Health

30 Best Foods to Help Unclog Arteries (and What to Avoid)

22. Watermelon There’s nothing to beat a delicious slice of watermelon on a hot summer’s day. It’s sweet and refreshing. It’s the perfect base for a… Rina - October 11, 2020
30 Best Foods To Help Unclog Arteries - And What To Avoid
Amino acids in watermelon help the body produce nitric oxide. Shutterstock.

22. Watermelon

There’s nothing to beat a delicious slice of watermelon on a hot summer’s day. It’s sweet and refreshing. It’s the perfect base for a fruit salad. Or you can enjoy some own its own. Not only that, it’s an excellent diet food. Watermelon is recommended for people who want to lose weight. In addition to this benefit of watermelon, it can assist in the protection of your heart as well. It contains an amino acid called L-citrulline.

A study conducted at Florida State University studied people who were given a 4,000mg dose of L-citrulline. After a mere six weeks, their blood pressure had declined. It’s believed that the amino acids in watermelon help the body produce nitric oxide. This substance widens the blood vessels, allowing the blood to flow to the heart more easily. It also decreases the rate at which plaque grows in the arteries and prevents blood clots from forming. People with pre-existing heart conditions take nitroglycerin. It works by converting into nitric oxide.

Popeye loves spinach, and you should learn to love it too with all the benefits it gives. Shutterstock.

23. Spinach

There are so many benefits to including spinach in your diet. It is a rich source of vitamins and minerals. All leafy green vegetables are good for you, and spinach is no exception. Two of the most important substances we get from spinach are potassium and folate. These two substances are believed to your blood pressure which puts less strain on the arteries.

One of the most important things to remember with spinach is that cooking it removes a lot of the vitamins and minerals it contains. That’s why it’s a good idea to steam it gently or eat it raw. It might not suit everyone’s palate to each spinach this way. But raw spinach in a smoothie with some chocolate-flavored protein powder is the ideal way to get your daily portion. You can also include it in salads or serve it as an omelet filling. A single serving of leafy green vegetables like spinach each day can reduce your risk of developing heart disease by up to 11%.

The fiber in lentils reduces the LDL levels in the body. Shutterstock.

24. Lentils

Lentils contain a protein and fiber punch that your body needs to stay healthy. The lentil is a member of the legume family of vegetables. This includes beans and peas. Lentils grow in pods. You can get green, red, brown, and black lentils. They contain high amounts of folate and manganese. That’s why lentils are essential in reducing your risk of heart disease and other conditions such as obesity and diabetes.

The fiber in lentils reduces the LDL levels in the body. These ‘bad cholesterol’ levels can cause your arteries to clog up. The potassium, magnesium, and calcium in lentils are thought to reduce your blood pressure. You can substitute meat with lentils if you have really high cholesterol levels and you need to make radical changes to your diet. Another attractive factor about lentils is that they are inexpensive and easy to cook. They can also be incorporated into stews and soups to add fiber and flavor. And they help to ensure your arteries don’t get clogged up.

30 Best Foods To Help Unclog Arteries - And What To Avoid
The protein found in beans is essential for the unclogging of your arteries. Shutterstock.

25. Beans

Beans come in various forms. Among others, you get great northern beans, fava beans, kidney beans, navy beans, pinto beans, black beans, and chickpeas. Contrary to its name, the chickpea is a bean. It’s also known as the garbanzo bean. And let’s not forget the good old baked bean in tomato sauce. All of them are extremely healthy for you as they contain a lot of protein and soluble fiber.

The protein found in beans is essential for the unclogging of your arteries. Proteins contain all the amino acids your body needs. They are the building blocks of all the cells in your body. They also help to reduce the build-up of plaque in the arteries. Soluble fiber binds to your body’s bile salts which ensures your body doesn’t reabsorb them. It keeps blood sugar spikes under control. These episodes increase the amount of cholesterol in your body. The reason for this is that a blood sugar spike causes the liver to produce more cholesterol.

Many spices can improve cholesterol and lower blood pressure. Shutterstock.

26. Spices and herbs

To unclog your arteries, you can do something as simple as adding spices and herbs to your diet. Not only are they good for you, but they also add a special flavor to a meal and make it taste better. Spices and herbs are harvested from plants. These plants are able to protect their own cells from pests, etc. When the plant is converted into an herb or spice, it still has those protective powers. Except now, it’s protecting the cells of your body.

