Health

10 Home Remedies To Keep Your Arteries from Becoming Clogged

Arteries are blood vessels that carry blood rich in oxygen throughout the body – from the brains to the toes. Healthy arteries have smooth inner walls… Teri B Clark - June 7, 2016

Arteries are blood vessels that carry blood rich in oxygen throughout the body – from the brains to the toes. Healthy arteries have smooth inner walls which allow blood to flow through them easily. Having said that, do you know why some people complain of high blood pressure every now and then? I guess you don’t. In most cases, people refer to it as clogged arteries or hardening of the arteries. Doctors use the formal term Atherosclerosis. It doesn’t matter what you call it but of healthy importance to you, it occurs when cellular waste, fat, cholesterol, and calcium stick to the artery walls and form plaque. In response to plaque buildup, cells in the artery walls multiply and secrete additional substances that can worsen the state of clogged arteries. The plaque makes the arteries narrower, which keeps arterial blood circulation from flowing as easily as anticipated. If the arteries to the heart get blocked, you can have a heart attack. If the arteries to your brain get too blocked, you can have a stroke.

The good news about all these is that there are steps you as an individual can take to avoid treating this. You should however still have the usual saying in mind; prevention is better than cure. Try out most of this home remedies and you will be surprised how healthy you will live. I’m quite sure that you would love to reach the 100-year mark sometime later. Research shows that most people with stroke or heart failure cases do not live to their 90s. I am quite sure that you would love to see both your grandchildren and great grandchildren during your late years.

Obviously, you do not want this to happen to you. So, here are 10 things you can do at home to keep your arteries from clogging up.

1. Tocotrienols

This is a naturally occurring form of vitamin E that has amazing health benefits. Tocotrienols can be used as a food additive as well as a substitute for vitamin E. The human body cannot synthesis vitamin E by itself and therefore tocotrienols are an essential type of vitamin E additional to the body. A recent study showed that arteriosclerosis could be reversed using tocotrienols along with the tocopherols, which is another form of vitamin E. Amazing! The reversal of clogged arteries with no drugs! In fact, 98% of the patients receiving tocotrienol improved while 48% of those that did nothing deteriorated. Tocotrienols are easy to take supplements that are found in a capsule form.

Tocotrienols are compounds naturally occurring at higher levels in selected vegetable oils including palm oil, rice bran oil, wheat germ, barley, saw palmetto, annatto and certain types of seeds, nuts, grains and the oils derived from them. From a health point of view, it is important to know that even though many plants are readily available and relatively high in tocotrienols, it is impossible to raise the tocotrienol levels in the body and obtain a direct measurable health benefit. To reach the required level of tocotrienol level in the body, it is necessary to apply advanced extraction and concentrated techniques as well as sticking to natural food as opposed to ordinarily processed food.

Research show that tocotrienols have health benefits to the human body. Tocotrienols are said to be effective antioxidants since they are unsaturated and penetrate into saturated fatty layers of the brain and liver. Studies also show that tocotrienols can lower tumor formation, DNA damage, and cell damage. Going by these findings, it follows that tocotrienols can be a remedy for the arterial plaque that causes blockage or narrowing of the walls of arteries to the brain reducing the chances of stroke.

2. Fish Oil

Fish Oil

You have certainly heard the term omega – 3 or essential fatty acids. One of the best places to get these naturally is through oily fishes such as salmon, trout, mackerel, and sardines. These omega 3’s help rid the body of inflammation and reduce atherosclerosis. One study looked at Japanese men that lived in the US versus Japanese men that lived in Japan. Those in the US that consumed ½ as much fish oil omega 3’s had three times as much artery calcification.

The most widely available dietary source of fish oil comes from cold – water fish such as herring, salmon, mackerel, anchovies and sardines. Oils from the fish mentioned above have a profile of around seven times as much omega – 3 oils as omega – 6 oils. There is a wide range of health benefits derived from omega – 3 fatty acids obtained from fish oil and fish oil supplements. Some human trials concluded that consuming omega – 3 fatty acids slightly reduces blood pressure. The fact that omega – 3 fatty acids increase the risk of bleeding calls for the importance of consulting a qualified health provider before fish oil supplements are used.

Studies have shown better psychomotor development at 30 months of age for infants whose mothers received fish oil supplements for the first four months of lactation. In addition, five – year old children whose mothers received modest algae based on omega – 3 fatty acids supplementation for the first four months of breastfeeding performed better on a test of sustained attention. This clearly suggests that omega – 3 fatty acids intake during early infancy results to long-term benefits on specific aspects of neurodevelopment.

