15 Foods That May Help Prevent Clogged Arteries
- some types of fish
- certain vegetables and leafy greens
- nuts and seeds
- olive oil
Here are 15 foods that may help prevent clogged arteries.
Berries have fiber, vitamins, minerals, and plant substances that are good for you. Some of these are flavonoid antioxidants, like polyphenols, which may be good for your heart.
Researchers have also found that eating berries lowers the risk of cholesterol by a large amount.
Berries may help prevent clogged arteries by reducing inflammation and cholesterol accumulation, improving artery function, and protecting against cellular damage .
Eating beans is an excellent way to manage cholesterol levels, reducing your risk of clogged arteries. Many studies have demonstrated that eating beans can significantly reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels .
Beans offer various cardioprotective effects, including :
- reducing blood pressure
- reducing blood triglyceride levels
- lowering LDL and total cholesterol levels
- reducing inflammation
- improving artery function
The same review notes that bean-rich diets can also improve:
All of these effects may reduce the risk of atherosclerosis.
Researchers have not yet found a clear reason why eating omega-3-rich fish may help lower the chance of atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease.
Omega-3 fatty acids can be turned into bioactive lipid mediators by the body. These may help lower inflammation and blood clotting, two things that can make vessels hard to get to.
Another review of research notes that eating fish may :
4. Tomatoes and tomato products
Tomatoes and tomato products contain plant compounds that may be particularly helpful for reducing the development of atherosclerosis.
Tomatoes contain the carotenoid pigment lycopene. Studies show that consuming lycopene-rich tomato products may help :
Combining cooked tomato with olive oil may offer the greatest protection against clogged arteries .
Onions come from the family Allium and are good for you in many ways, like keeping your arteries healthy. It has been found that eating a lot of these common vegetables may help keep the arteries healthy.
A study that followed 1,226 women aged 70 and up for 15 years found that eating more Allium vegetables, like onions, was linked to a lower chance of death from atherosclerosis-related diseases.
Scientists think that sulfur chemicals found in onions may help keep blood vessels from swell, stop platelets in the blood from sticking together, and make more nitric oxide available.
All of these benefits may help keep you from getting atherosclerosis and keep your arteries healthy.
6. Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits taste great and are full of healthy things like flavonoids, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Free radicals in the body can damage LDL (bad) cholesterol, but citrus flavonoids can help stop this from happening. Oxidized LDL is linked to the start and spread of atherosclerosis.
This could be why eating citrus fruits lowers your chance of heart disease and stroke, two conditions that are linked to atherosclerosis.
Spices, including ginger, pepper, chili, and cinnamon, may help protect against clogged arteries .
These and other spices have anti-inflammatory properties and may help :
- reduce free radicals
- improve blood lipid levels
- reduce the clumping together of platelets in the blood
You can increase your spice consumption by adding these versatile flavorings to oatmeal, soups, stews, and just about any other dish you can think of.
8. Flax seeds
Flax seeds have a lot of fiber, vitamins, minerals, good fats, and minerals like magnesium and calcium. Not only are flax seeds very healthy, but they may also help stop atherosclerosis.
Flax seeds have a substance called secoisolariciresinol diglucoside (SDG) that lowers cholesterol and reduces inflammation. This lignan molecule may also help fight atherosclerosis and lower the risk of heart attack and stroke.
To digest flax seeds and get their health benefits, you need to grind them yourself or buy them already ground.
9. Cruciferous vegetables
Studies show that eating cruciferous vegetables is associated with a decreased risk of atherosclerosis.
A study of 1,500 females found that eating cruciferous vegetables was associated with lower carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT)
This measurement can help assess a person’s risk of atherosclerosis-related disease.
Research has also linked cruciferous vegetable intake to reduced arterial calcification and risk of death caused by atherosclerosis-related disease .
Arterial calcification leads to the hardening of the arteries in atherosclerosis .
Beets are a rich source of nitrates, which your body converts to nitric oxide, a signaling molecule that plays many essential roles in your body.
Inflammation in the blood vessels leads to decreased nitric oxide production.
Eating foods like beets that are rich in dietary nitrates may help improve blood vessel function and decrease inflammation, which may help prevent atherosclerosis .
Research has also found an association between dietary nitrate intake and a reduced risk of atherosclerosis-related death .
Eating oats can help significantly reduce atherosclerosis risk factors, including high total and LDL (bad) cholesterol .
Avenanthramides are an antioxidant found in oats that may help stop the action of cytokines and adhesion molecules, which are inflammatory proteins. This might help keep atherosclerosis from happening.
It might also help to eat oat bran, which is full of fiber.
A study that included 716 people with coronary artery disease found that those who consumed oat fiber regularly had lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and inflammatory markers than those who did not eat oat fiber .
The study also found that oat fiber intake was associated with a lower risk of needing revascularization — a procedure to increase oxygen delivery to the heart and other parts of the body. A person may need this if atherosclerosis has impeded their blood flow .
12. Nuts and seeds
Eating nuts and seeds may also help improve blood vessel function and protect against heart disease.
13. Leafy greens
Leafy greens, including lettuces, kale, arugula, Swiss chard, and spinach, offer nutrients that may help protect against atherosclerosis.
Foods that are high in nitrates, like green leafy veggies, can help blood vessels work better and reduce swelling.
A lot of potassium is also in them. This mineral helps stop arterial calcification, which is a process that makes atherosclerosis more likely.
Eating green leafy vegetables has been shown in many studies to lower the chance of getting heart disease.
The American Heart Association did a study and found that people who ate one serving of green leafy vegetables every day had a 12–18% lower chance of heart disease, stroke, and coronary heart disease.
14. Cocoa and dark chocolate
Cocoa and dark chocolate products are delicious and may help ward off atherosclerosis.
Polyphenol plant chemicals are found in large amounts in cocoa and dark chocolate. These help the body make more nitric oxide and lessen inflammation in the arteries, which may help people with atherosclerosis work better.
But chocolate can also have fats and sugar in it, which may work against some of its good chemicals. If you want to get the most out of dark chocolate, it might be best to choose one with more than 70% cocoa and eat the recommended one to two ounces.
15. Olive oil
Olive oil, a staple of the Mediterranean diet, may help reduce the risk of atherosclerosis.
A 2018 review also found that eating olive oil is linked to lower levels of inflammatory markers related to atherosclerosis and a lower chance of heart disease and its complications.
Researchers say that the high amount of polyphenol chemicals in olive oil makes the heart and blood vessels healthier.
Remember that extra virgin olive oil that hasn’t been refined as much has a lot more polyphenols than olive oils that have been processed more.
The bottom line
Adding cruciferous vegetables, fish, berries, olive oil, oats, onions, veggies, beans, and berries to your diet might help keep atherosclerosis at bay.
All of the above things are also good for you in many other ways. Including them in your daily life may greatly lower your risk of getting sick and improve your general health.
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