Examples of spices you should keep in your home and use in your cooking are plentiful. Here are just a few: Garlic improves cholesterol and lowers blood pressure. Both of these properties reduce your risk of heart disease. Turmeric’s main ingredient is curcumin. This spice reduces your cholesterol and triglyceride levels as well as your blood sugar. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that thin the blood, preventing clots. Cinnamon improves your circulation and keeps your blood sugar under control. Other examples include nutmeg, allspice, nutmeg, and Italian seasoning.

Eating soluble fiber stimulates the need for bile acid. Unsplash.

27. Chia Seeds

The chia seed is a plant-based food that has the highest concentration of Omega-3 oils. It contains more than salmon, which is widely believed to be the best source of Omega-3 fatty acids. They are also rich in calcium. In fact, they contain more calcium than milk. They also contain more magnesium than broccoli. And the fact that they’re packed with magnesium is also important for your overall health and well-being.

Chia seeds contain a lot of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber is important in the fight against cholesterol. Your liver makes bile acid to digest foods. It needs cholesterol to make bile acid. Eating soluble fiber stimulates the need for bile acid. So, by eating foods such as chia seeds, you increase the need for bile acid and reduce cholesterol levels. The best part about chia seeds is that you can include them in just about any dish you serve as they have no taste. So, they won’t affect the flavor of your cooking.

Another great food to add to your casseroles or sandwiches to boost your immunity is tomatoes. Shutterstock.

28. Tomatoes

If you’ve ever wondered why tomatoes are red, here’s your answer. They contain an antioxidant called proteinoid lycopene. It’s also found in green tomatoes or light red tomatoes as well. A diet that contains a lot of lycopene can lower the oxidation of bad cholesterol in your body. Bad cholesterol is what clogs up your arteries and causes atherosclerosis. It is the LDL cholesterol we must avoid. It also reduces the build-up of plaque in your arteries.

When we’re told about the important components in fruits and vegetables that are good for us, we’re told cooking them reduces the goodness. With tomatoes, this is not true. Their lycopene levels are stronger in tomatoes that have been cooked. In addition to the powerful antioxidant lycopene, tomatoes contain high levels of Vitamin A and C, as well as folic acid and beta-carotene. Tomatoes have anti-inflammatory properties which can lower the risk of heart disease. Increased inflammation in the arteries can lead to their susceptibility to becoming clogged.

The LDL levels are lowered in the body when insoluble fiber. Shuterstock.

29. Apples

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, the saying goes. And it appears that it’s more than an adage, it’s the truth. Researchers at Ohio State University discovered that eating an apple a day reduced the hardening of arteries up to 40%. The magic ingredient in apples that makes it great for unclogging your arteries is called pectin. It gives the fruit its firmness, which allows us to enjoy a crisp apple. Pectin is a complex substance. It contains polysaccharides and a sugar residue called D-galacturonic acid.

Pectin seems to lower the levels of cholesterol in the body. It contains a lot of insoluble fiber. For this fiber to be digested, it needs bile acid. To make bile acid, the liver uses cholesterol. The more cholesterol used to digest insoluble fiber, the less there is to clog up your arteries. The LDL levels are lowered in the body when insoluble fiber such as that in apples is introduced to the digestive system.

Flaxseeds. Pixabay.

30. Flaxseeds

A study conducted and published in the American Journal of Physiology and Circulation Research looked at the effects of flaxseeds on rabbits. They found that introducing flaxseed into the rabbits’ diet slowed down the progression of atherosclerosis. This is the build-up of plaque in the arteries which can cause the blockage or constriction of an artery. This results in a heart attack. It’s not yet clear though if flaxseeds can reduce the build-up of plaque in the arteries that has already accumulated.

Flaxseeds are a source of Omega-3 fatty acids. This is essential to the metabolic process. It is not produced in the body and needs to be obtained from food sources. The soluble fiber in flaxseed is important as it stimulates the production of bile acids which help to expel waste from the body. There are lots of ways to include flaxseed in your diet. You can buy it ground to a fine powder. This can be included in a bowl of cereal or oatmeal.

You need a well-balanced diet of all food groups. Shutterstock

31. That’s a lot of helpful foods!

Now that we know what are the “Best Foods That Help Unclog Arteries” lets have a look at what foods to avoid.
You should avoid these foods like fire if you want to unclog your arteries. When it comes to heart health, you might already know that eating healthy and avoiding junk food is a good place to start. But it can be more complicated than you think. Plenty of foods you enjoy every day, even foods that are otherwise healthy for you, might actually do a lot of damage to your heart.

