Why do arteries become clogged?
When arteries narrow, and blood flow to the heart and other vital organs is restricted by blockage of the body’s “highways,” it’s called atherosclerosis. A chronic inflammatory disease of the cardiovascular system that occurs when fatty deposits accumulate along the walls of the arteries, which is why it is often referred to as hardening of the arteries, or clogged arteries. Individuals with these risk factors are more susceptible to obstruction of the arteries:
- high LDL (bad) cholesterol
- family history of atherosclerosis
- consume a poor diet
- sedentary lifestyle
On the other hand, following a diet rich in certain foods, such as vegetables, fruits and fish, has been shown to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease.
Clogged arteries, foods: the 15 foods to bring to the table
The fifteen foods that should not be missing on the table to prevent clogged arteries:
- Fruits of the forest
- Flax Seeds
- Crociferous Vegetables
- Dried fruits and seeds
- Green leafy vegetables
- Dark chocolate
- Extra virgin olive oil
A proper diet, rich in antioxidant foods capable of fighting free radicals, and good fats (and lowering bad cholesterol), is the first step in the fight against atherosclerosis. It is combined with a healthy lifestyle: exercise, a balanced diet and no smoking, the main enemy of the arteries as it amplifies the damaging action of cholesterol and cancels out the positive action of foods that help prevent the obstruction of the arteries, which, moreover, are also some of the winter foods that help stabilize blood sugar levels in diabetics
In this article many ideas for healthy and tasty anti-cholesterol snacks.
Clogged Arteries, Foods: Berries, Citrus and Spices
Berries, such as blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, raspberries and blackberries, are particularly beneficial to health: they reduce inflammation and are good for the heart. Berries are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and plant compounds. These include flavonoid antioxidants, which are known to help improve heart health. Research has also shown that eating berries significantly reduces atherosclerosis risk factors, including elevated LDL (bad) cholesterol, blood pressure and sugar levels in the blood
Citrus fruits, such as oranges, grapefruits, tangerines and lemons, are a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, including flavonoids. Flavonoids in citrus fruits can reduce inflammation and help prevent free radicals from oxidizing LDL (bad) cholesterol, and a subsequent progression of atherosclerosis.
Spices, including ginger, chili peppers, turmeric and cinnamon, not only add flavor to a variety of dishes, but can help protect against clogged arteries. They have anti-inflammatory properties and can fight free radicals, and improve blood lipid levels.
Clogged Arteries, Foods: Tomatoes, Beets and Onions
Tomatoes and tomato products such as tomato paste, passata, and preservative-free sauces contain plant compounds that can be particularly helpful in reducing the development of atherosclerosis. For example, the pigment carotenoid lycopene, which can have significant health benefits: it can help reduce inflammation, increase HDL (good) cholesterol, and prevent the onset of heart disease
Beets are a concentrate of nitrates, which the body converts to nitric oxide, a signaling molecule that plays many essential roles in your body and decreases in the presence of inflammatory blood vessel states.
Onions contain sulfur compounds that can prevent blood vessel inflammation, inhibit the aggregation of platelets in the blood, and increase the availability of nitric oxide. All of these effects can help protect against atherosclerosis and improve artery health. Onions are among the fruits and vegetables you can grow at home from scraps.
Clogged arteries, foods: Green leafy vegetables, Cruciferous vegetables and Beans
Green leafy vegetables, including lettuce, kale, arugula, beet greens and spinach, offer plenty of nutrients that can protect arteries. They are a good source of dietary nitrates, which can help improve blood vessel function and reduce inflammation. They are also rich in potassium, a mineral that counteracts vascular calcification, a process that contributes to atherosclerosis.
Adding cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, kale, red cabbage, and cauliflower to the diet can help reduce the chances of developing clogged arteries because they predict hardening of the arteries in atherosclerosis,.
The beans can lower blood pressure, improve artery function, and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, the enemy of artery thickening
Clogged Arteries, Foods: Fish, Oats, and Flaxseed
Fish is rich in essential nutrients, including omega-3 fats that help reduce the expression of cell adhesion molecules, proteins that allow cells to adhere to each other and their environment. The body releases cell adhesion molecules in response to inflammation and they are a driving force behind clogged arteries.
Flax seeds are tiny nutrient powerhouses. They are rich in fiber, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, including calcium and magnesium. In addition to being highly nutritious, flaxseeds can help prevent the formation of plaque along artery walls. They also contain secoisolariciresinol diglucoside (SDG), an anti-inflammatory and cholesterol-lowering lignan compound whose properties counteract artery thickening.
The havena is an excellent choice for those who have atherosclerosis or intend to prevent its occurrence. It contains fiber and antioxidants that can help inhibit inflammatory proteins called cytokines, as well as adhesion molecules. Oat fiber intake is associated with a lower risk of needing revascularization, a procedure to increase the supply of oxygen to the heart and other parts of the body. A person may need this if atherosclerosis has impeded blood flow.
Clogged arteries, foods: Dried fruits, Dark chocolate, Olive oil
Walnuts, Brazil nuts and almonds are excellent sources of protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. Taking small daily servings of nuts (5 or 6 fruits) can significantly improve atherosclerosis risk factors. Nuts, for example, are able to reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol, blood pressure, and can help increase HDL (good) cholesterol. In addition, eating nuts and seeds can help improve blood vessel function and protect against heart disease.
Cocoa and dark chocolate products are not only delicious, but are a valuable ally against atherosclerosis. Chocolate consumption is known to be associated with less atherosclerotic plaque in the coronary arteries that carry oxygen-rich blood to the heart. In addition, cocoa and dark chocolate products are rich in polyphenolic plant compounds that increase the production of nitric oxide and thus decrease inflammation in the arteries, which may help improve physical function in people with atherosclerosis.
Olive oil is a valuable ally against arterosclerosis. Daily intake of about 30 ml of olive oil (corresponds to one tablespoon or two teaspoons) significantly improves blood vessel function and reduces inflammatory markers related to hardening of the arteries. Olive oil’s ability to increase heart and blood vessel health comes from its high content of polyphenolic compounds, which are more prevalent in less refined oils.