A study in 2008 shows that omega – 3s were an effective additional therapy for depressed but not manic symptoms in bipolar disorder. A Later study found that patients taking omega supplements experienced fewer depression symptoms.

3. Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate (also known as black chocolate or plain chocolate) is a form chocolate which contains a higher content of cocoa butter and less milk than other forms of chocolate. Dark chocolate contains antioxidants such as polyphenols and is relatively low in sugar. Dark chocolate has been shown to be a source of heart-protective antioxidants known as flavanols. Raw unprocessed cocoa is a naturally very rich source of flavanols which may result in several heart healthy benefits. Study reports support the role of flavanols in lowering blood pressure and improving blood flow to the brain and heart.

Everyone loves chocolate, and here is one more reason to add it to the list. Your low – density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol becomes oxidized and turns into plaques that can clog the arteries. However, dark chocolate has flavonoids that keep your LDL from oxidizing. This reduces arteriosclerosis. In one study, participants ate a diet low in flavonoids or high in dark chocolate. In just four weeks, those that ate dark chocolate saw a reduction of LDL oxidation of 8% over those on the low flavonoid diet.

Studies have given some recommendations on what to for in determining the healthiest dark chocolates; one of the suggestions is to look for the non – alkalized chocolate that contains the maximum amount of heart healthy flavanols. Secondly, it is also important to look for dark chocolate containing 70% cocoa or higher – the higher the cocoa content, the more antioxidants the chocolate will contain and in addition to heart healthy benefits, the cocoa flavanols may reverse age – related memory decline in older adults. Finally, chocolate is still a source of calories and fats which may displace other important nutrients when consumed in excess. Suggestions are that one should aim for one to two squares per indulgent period or a total of seven squares over a week.

4. Garlic

Garlic is widely used around the world for its pungent flavor as a seasoning ingredient. The garlic plant’s bulb is the commonly used part of the plant although garlic leaves and flowers are sometimes eaten.

Garlic has been used for centuries for different diseases. When it comes to atherosclerosis, allicin, a compound found in garlic, reduces plaque formation and therefore ensures normal blood flow through the arteries. Studies in animals, as well as people, have shown it to significantly slow artery calcification after just one year of use. Aged garlic contains the most allicin, so taking a supplement in a capsule form is recommended.
Studies indicate that garlic preparation may effectively lower total cholesterol by 11 – 13 mg/dL and low-density lipoprotein by 3 – 15mg/dL in adults with high cholesterol if taken for longer than two months. The study also shows that garlic has no effect on high density lipoprotein and no significant effect on blood triglyceride levels and that garlic preparations were tolerated with very few side effects.
Studies also found that garlic consumption is associated with lower risk of stomach cancer in the Korean population. Similarly case – control studies suggested an association of between higher consumption of garlic and a lower risk of prostate cancer. However, an association was only significant in the case – control studies. Though the exact numbers are hard to determine and signify, it is another one more reason to get in the habit of using garlic.
Garlic lowers blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Garlic may exert its effect in part by stimulating beta – cell insulin secretion. Although garlic had some mixed results in trials to set to measure its effects on lowering blood sugar, diabetics may still wish to food, or even consider supplementation with garlic protective health benefits and absence of major side effects.

5. Tomato Sauce

Tomato sauce (also referred to Napoletana sauce in Italian) is any form of a very large number of sauces made from tomatoes and served as part of a dish.

If you love Italian food, then you are going to love that tomato sauce can help prevent atherosclerosis. Tomatoes contain an antioxidant called lycopene. In a study in Finland, researchers discovered that those with low levels of lycopene in the blood had an 18% increase in the thickness of the artery walls. Keep in mind that lycopene is best absorbed from cooked tomatoes and when eaten with a fat. Adding olive oil to your tomato sauce is the perfect combination.

Researchers have recently found an important connection between lycopene, its antioxidant properties, and bone health. A study carried out in which tomato and other dietary sources of lycopene were removed from diets of postmenopausal women for a period of 4 weeks. The women developed increased signs of oxidative stress in their bones. The study concluded that removal of lycopene – containing foods such as tomatoes from the diet was likely to put women at increased risk of osteoporosis. The researchers stressed the importance of tomatoes and other lycopene-containing foods in the diet.