Because of this, it is always important to be aware of both what you should avoid and why you should avoid it. If you’re living with heart failure, making some simple adjustments to your diet can improve your quality of life. For starters, aim to eat a variety of fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables every day. Fruits and vegetables are low in calories, which can help you maintain a healthy weight. They’re also loaded with vitamins and minerals and full of fiber, which helps your body regulate blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol.

A connection between regularly eating red meat and being at risk for a heart attack or stroke. Shutterstock.

32. Red Meat

Red meat, which refers to meat that is red in color when raw, like beef or lamb, isn’t the best thing for your heart. One study claimed that people who consume red meat on a daily basis had high levels of Trimethylamine N-oxide, a chemical linked to heart disease. Other researchers also found a connection between regularly eating red meat and being at risk for a heart attack or stroke.

Eating too much beef, lamb, and pork may raise your odds for heart disease and diabetes. It may be because they’re high in saturated fat, which can boost cholesterol. More recent studies point to how gut bacteria process a part of the meat called L-carnitine. Limit your portions. Also, look for lean cuts like round, sirloin, and extra-lean ground beef.

Lowers the amount of oxygen going to your heart. Shutterstock.

33. Canned Vegetables and Soups

Canned vegetables and canned soups seem like a convenient way to add more veggies to your diet, but they often contain too much added salt, especially if they come with sauce or broth. Too much salt increases blood pressure, which lowers the amount of oxygen going to your heart, which can even lead to a heart attack. Many of the preservatives used in these canned goods can be harmful and one popular soup additive, monosodium glutamate, or MSG, has been linked to heart palpitations.

Consuming too much salt (sodium) can result in fluid retention in the healthiest of people. In those with heart failure, excess sodium can cause serious complications. It can also worsen high blood pressure (hypertension), which can exacerbate existing heart failure. What’s more, high-sodium diets are usually high in fat and calories as well, which can contribute to obesity and its complications. Unfortunately, sodium is in almost everything we consume, which can make a low-sodium diet feel like a challenge. It is especially high in processed, prepared, canned, and smoked foods.

Many trans-fats present in packaged foods . Pixabay.

34. Frozen Meals

Frozen meals, especially TV dinners, are convenient, cheap, and often low in calories. However, many frozen meals have high levels of sodium, often used to flavor food, as well as a preservative. People should eat around 2,000 milligrams of sodium per day, but many frozen dinners can have half that in a single meal. Frozen foods can be high in sodium, too, so aim for 600 milligrams or fewer per serving for heart health. For frozen vegetables or fruits, avoid those with added sugar or high-fat sauces.

Another health risk that is associated with frozen or processed food is heart disease. The trans fats that are present in packaged foods increase your risk of contracting heart disease and also contribute to clogged arteries. Trans fats increase LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and also lower HDL (good) cholesterol levels, which is responsible for elevating the risk of heart disease. Sodium is widely used as a preservative. The added salt in frozen food increases your cholesterol levels as well, while also increasing your blood pressure.

Processed meats are those preserved using salts, nitrites, or other preservatives. Shutterstock.

35. Cured Meats

Hot dogs, sausage, salami, and lunch meat are the worst types of meats for your heart. They have high amounts of salt, and most are high in saturated fat. When it comes to deli meats, turkey is better for you than salami because it doesn’t have the saturated fat. But it still has a fair amount of sodium, so it isn’t as heart-healthy as fresh sliced turkey breast. Processed meats are those preserved using salts, nitrites, or other preservatives.

They include hot dogs, bacon, sausage, salami, and other deli meats, including deli ham, turkey, bologna, and chicken. Long-term observational studies have found that the worst types of meats for the heart are those that are processed. Why it harms the heart. It’s likely that the high levels of salt and preservatives found in processed meats are part of the problem.

Adding coffee creamer can cause the health of your immune system to decline. Shutterstock.

36. Coffee Creamer

Coffee creamers often contain partially hydrogenated oils, a common source of trans fats that can increase cholesterol levels. Generally, if you don’t like your coffee black, milk is a healthier option. Adding plant-based milk is usually a good alternative to coffee creamer. Some non-dairy creamers can even contain trans fat, which adds to your bad cholesterol (LDL) levels; and adding a high-cholesterol chemical mix can only be bad news if you’re trying to keep your cholesterol count down. What is in it? Partially Hydrogenated Oils.

