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Our cardiovascular system works hard every single second to ensure that blood and consequently oxygen and other nutrients reach every single cell of our body. It works relentlessly throughout our life, pumping blood from the heart, distributing it to different parts of the body through arteries and retrieving it through veins and back to the heart. The entire cycle is repeated every time your heart beats, but the heart by itself can’t do much if it isn’t supported by the arteries, veins and blood vessels. So while we need to give great importance to the health of our heart, the carriers of blood also need to be paid attention to.
Atherosclerosis is an extremely common disease. In lay man’s terms, it is usually described as the blocking of the arteries by the deposition of plaque or by thickening of the walls of the arteries. As a result of this blockage, blood flow is greatly impaired and can lead to fatal consequences such as a cardiac arrest or a stroke. Atherosclerosis is linked to an unhealthy lifestyle and bad eating habits. If you wish to keep this disease at bay, you may want to start consuming some heart-friendly foods before it is too late.
Kidney beans are a great addition to your diet if you’re looking to lower the risk of blocked arteries. They are an impeccable source of soluble fiber. This special kind of fiber is quite useful for the body as it binds itself to the cholesterol in the blood and facilitates its removal from the body, thus lowering the risk of blocked arteries. You can learn more about the effect on kidney beans on your heart here.
Just like kidney beans, whole grains are also a rich source of heart-friendly soluble fiber. It is important to pay attention to whole grains because they are capable of replacing the highly processed grains that we regularly consume. Relative to processed grains, whole grains retain their nutritious integrity and are much more natural. By doing so, you can achieve the required daily dose of fiber, which is 25-30 grams for optimum heart health. Learn more about the benefits of whole grains here.
Fish oil is incredibly helpful in keeping your arteries free from harmful blockages due to the great amount of omega-3 fats that are present in it. These omega-3 fats help to reduce the inflammation in arteries, bring down the blood pressure and increase the amount of good cholesterol (HDL). They also make the blood thinner so that it doesn’t clot unnecessarily and cause serious complications.
Fish oil can be one of the most potent anti-atherosclerosis foods you can add to your diet; learn more about it here.
For a long period of time, doctors and researchers wondered why the people who consume the Mediterranean diet are less likely to develop heart-related problems like atherosclerosis. It turns out that the secret of the great heart health of the Mediterranean population is their staple cooking oil – olive oil.
Unlike other cooking oils, olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats. These healthy fats help to reduce the blood pressure and greatly reduce the risk of coronary artery disease. You can find out more about olive oil and its uses by clicking here.
One of the most surprising additions to this list of artery-friendly foods, pomegranate has been grown all over the world for centuries. But its amazing effect on the heart has only recently been discovered.
Its powerful anti-oxidant behaviour protects the heart and blood vessels from oxidative stress and from the damage caused by free radicals. Moreover, it slows down the build-up of plaques in the arteries, thereby helping to keep atherosclerosis at bay. In fact, if consumed for a sustained period, pomegranate can even reverse the plaque build-up entirely and leave your arteries completely healthy and devoid of any harmful blockages. You can find out more about pomegranates by clicking here.
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