The intake of tomatoes has been linked with heart health. Fresh tomatoes and tomato extracts have been shown to help lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. In addition, tomato extracts have been shown to help prevent unwanted clumping together (aggregation) of platelet cells in the blood – a factor that is important in lowering risk of heart problems like atherosclerosis.

In the most recent studies, researchers are beginning to identify some the unusual phytonutrients in tomatoes that help in providing heart – protective benefits. One of the phytonutrients is a glycoside referred to as esculeoside A, another is a flavonoid called chalco- naringenin and also fatty acid type molecules called 9-oxo-octadecadienoic acid.

6. Capers

capers

Capers provides some health benefits due to their modest nutrient content, which helps you reach your recommended daily intake of a few essential nutrients. However, due to their high salt content, you should consume them in moderation. Capers contain fiber, a type of carbohydrate. The body can’t digest fiber, and the nutrient helps to fill your stomach, soften your stools and prevent constipation without adding calories to your food. Fiber may also help prevent disease – following a diet rich in the fiber lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease according to reports from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Capers, used mostly in tartar sauce and Mediterranean foods, are a great source of quercetin. Quercetin has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that keep you from developing atherosclerosis. Quercetin has been shown to lower triglycerides and cholesterol, which lowers the chance of your body producing plaque. If you don’t care for capers, you can purchase quercetin supplements instead.

Capers contain vitamin K, an essential fat-soluble vitamin. This nutrient promotes bone growth to help keep your bones healthy and strong and plays a role in blood coagulation; a process important for preventing excessive bleeding. Vitamin K also aids in cell growth and plays a role in the development of your cartilage and nervous system. Capers are also a plant source of iron, an essential mineral. Iron aids in oxygen transport; it ensures that your red blood cells can carry enough oxygen to nourish tissues throughout your body. Getting enough iron also helps your cells make energy to support your day-to-day functions, and iron aids in cell growth and development. Eating capers considerably boosts your intake of sodium, so people sensitive to salt should are recommended to avoid eating a lot of capers. Eating foods rich in salt increase your blood pressure and a diet rich in salt can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. People already suffering from high blood pressure should limit their capers intake.

7. Green Tea

Green tea is chock full of catechins, an antioxidant that helps lower your LDL (bad cholesterol) and your triglycerides. It also reduces LDL oxidation. All three help to keep your arteries clear. A study in Japan showed that men who drank 2 to 4 cups of green tea a day had less hardening of the arteries than those who drank 1 cup or less a day.

Frequent consumption of green tea has been associated with a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease. A research analysis done in 2015 observed that an increase in one cup of green tea per day was associated with a 5% lower risk of death from cardiovascular causes. Green tea consumption may be associated with a reduced risk of stroke. A study in 2013 concluded that green tea consumption for 3–6 months appears to lower systolic and diastolic blood pressures. Additional analyses examining the effects of long-term green tea consumption on blood pressure have reached similar conclusions.

Although clinical studies show that the effect of green tea on hemoglobin A1c and fasting insulin levels is inconsistent, studies show that the green tea consumption lowers fasting blood sugar. Further studies also reveal that drinking green tea or taking green tea supplements decreases the blood concentration of total cholesterol (about 7 mg/dL), LDL cholesterol (about 2 mg/dL), and does not affect the concentration of HDL cholesterol.

Although not conclusive, but an analysis showed that daily consumption of green tea is significantly associated with a lower risk of death from any cause; an increase of one cup of green tea per day is linked with a 4% lower risk of death from any cause.  A separate analysis found an increase of three cups of green tea per day was associated with a lower risk of death from any cause.

8. Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 is like a vitamin that is needed by all your cells. Without it, your organs would cease to function and the chemical reactions taking place in your body would cease. One study with rabbits shows what happens with coenzyme Q10. All the rabbits were fed a high Trans – fatty acid diet known to clog arteries. Half of the rabbits also received coenzyme Q10. After 24 weeks, those that received the coenzyme Q10 had less plaque, even with a poor diet. You can get this supplement in capsule form.

Supplementation of Coenzyme Q10 has been found to have a beneficial effect on the condition of some sufferers of migraines. An explanation for this is the theory that migraines are a mitochondrial disorder and that mitochondrial dysfunction can be improved with Coenzyme Q10. The Canadian Headache Society guideline for migraine prophylaxis recommends, based on low-quality evidence, that 300 mg of Coenzyme Q10 be offered as a choice for prophylaxis.

