To prevent clogged arteries 15 foods to add to your diet in 2022

To prevent clogged arteries 15 foods to add to your diet in 2022

Atherosclerosis occurs when fatty deposits build up along the walls of your arteries. You may have heard of a condition referred to as clogged arteries or atherosclerosis.

This narrows the arteries and restricts blood flow to the heart and other parts of the body.

This article lists 15 foods that may help prevent clogged arteries.

How does clogged arteries happen?

Atherosclerosis is a major underlying cause of heart disease, including coronary artery disease, the most common type of heart disease in the United States.

Atherosclerosis is the underlying cause of about 50% of deaths in Western countries.

It is a chronic inflammatory disease with many risk factors.

Your risk of developing atherosclerosis increases if you have one of the following conditions:

you have a high level of LDL (bad) cholesterol


smoke cigarettes

you have diabetes

You have a family history of atherosclerosis

suffer from obesity

You are eating a bad diet

Engaging in a lifestyle that does not have movement, activity or sports

On the other hand, a diet rich in certain foods such as vegetables, fruits and fish has been shown to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease.

Here are 15 foods that may help prevent clogged arteries

1- berries

Berries include blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, raspberries, and blackberries.

This fruit is associated with a huge amount of health benefits, including its ability to reduce inflammation and improve heart health.

Berries are full of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds. They include flavonoid antioxidants, which are known to help promote heart health.

Research has also shown that eating berries significantly reduces risk factors for atherosclerosis, including high levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

Berries may help prevent clogged arteries by decreasing inflammation and reducing cholesterol buildup, improving arterial function, and protecting against cellular damage.

2- Beans

Beans are full of fiber and are known for their heart-healthy benefits. Eating high-fiber foods such as beans is essential to prevent atherosclerosis.

Eating beans is an excellent way to control cholesterol levels, thus reducing the risk of developing clogged arteries. Several studies have shown that eating beans can significantly reduce levels of bad cholesterol.

One review of 26 high-quality studies found that diets that included about one serving (130 grams) of beans per day were associated with lower levels of LDL bad cholesterol than other diets.

Research has also shown that diets rich in beans may reduce blood pressure, improve arterial function, and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. All of these effects may reduce the risk of atherosclerosis.

3- fish

Fish is rich in essential nutrients, including omega-3 fats. Eating fish rich in omega-3s may help reduce the risk of atherosclerosis.

Studies show that omega-3s help reduce the expression of cell adhesion molecules, which are proteins that allow cells to adhere to each other and their surroundings.

Your body releases cell adhesion molecules in response to inflammation, a driving force behind clogged arteries.

Furthermore, eating fish has been associated with a reduced risk of atherosclerosis.

A study in 961 people compared participants who ate less than one serving of fish per week with those who ate two or more servings of fish per week.

The study found that 13.3% of people who ate less fish developed atherosclerosis in the carotid arteries, which carry blood to the brain, compared to just 6.6% of those who ate fish.

4- Tomatoes and their products

Tomato and tomato products contain plant compounds that may be particularly useful in reducing the development of atherosclerosis.

For example, tomatoes contain the carotenoid lycopene, which may have impressive health benefits.

Studies show that eating lycopene-rich tomato products may help reduce inflammation, increase HDL good cholesterol, and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Interestingly, the combination of cooked tomatoes and olive oil may provide the greatest protection against clogged arteries.

One study in 40 people found that eating tomato sauce with olive oil had the greatest effect in reducing adhesion molecules and inflammatory proteins, compared to raw tomatoes and regular tomato sauce.

However, all tomato preparations boosted HDL good cholesterol and lowered total cholesterol.

5- Onions

Onions are part of the Allium genus and are associated with a number of health benefits. Research has shown that a diet rich in this popular vegetable may protect your arteries.

A 15-year study that followed 1,226 women age 70 and older found that a higher intake of Allium vegetables such as onions was associated with a lower risk of death related to disease from atherosclerosis.

Onions contain sulfur compounds that scientists believe may help prevent vasculitis, prevent clumping of platelets in the blood, and increase the availability of nitric oxide.

All of these effects may help protect against atherosclerosis and improve the health of your arteries.

6- Citrus

Citrus fruits are delicious and provide a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, including flavonoids.

Citrus flavonoids can reduce inflammation and help prevent free radicals in the body from oxidizing LDL (bad) cholesterol. Oxidized LDL is associated with the development of atherosclerosis.

This may be why citrus consumption has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease and stroke  two conditions linked to atherosclerosis.

7- Spices

Spices, including ginger, pepper, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon, may help protect against clogged arteries.

This and other spices have anti-inflammatory properties and may help scavenge free radicals, improve blood lipid levels, and reduce platelet clumping in the blood.

You can easily increase your spice consumption by adding these versatile flavors to oatmeal, soups, stews, and just about any other dish you can think of.

