Did you know that half of all American adults have some sort of cardiovascular disease?
As the leading killer in the US, this doesn’t really come as a surprise – but it should! Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can keep your heart healthy, and one of the most important is by watching what you eat.
This doesn’t just mean avoiding bad foods, but also focusing on good foods! So many foods can support and strengthen your heart, keeping disease at bay and ensuring you stay healthier for longer.
Discover how to prevent clogged arteries by eating the right foods in our guide.
The Problem of Clogged Arteries
First of all, let’s take a look at arteries vs veins:
- Arteries are major blood vessels that carry blood around the body
- Veins are smaller blood vessels branching from arteries that carry blood to specific locations
When your arteries become clogged, those major systems around your body become less effective at transporting blood. This means that your heart pumps harder and faster, and your circulation becomes weaker. The risks of clogged arteries include:
- Blood clots
- Heart attacks
Cardiovascular Disease and Diet
When it comes to what causes clogged arteries, there’s no doubt that diet is a huge cause. Eat foods that are high in saturated fats and salt and your chance of developing heart issues drastically increases. Your arteries become clogged and your heart becomes weak, leading to potentially fatal problems.
But, diet is also an answer for how to clear arteries. By filling your food with nutritious ingredients, you can lend your heart a hand and keep blood flowing through your body freely.
Let’s take a look at some foods known for helping your heart.
1. Sweet Berries
Strawberries, cranberries, blueberries, and raspberries are all heart-healthy foods. Berries have a huge number of health benefits. They’ve been shown to reduce inflammation and keep hearts healthier.
This is mainly because they’re full of flavonoid antioxidants. These are key in keeping arteries clear and your heart pumping as it should. They can also reduce your bad cholesterol, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure.
Try eating a handful of berries with your lunch for an easy way to boost your heart!
2. Oily Fish
When it comes to how to eat healthy, omega-3 fatty acids are essential. These can reduce your risk of atherosclerosis (clogged arteries). One of the main ways they do this is by reducing cellular adhesion molecules in the body, which allow cells to stick together and become clogged in your arteries.
Fish that are high in omega-3 include mackerel, salmon, and herring. If you’re a vegetarian, you can also get omega-3 from algae-based supplements.
3. Fiber-Rich Beans
Are clogged arteries normal? Not if you have a diet full of beans!
Beans are full of fiber, a must for a heart-healthy diet. Fiber is essential to keep your arteries free of fat and has benefits across the body.
Beans can also keep your cholesterol levels normal. They’ve been shown to reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol, which is a significant factor in reducing the chance of heart disease and improving artery function.
Try to eat 130 grams of beans daily. Three-bean tacos, bean salads, and kidney beans in a chili con carne are all fantastic ways to boost your diet and help your heart.
4. Porridge Oats
Oats are a very underrated superfood. Cheap to buy, easy to cook with, and amazing for your body, they should be on everyone’s shopping list.
Oats contain a type of antioxidant known as avenanthramides, which can reduce inflammation and cut down adhesion molecules in your body. Both of these things are great for your heart.
They’ve also been shown to reduce bad cholesterol in the body, and are packed full of fiber!
If you’re trying to prevent or reduce clogged arteries, try having porridge for breakfast every day. Add a little water, some honey, and a handful of berries for a delicious and healthy start to the day.
5. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens include foods like lettuce, spinach, swiss chard, and kale. All of these are super nutritious and offer a bounty of benefits for your body. They can also help protect your heart and reduce your risk of atherosclerosis.
This is partly down to the dietary nitrates that leafy greens are full of. Nitrates can help to reduce inflammation in the body and improve the function of your blood vessels (both your arteries and veins).
They’re also a great source of potassium, a mineral that can prevent vascular calcification. Try adding spinach to your morning smoothie or kale to your soups. It’s an easy way to keep your heart healthy!
Diet and a Healthy Lifestyle Go Hand in Hand
Eating healthy foods is a great way to prevent clogged arteries. But, it won’t work on its own.
To keep your heart healthy, your whole lifestyle needs to be geared towards helping your body rather than hindering it. There are plenty of ways you can do this, such as by:
- Exercising regularly
- Not smoking
- Cutting down on alcohol and caffeine
- Reducing stress
If you combine all of these things and eat a nutrient-rich diet, you’ll be well on your well to a strong, healthy heart!
Learn More About How to Prevent Clogged Arteries
Learning how to prevent clogged arteries is something we should all take the time to do. These foods are a great start, but there are plenty more tips out there! Keep learning so that you can live a long and happy life.
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