Arteries are the plumbing system of our body – they carry blood rich in oxygen and nutrients to every cell. Just like a house with bust plumbing is doomed, so too is the body if we let the arteries get clogged and hardened.
Food high in saturated fats, processed sugars and chemicals, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, and lack of exercise, will reduce the arteries’ circumference, as gunk gets deposited on the walls.
This condition is known as arteriosclerosis, and it’s a major risk factor for heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
Can you reverse clogged arteries?
According to WebMD, simple life changes, including what you eat, can undo some of the damage. They mention Dr. Dean Ornish whose studies show that significant lifestyle changes had major effects on heart health. His studies show that even severely blocked arteries in the heart became less blocked after a year, and there was even more reversal after 5 years.
Just as you can make your arteries deteriorate by what you eat, you can also keep them healthy by choosing the right foods. Here is a list of foods that will help to prevent clogged arteries:
1. Kiwifruit and cantaloupe: Antioxidant-rich fruits that lower the LDL cholesterol (dubbed ‘bad cholesterol’) in the blood, and reduce plaque stuck to arterial walls. Eat one kiwifruit a day, or a cup of cantaloupe.
2. Oily fish: Salmon, tuna and herring all contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are a source of good fats and prevent the clogging plaque from forming. Make sure you get sustainably caught fish, and avoid buying farmed salmon, as its meat usually contains toxic chemicals and has less omega-3. Read here more about the amazing health benefits of omega-3 fish oil. Taking omega 3 is also one of the 70 habits featured in my e-book 70 Powerful Habits For A Great Health which will guide you how to take positive steps to improve your wellness and overall health.
3. Berries and red grapes: Grapes contain flavonoids, which stop the bad cholesterol from oxidizing. Strawberries, cherries, cranberries and other berries contain powerful antioxidants and are packed with vitamins. Buy them organic to avoid the pesticide overload. You can find more information about the incredible healing properties of berries in my e-book The Healing Berry Guide.
4. Garlic: Garlic has many medicinal properties. It reduces blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels. For medicinal effect, eat one to two minced raw garlic cloves. If you use supplements, look for the amount of allicin which is the garlic’s active ingredient.
5. Apples and grapefruits: An apple a day keeps the doctor away. The pectin (soluble fiber) in these fruits, lowers the bad cholesterol, while the minerals potassium and magnesium help to control blood pressure.
6. Spinach: Rich in vitamins A and C, which help to prevent the clogging plaque from developing. Popeye’s favorite food also contains lots of potassium and folic acid, thus lowering blood pressure.
7. Olive oil: A source of omega-3 fatty acids, olive oil is one of the good oils. Use cold-pressed organic oil and apply moderation in the amounts you eat, as fat is still fat. Read here more about the fantastic health benefits of olive oil.
8. Tomatoes: Antioxidant-rich food that prevents the oxidization of LDL cholesterol. If you consume them regularly, you can cut your risk of arteriosclerosis by half.
9. Green tea: Flavonoids in green tea are powerful antioxidants. A good quality green tea will also prevent the formation of blood clots and help maintain healthy linings of the arteries. Drink a cup a day. Find here more information about 8 amazing health benefits of green tea.
10. Pomegranate: Another great antioxidant-rich fruit. Pomegranate prevents the hardening of the arteries and can even reverse this disease. Read more about how pomegranate can contribute to heart health in my article on how to protect and unblock your arteries with pomegranate.
11. Oats: Due to the high content of soluble fiber, oats lower bad cholesterol by removing it from the body. Eat 1/2 cup of oat-bran cereal daily to help reduce your bad cholesterol levels. You can eat it for breakfast and add in oatmeal or bran to dishes at other times of the day.
12. Walnuts: Contain polyunsaturated fats that are primarily found in plant-based oils and foods and can improve your cholesterol levels, decrease your heart disease risk, lessen your chance of type 2 diabetes and regulate blood pressure. They also contain omega-3 fatty acids that help clear clogged arteries. Eating a small, palm-sized portion per day will help to clean the arteries and keep blood flow strong throughout your body. There are other healthy reasons to eat walnuts every day.
13. Turmeric: This common spice has many health benefits, and may protect arteries from fatty buildup according to a research in mice. The study suggests that curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, may prevent the development of clogged arteries which is a major risk factor for heart attacks and strokes. As curcumin is not easily absorbed by the body, you can increase it’s bioavailability with the suggestions in my article on how to optimize turmeric absorption for super boosted benefits.