Thickeners alone can’t make a cream-free liquid taste luxuriously creamy, which is where partially hydrogenated oils, or synthetic trans fats, come in. These highly processed fats are downright dangerous, raising levels of bad cholesterol, and put you at higher risk for heart disease. All this can boost your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. You should not consume more than 2 grams of trans fat in a day, and some brands of non-dairy creamer can contain 1 gram per tablespoon. Non-dairy creamer can go bad. One of the perks of non-dairy creamers is that they keep longer than milk or cream.

Linked to higher triglyceride levels, and that can lead to heart disease. Shutterstock.

37. Skip Deserts

In general, desserts should be enjoyed in moderation, but baked goods, like pies, can be especially troublesome due to their trans fats. One report found that there was a positive correlation between heart disease and trans fatty acids. Many baked goods are flavored with sugar, which can place stress on the heart if eaten in excess. Sugar in food can also contain glucose 6-phosphate, which can lower heart functions to the point of heart failure.

Cookies, cakes, and muffins should be rare treats. They’re typically loaded with added sugar, which leads to weight gain. They’re also linked to higher triglyceride levels, and that can lead to heart disease. Their main ingredient is usually white flour, which may spike your blood sugar and make you hungrier. Make healthier treats: Swap in whole-wheat flour, trim the sugar, and use liquid plant oils instead of butter or shortening.

Ice cream often contains high levels of cholesterol. Shutterstock.

38. Ice Cream

Ice cream is high in sugar, calories, and saturated fat, so save it for a special treat. Eating foods loaded with fat and sugar leads to weight gain. It can also drive up your triglycerides and lead to a heart attack. Cut your calories and fat by choosing sorbet, low-fat or nonfat frozen yogurt, or frozen fruit bars.

Check the label for the least amount of sugar and saturated fat. Ice cream often contains high levels of cholesterol. Half a cup of vanilla ice cream contains over 4 grams of saturated fats. This is more than a quarter of what adults should have in a day, and richer flavors can have even more.

Fried foods are extremely processed and oily. Pxhere.

39. Fried foods

In general, fried foods are bad for your health because the frying process creates trans fats. A 4 ounce serving of fried chicken can have as much cholesterol as 11 strips of bacon. By contrast, a grilled chicken breast can be a good source of protein in a weight-loss diet. Over time, high amounts of salt, sugar, saturated fat, and refined carbs raise your risk for a heart attack or stroke.

If you’re worried about your heart, you’ll want to keep these out of regular rotation. But rather than fixate on any one bad food, it’s wise to focus on your overall diet. You can still have these things if you mostly eat heart-healthy fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy. Things like Deep-frying chicken adds calories, fat, and sodium to otherwise healthy food. Studies have linked fried food with type 2 diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure — all of which raise your odds of heart failure. For a crispy but healthier choice, bread skinless chicken breasts in whole-wheat flour and bake instead of frying.

Sodas and fruit drinks can increase the risk of heart disease. Pixabay

40. Soda

One study claimed that regularly drinking soda that was sweetened with sugar can increase the risk of heart disease. Even diet soda isn’t that much better. Other research claims that people who regularly consume artificially sweetened soda were at a greater risk for stroke and heart disease. An astounding 184,000 adult deaths worldwide each year are linked to the consumption of sugary drinks, according to research published conducted at Tufts University and published in the journal Circulation.

This includes 133,000 deaths from diabetes and 45,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease. Harvard researchers, who have been studying more than 40,000 physicians and 88,000 nurses for more than two decades, found that women who consumed more than two servings of a sugary beverage a day were 40 percent more likely to develop heart disease than women who drank fewer. Men who drank the most sodas were 20 percent more likely to have a heart attack than those who drank the least.

Where did we find this stuff? Here are our sources:

https://medical-news.org/30-best-foods-that-help-unclog-
https://www.thehealthy.com/heart-disease/best-foods-to-eat-clogged-arteries/
https://www.readersdigest.ca/health/conditions/best-foods-eat-avoid-clogged-arteries/
https://www.onegreenplanet.org/natural-health/foods-that-could-help-unclog-your-arteries/
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/heart-healthy-foods
https://brightside.me/inspiration-health/
https://www.heart.org/en/news/2018/10/04/researchers-suggest-way-to-possibly-eliminate-artery-clogging-condition
https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/files/docs/public/heart/chol_tlc.pdf

 

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