These days, cardiovascular diseases become prevalent, and numerous people suffer from some kind of heart issue. Clogged arteries are one of the main factors contributing to these diseases.
The role of these blood vessels is to carry oxygen and nutrients from your heart to the rest of your body, and when healthy, they are elastic, flexible, strong, and free of deposits.
However, they often become clogged, hard, and narrowed, due to the accumulation of fat, cholesterol, and other substances. This condition is also known as atherosclerosis and results in a lowered flow of blood through the arteries.
The blockage of arteries is a prolonged process, which develops gradually, and is often caused by bad dietary and lifestyle habits.
However, you can prevent such issues by consuming healthy foods, and the following 12 are the best to keep your arteries clean:
Broccoli is high in vitamin K which prevents calcification or hardening of arteries. This vegetable is packed with numerous nutrients which protect against oxidation of LDL cholesterol and serious heart conditions.
It is also rich in fiber which manages stress, regulates blood pressure, and thus prevents tears and eventually plaque build-up in arterial walls.
- Green Tea
Green tea – especially Matcha green tea, which is high in nutrients, is high in catechins, which are antioxidant plant phenols which prevent the absorption of cholesterol during digestion.
Therefore, you should drink 1-2 cups of green tea daily to improve blood lipid levels and lower arterial blockage. This tea also boosts metabolism and helps in weight management.
Flaxseeds are high in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which lowers blood pressure and inflammation, and maintains arteries clean.
Spinach is high in nutrients and offers numerous health benefits. It is high in nitric oxide, which prevents contractions of the arteries, blood coagulation, and plaque, and thus reduces the risk of strokes and heart attacks.
Clinical Nutrition Research published a 2015 study which found that 7-day consumption of spinach as an inorganic nitrate source lowers postprandial arterial stiffness.
It is also rich in vitamin C and A and prevent bad cholesterol from adhering to the arterial walls and lowers the risk of atherosclerosis. This vegetable is also a rich source of potassium and folic acid, which regulate cholesterol and blood pressure.
You should consume at least ½ cup of spinach daily, and add it to smoothies, salads, soups, and juices.
Pomegranates are high in antioxidants that prevent damage due to free radicals and reduce the accumulation of sat in the arteries, thus lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
They also trigger the production of nitric oxide, which supports blood flow and maintains the arteries open, preventing plaque buildup and blood clots in the arteries.
The findings of a study conducted in 2014, and published in Clinical Nutrition, patients with carotid artery stenosis who drank pomegranate juice for three years experienced lowered blood pressure, reduced common carotid intima-media thickness, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation.
Another 2013 study published in Atherosclerosis showed that pomegranate extract caused atheroprotective effects that lower oxidative stress and inflammation in the vessel walls.
You should consume 1-2 pomegranates a day, and drink a glass of freshly squeezed pomegranate juice.
Cranberries are abundant in antioxidants and thus support heart health as they lower LDL and increase HDL cholesterol levels. The juice has more antioxidant power than all fruit juices, except the 100% red or black grape.
You should drink 2 servings of 100% pure organic cranberry juice a day to boost overall health and prevent heart diseases.
Avocados are high in healthy fats and other important nutrients that enhance blood cholesterol by reducing LDL and increasing HDL levels. High-density lipoproteins (HDL), or the good cholesterol, prevent blockage of the arteries.
The results of a 1996 study published in the Archives of Medical Research showed that high monounsaturated fatty acids in a diet high in these fruits improve lipid profiles in healthy and especially in mild hypercholesterolemic patients, even if they suffer from hypertriglyceridemia.
The vitamin e also protects against cholesterol oxidization. Avocados are high in folate that lowers harmful homocysteine levels in the blood, while potassium reduces blood pressure.
You should eat a ½ avocado a day, so you can consume it as a butter or cream replacement on bread and toast.
This natural artery-clearing food prevents blood clotting and lowers blood pressure.
The B vitamins, especially B6, reduces homocysteine, which is an amino acid related to heart disease, and C-reactive protein (a marker of inflammation) levels.
Circulation published a 2005 study which showed that increased homocysteine levels raise the risk of CAD and blood clots in the arteries and veins.
Asparagus reduces these levels due to the high folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12 content. Asparagus triggers the production of glutathione, which is an antioxidant that prevents inflammation and damaging oxidation that cause to clogged or blocked arteries.
Also, the vitamin K in asparagus prevents artery hardening and keeps calcium out of the arterial linings. You should, therefore, consume it regularly, as a side dish or as an appetizer.
The active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which support heart health. It also strengthens the cardiovascular system and prevents damage by reducing and preventing blockages of the arteries.
Also, it reduces LDL, or ‘bad’ cholesterol, levels, and thus prevents buildup in the arteries. The findings of a 2015 study published in the International Journal of Clinical & Experimental Pathology showed that turmeric prevents blocked arteries and boosts heart health.
Researchers showed that the main culprits for the improvement of coronary artery permeability are the anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin.
You should drink a glass of milk with a teaspoon of turmeric once or twice daily. You can also take curcumin supplements of 400 to 600 mg, 3 times daily.
Apples are rich in a particular type of fiber, pectin, which lowers bad cholesterol in the bloodstream, by interfering with the intestinal absorption of bile acids.
This makes the liver to use circulating cholesterol to produce more bile. Also, apples are rich in flavonoids which lower hr risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular conditions.
Apples are high in magnesium and potassium too, which helps the control of blood pressure. Try to eat an organic apple daily, with the skin, in order to enjoy all its benefits.
Garlic is a real healthy powerhouse, which prevents blockage of arteries and cardiovascular issues and prevents damage due to free radicals.
Its regular consumption lowers the LDL cholesterol levels in the blood, boosts blood circulation, prevents the hardening of the aorta, and widens blood vessels.
According to a 2016 study published in the Journal of Nutrition, the aged garlic extract lowers coronary plaque volume in the case of metabolic syndrome.
You should eat 1-2 garlic cloves every morning on an empty stomach, and add it to your stews, soups, salad dressings, and all kinds of dishes.
- Chia Seeds
Chia seeds have been traditionally used in the Mayan and Aztec cultures, as they have a myriad of health benefits.
This plant is the highest in omega 3 fatty acids plant, and it is also rich in fiber, making it ideal for reducing bad cholesterol, managing blood pressure and clearing the arteries.
You can eat chia seeds in numerous ways. You can sprinkle the dry seeds on oatmeal and yogurt, or add them to salads and crunchy dishes. Also, leave a tablespoon of chia seeds to 3 tablespoons of water to soak for half an hour, and add the gel-like mixture to smoothies, desserts, and even baking recipes.
Remember to stay properly hydrated when consuming chia seeds, as they absorb lots of water.