosclerosis risk factors, such as total and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. It is also well noted that oats contain antioxidants known as avenanthramides, which may assist in inhibiting cytokines and adhesion molecules. This may aid in the prevention of atherosclerosis.
The consumption of oat bran, which is rich in fiber, may also be beneficial.
In a study with coronary artery disease, those who consistently consumed oat fiber had lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and inflammatory markers than those who did not.
A lower chance of requiring revascularization, a procedure to enhance oxygen delivery to the heart and other organs, was also connected with oat fiber consumption. This may be required if atherosclerosis has hampered a person’s blood flow.
Beets are a high source of nitrates, which your body turns into nitric oxide, a signaling molecule with many important functions in the body. Inflammation of the blood vessels reduces the synthesis of nitric oxide. Eating foods high in dietary nitrates, such as beets, may improve blood vessel function and reduce inflammation, thereby preventing atherosclerosis. According to research, there is also a link between dietary nitrate intake and a decreased risk of atherosclerosis-related death.
Nut and seed products
Nuts and seeds are rich in protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. In addition, these modest and varied foods may help reduce arterial clogging. Consistently, research has demonstrated that nut and seed consumption can dramatically reduce atherosclerosis risk factors.
Consuming nuts and seeds, for instance, helps lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and blood pressure and may help increase HDL (good) cholesterol. Eating nuts and seeds has also been demonstrated to lower blood sugar levels and protect against diabetes, a known risk factor for atherosclerosis.
Moreover, consuming nuts and seeds may improve blood vessel function and protect against cardiovascular disease.
In the Mediterranean diet, there are a lot of high-fiber vegetables, beans, and olive oil. Long related to enhanced cardiovascular health, olive oil may lessen the likelihood of developing atherosclerosis.
A study related to early atherosclerosis revealed that daily use of 1 ounce (30 mL) of olive oil dramatically improved blood vessel function and decreased inflammatory markers.
According to a study, olive oil consumption is associated with reduced atherosclerosis-related inflammatory indicators and a decreased risk of heart disease and sequelae. Scientists think that the high polyphenol content of olive oil is what makes it good for your heart and blood vessels.
Keep in mind that extra virgin olive oil with a lower degree of refining contains much more polyphenols than olive oils with a higher degree of refining.
Cocoa and bittersweet chocolate
Cocoa and dark chocolate are not only tasty, but they may also help keep atherosclerosis from happening. According to a study involving about 2000 people, chocolate consumption was associated with a less atherosclerotic plaque in coronary arteries. These arteries supply the heart with oxygen-rich blood.
Studies have also linked chocolate consumption to a decreased risk of stroke, heart disease, and diabetes. Moreover, cocoa and dark chocolate products are rich in plant polyphenols. These help make more nitric oxide and reduce inflammation in the arteries, which may help people with atherosclerosis function better.
The researchers discovered that consuming 40 grams of dark chocolate significantly enhanced walking time and blood nitric oxide levels compared to milk chocolate consumption.
A condition where cells in your muscles, fat, and liver don’t respond well to insulin and aren’t able to efficiently absorb glucose (or sugar) from your blood. In turn, this raises the amount of insulin and glucose in the blood, which leads to widespread inflammation and the possibility of long-term damage to the lining of the arteries. This makes it easier for cholesterol molecules to get into the arteries.
This cholesterol accumulates inside the artery as plaque, which restricts the artery’s opening.
Plaque buildup in arteries not only slows blood flow but also causes your body to unleash immune cells that attack the plaque, weakening it. This brittle liquid plaque may then shoot into the artery, resulting in a clot, which, as we all know, can lead to significant heart issues and stroke.
Your ability to govern how healthy your arteries are and how much plaque they contain. This is because lowering body fat, increasing exercise, and deliberately altering your diet to include fewer carbohydrates can all help to modify many of the major factors that contribute to plaque accumulation and atherosclerosis (particularly refined carbs).
Just remember that no single food can magically dissolve artery plaque on its own, and you can’t medicate, supplement, or stent your way out of a lifestyle issue. However, when included in an overall nutrient-dense diet that’s within an appropriate calorie range for your body, the 12 research-backed foods, drinks, and spices listed above can give your arteries extra support by assisting in lowering your daily blood sugar levels to combat insulin resistance, supporting healing, and promoting weight loss.
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