The body cells need Coenzyme Q10 to produce energy which is to be used for cell growth and maintenance. Coenzyme Q10 also functions as an antioxidant, which protects the body from damage caused by harmful molecules. Coenzyme Q10 is naturally present in small amounts in a wide variety of foods, but levels are particularly high in organ meats such as heart, liver, and kidney, as well as beef, soy oil, sardines, mackerel, and peanuts. Coenzyme Q10 help enzymes work to digest food and perform other body processes, and they help protect the heart and skeletal muscles.

Although evidence from randomized controlled trials does not appear to support the idea that Coenzyme Q10 is an effective treatment for statin myopathy, Coenzyme Q10 has been frequently used to treat muscle breakdown associated as a side effect of the use of statin medications.

9. Eat Your Leafy Greens

Leafy green vegetables have an antioxidant called lutein. Good sources of lutein include spinach, broccoli, cabbage, and kale. A study in China divided patients with early atherosclerosis into three groups. One received nothing, one received lutein supplements, and one received lutein and lycopene supplements for 12 months. Those receiving lutein supplements decreased the thickness of the carotid artery walls. Those that took both lutein and lycopene decreased the thickness even more. The best thing to do is to eat your leafy greens with lutein at the same meal with your lycopene-laden tomato sauce.

Leafy vegetables are ideal for weight management as they are low in calories. They are useful in reducing the risk of cancer and heart diseases because they are low in fat, high in dietary fiber, and rich in folic acid, vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium, as well as containing a host of phytochemicals, such as lutein, beta-cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene. A study showed that an increment of a daily serving of green leafy vegetables lowered the risk of cardiovascular disease by 11 percent. In the Adventist health study, the frequent consumption of green salads by African-Americans was associated with a substantially lower risk of mortality.

Leafy greens have high magnesium content and low glycemic index and therefore they are valuable for persons with type 2 diabetes. An increase of 1 serving/day of green leafy vegetables was associated with a 9 percent lower risk of diabetes. The high level of vitamin K in greens makes them important for the production of osteocalcin, a protein essential for bone health.

Green vegetables are also a major source of iron and calcium for any diet. Swiss chard and spinach are not considered good sources of calcium, due to their high content of oxalic acid. Green leafy vegetables are rich in beta-carotene, which can also be converted into vitamin A, and also improve immune function. Millions of children around the world have an increased risk of blindness, and other illnesses because of inadequate dietary vitamin A from green leafy vegetables.

10. Rosemary and Sage

Rosemary is a herb which contains antibacterial and antioxidant rosmarinic acid plus several essential oils such as cineol, camphene, borneol, bornyl acetate and α – pinene that is known to have anti – inflammatory, antifungal and antiseptic properties. Some of the most amazing and unique health benefits of rosemary include its ability to boost memory, improve mood, reduce inflammation, relieve pain, protect the immune system, stimulate circulation, detoxify the body, protect the body from bacterial infections, prevent premature aging, and heal skin. Rosemary has also been linked to stimulating cognitive activity in the elderly, as well as those suffering from more acute cognitive disorders, such as Alzheimer’s or dementia

Sage is also an excellent source of fiber, vitamin A, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, and B vitamins such as folic acid, thiamin, pyridoxine, and riboflavin in much higher doses than the recommended daily requirements, plus healthy amounts of vitamin C, vitamin E, thiamin, and copper. Sage is known for its natural antiseptic, preservative and bacteria-killing abilities in meat. Volatile oils contain the phenolic flavonoids apigenin, diosmetin, and luteolin, plus volatile oils such as rosmarinic acid, which can be easily absorbed into the body.

Medicinally used for muscle aches, rheumatism, and aromatherapy, these oils also contain ketones, including A- and B-thujone, which enhance mental clarity and upgrade memory, as evidenced by clinical tests comparing tests scores with and without the use of sage. This knowledge has been extremely useful in treating cognitive decline and patients suffering from Alzheimer’s.

Both of these spices contain a phytochemical called carnosic acid. Carnosic acid is an antioxidant that prevents the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. It also keeps enzymes from changing smooth muscle cells in the arteries, which happens with atherosclerosis. You can use dried spices, which contain 1.5 to 2.5% carnosic acid. To get a more concentrated dose, you can take herbal supplements.

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