Clogged arteries are is the underlying cause of 50% of all deaths in westernized society, according to a new study published by the National Institutes of Health.
Formally known as atherosclerosis, it is caused by chronic inflammation and experts says you can help prevent — and sometimes even reverse — the plaque buildup in our blood vessels by making lifestyle changes, including improving your diet.
According to Prime, clogged arteries can also be caused by smoking, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and cholesterol, so tackling these medical conditions can also help keep your arteries healthy.
Here are 6 foods that may help prevent clogged arteries.
- Beans. They truly are magical, because the more you eat them, the healthier your arteries will become. Beans are chock full of fiber to help cleanse blood vessels. Eating beans, especially white beans, also keeps both your blood cholesterol level and blood pressure in check, says Dr. Mehmet Oz, host of the popular TV show, “The Dr. Oz Show.”
- Whole grains. The soluble fiber in whole grains helps remove the LDL, or “bad” cholesterol that forms plaque on our artery walls and therefore reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke. “The evidence is quite consistent and convincing that people who eat at least one serving of whole grains a day have a lower risk of heart disease and stroke,” reports Mark Pereira, PhD, a nutritional epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota, School of Public Health.
- Aged garlic extract. A three-month study in Poland suggests that garlic extract supplementation reduced cardiovascular risk better than a placebo in lowering inflammation, one of the key markers in heart disease and clogged arteries. They found that the study participants who took the garlic extract also had decreased stiffness in the arteries which reduced the risk of heart attack and stroke even further.
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Dr. Matthew Budoff M.D. a noted cardiologist from Harbor-UCLA Medical Center tells Newsmax that taking aged garlic extract can also provide extra benefit in reversing plaque buildup.
“Our studies have demonstrated that taking an aged garlic extract supplement daily is a safe and effective way of reducing the accumulation of soft plaque and preventing the formation of new plaque in the arteries. AGE is both beneficial for slowing atherosclerosis and reversing early stages of heart disease,” says Budoff. “These findings provide cardiologists and internists an additional tool for patients at high risk for heart disease.”
- Berries. Berries are loaded with health benefits, including reducing inflammation in your arteries. The fiber in berries also helps clean the plaque from blood vessels and helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure, according to Prime.
- Olive oil. Olive oil is rich in mono- and poly-unsaturated fats that are heart healthy. Dr. Oz says that researchers at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that people who consumed at least half a tablespoon of olive oil daily lowered their risk of cardiovascular disease by 15% and coronary artery disease (CAD) by 21%. He adds that it’s best to consume extra-virgin oil which has been shown to not only reduce your risk of high blood pressure and clots, but also to reduce your risk of breast cancer. A research article published in BMC Medicine showed that people who consumed the most extra virgin olive oil, like the Italians, had a whopping 48% lower risk of cardiovascular mortality.
- Flax seeds. These tiny but mighty seeds are also rich in fiber and healthy fats and contain the important heart boosting minerals, calcium, and magnesium. According to Prime, a government study conducted on rabbits found that consuming flax seeds reduced plaque buildup in the arteries by an incredible 40%. Sprinkle flax seeds on yogurt, cereals, or whirl them into a smoothie.
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