Suffer from high blood pressure? You may have clogged arteries. If you’re looking to maintain the health of your heart and cardiovascular system, there are many foods that naturally unclog arteries and prevent heart attacks and strokes.
These foods not only rid your arteries of plaque build-up, but they also lower your blood pressure, and reduce inflammation – all contributors of cardiovascular disease. In fact, if you’re looking to reverse heart disease completely, eating a plant-based diet will ensure you remain heart attack-free!
Here are 10 foods you should start incorporating into your diet – they’ll help unclog your arteries and reverse the effects of bad habits. You don’t have to eat ALL of these foods every day, but making sure you eat at least some of them every day will be very beneficial.
Turmeric (3-4 inches fresh or 1-2 tsp. dried)
One of the best anti-inflammatories on the planet, turmeric helps lower inflammation, which is a major cause of arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). It also helps prevent platelets from clumping within blood vessels, making it effective in the prevention of atherosclerosis.
Avocado (1 Avocado)
Avocado is one of the best foods for cardiovascular health. They contain a high concentration of monounsaturated fatty acids, and contain a compound called beta-sitosterol, which lowers LDL cholesterol, while raising good, HDL cholesterol. They contain folate to help protect against strokes, as well as vitamin B6 and folic acid, which help regulate homocysteine levels. They’re also high in potassium, which helps control blood pressure.
Asparagus (2 cups worth)
“Asparagus works within the 100,000 miles of veins and arteries to release pressure, thereby allowing the body to accommodate for inflammation that has accumulated over the years.” says Shane Ellison, an organic chemist and author of Over-The-Counter Natural Cures. It also helps ward off deadly blood clots.
Pomegranate (1 cup worth)
Pomegranates not only tastes good, but they are amazing for your health, too! They contain powerful antioxidants that protect the lining of arteries from damage, and help block the buildup of cholesterol in your arteries when there are elevated fat levels in the blood. They have been shown to help keep clear the build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries of the neck.
Broccoli (2 cups worth, preferably raw)
Broccoli is a superfood that contains carotenoids, lutein, vitamin B6, and folate. All of these compounds help prevent the risk of heart disease, stroke and atherosclerosis. Broccoli is also high in cancer-eliminating sulforaphane, a major anti-inflammatory, which helps prevent inflammation in “high-risk” arterial areas (such as those with plaque build-up). Sulphoraphane activates a naturally protective protein in these areas of the arteries, which literally protects against heart disease.
Chia Seeds (2 tbsp. chia)
I absolutely love chia seeds! A study conducted by Cleveland Clinic showed that chia seeds actually help improve blood pressure in diabetics. This isn’t surprising, given the high fibre and antioxidant content of chia seeds, which help reduce blood sugar spikes after meals.
Cinnamon (1 tsp. cinnamon, powdered)
Cinnamon is another power food for the cardiovascular system. Around half a teaspoon of cinnamon per day can cut bad (LDL) cholesterol by 18%, while at the same time eliminating and preventing plaque build-up. Cinnamon prevents the release of arachidonic acid, an inflammatory fatty acid, from the blood’s platelet membranes. Therefore, it stops thickening of the blood, and prevents a rise in blood pressure, which can normally damage delicate arteries.
Watermelon (5-6 cups worth, or 1/2 medium melon)
The health benefits of watermelon are endless. It improves liver function, which makes it more effective at removing toxins from the blood, and contains compounds like arginine and citrulline, both of which reduce high blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels. This makes it the perfect fruit for lowering the risk of heart attack and stroke. It also contains lycopene which is a known protector against heart disease.
Cranberries (1 cups worth)
These antioxidant-rich berries reduce LDL and raise HDL cholesterol levels. They reduce unwanted inflammation in blood vessel linings, and can help reduce your overall risk of heart disease by up to 40 percent!
Spirulina (1 tbsp. spirulina)
A handful of different studies have found that spirulina is effective in reducing bad (LDL) and increasing good (HDL) cholesterol. It contains high concentrations of GLA fatty acids that prevent accumulation of cholesterol in the body, and therefore reduces the amount of fat deposits in the arteries. It also helps normalize blood pressure.