8- Flax seeds

Flaxseeds are rich in fiber, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, including calcium and magnesium. In addition to being highly nutritious, flaxseed may help prevent atherosclerosis.

One study found that rabbits that ate flaxseeds following a high-cholesterol diet experienced a 40% reduction in plaque formation compared to animals that did not eat flaxseeds.

Flaxseeds contain secoisolarisinol diglucoside (SDG), an anti-inflammatory and cholesterol-lowering compound whose properties are anti-atherosclerotic.

9- Cruciferous vegetables

Adding cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower to your diet may help reduce your chances of developing clogged arteries.

Studies show that eating cruciferous vegetables is associated with a reduced risk of atherosclerosis.

A study of 1,500 women found that eating cruciferous vegetables was associated with a decrease in the thickness of the inner layer of the carotid artery.

Health care providers use this measurement to assess a person's risk of developing diseases associated with atherosclerosis.

Research has also linked eating cruciferous vegetables to reduced arterial calcification and the risk of death from disease related to atherosclerosis.

Arterial calcification leads to atherosclerosis.

10- Beets

Beets are a rich source of nitrate, which your body converts into nitric oxide, a signaling molecule that plays many essential roles in your body.

Inflammation of the blood vessels leads to decreased production of nitric oxide.

Eating foods like beets that are rich in dietary nitrates may improve blood vessel function and reduce inflammation, which may help prevent atherosclerosis.

Research has also found an association between dietary nitrate intake and a reduced risk of death related to atherosclerosis.

11- Oats

Oats are an excellent choice for those who suffer from atherosclerosis or are trying to prevent clogged arteries.

Eating oats can help significantly reduce the risk factors for atherosclerosis, including high levels of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol.

Oats also contain an antioxidant called avenanthramides, which may help inhibit inflammatory proteins called cytokines, as well as adhesion molecules. This may help prevent atherosclerosis.

Eating oat bran, which is full of fiber, may also be beneficial.

A study of 716 people with coronary artery disease found that those who ate oat fiber regularly had lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and markers of inflammation compared to those who didn't eat oat fiber.

The study also found that eating oat fiber 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 obstructed blood flow.

12- Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds are excellent sources of protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. Furthermore, these small and versatile foods may help prevent clogged arteries.

Research has consistently shown that eating nuts and seeds can significantly improve risk factors for atherosclerosis.

For example, eating nuts and seeds can reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and blood pressure, and may help increase HDL (good) cholesterol.

Research has also shown that eating nuts and seeds reduces blood sugar levels and may help protect against diabetes, a known risk factor for atherosclerosis.

In addition, eating nuts and seeds may help improve blood vessel function and protect against heart disease.

13- Leafy vegetables

Leafy green vegetables, including lettuce, kale, watercress, Swiss chard, and spinach, provide an abundance of nutrients that may help protect against atherosclerosis.

Leafy greens are a good source of dietary nitrate, which can help improve blood vessel function and reduce inflammation.

It is also full of potassium. This mineral helps prevent vascular calcification, a process that contributes to atherosclerosis.

In addition, several studies have shown that eating leafy green vegetables is an excellent way to reduce the risk of heart disease.

A review of eight studies found that eating leafy green vegetables was linked to a 15.8% lower risk of heart disease.

14- Cocoa and dark chocolate

Cocoa products and dark chocolate are not only delicious but may also help prevent atherosclerosis.

A study of 2,217 participants found that eating chocolate was associated with reduced atherosclerotic deposits in the coronary arteries. These arteries carry oxygen-rich blood to the heart.

Studies have also found that eating chocolate is linked to a lower risk of stroke, heart disease, and diabetes.

Moreover, cocoa products and dark chocolate are rich in plant polyphenols.

These help increase nitric oxide production and reduce inflammation in the arteries, which may help improve physical function in people with atherosclerosis.

One study compared the effects of eating dark chocolate and milk in 20 people with peripheral arterial disease, a condition caused by atherosclerosis.

The study identified dark chocolate as having more than 85% cocoa.

Researchers found that consuming 40 grams of dark chocolate significantly improved walking time and blood nitric oxide levels compared to consuming milk chocolate.

15- olive oil

The Mediterranean diet is rich in fiber, vegetables, beans and olive oil. It has long been associated with improved heart health.

Olive oil may help reduce the risk of atherosclerosis.

A 4-month study in 82 people with early atherosclerosis found that taking 1 ounce (30 ml) of olive oil daily significantly improved blood vessel function in participants and reduced markers of inflammation.

A 2018 review also concluded that olive oil consumption is associated with reduced inflammatory markers associated with atherosclerosis and a lower risk of heart disease and its complications.

Scientists attribute olive oil's ability to increase cardiovascular health to its high content of polyphenol compounds.

Keep in mind that less refined extra virgin olive oil contains much more polyphenols than refined olive oils.

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