Everyone knows that a strong heart is an essential component of your general health. But in addition to your heart, you need to ensure that the entire circulatory system is in great shape, including the arteries. Due to unhealthy lifestyle choices, the arteries can clog up over time, causing inflammation and plaque buildup on the blood vessels. This can result in high blood pressure as well as serious heart conditions.
Many people with cardiovascular problems take medications to control them, but they can have undesirable side effects. By changing your lifestyle, you may be able to get off of the medications. But always talk to your doctor first. This list of foods can help unclog your arteries because they’re packed with antioxidants, fiber, and other nutrients that promote cardiovascular health. Try introducing these foods into your diet to achieve a healthier circulatory system.
1. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are called a superfood because they can help regulate your blood pressure and have shown to help lower bad cholesterol. These seeds are packed with fiber as well as alpha-linolenic acid, which is a fatty acid that promotes heart health.
In addition, they’ll also give you a little extra energy for your workouts. In ancient times, Aztec warriors would use them during a battle for stamina and strength, and today, athletes use these small, energy-packed seeds for similar benefits.
Spinach is arguably the best leafy vegetable you can find because it’s inexpensive, easy to cook, and can be found nearly anywhere. This leafy green contains fiber, folate, and potassium, which all help control blood pressure and promote clog-free arteries.
This doesn’t mean you need to chomp down a boring bowl of raw spinach. You can add spinach into cooked dishes, like curry, or you can mix it in with your favorite salad greens for extra flavor.
Avocado has a ton of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, which is why experts deem it a superfood. It has also been proven to reduce bad cholesterol while increasing good cholesterol.
Avocado isn’t everyone’s favorite, but it’s easy to introduce into your diet. You can add it to salads or sandwiches for more color and flavor.
4. Oily Fish
Experts recommend eating oily fish at least twice a week to get the most out of this superfood. It contains healthy omega-3 fats and can be found in mackerel, tuna, and salmon. Oily fish has been shown to impact cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of heart disease, and help reverse artery damage.
5. Coconut Oil
Even though just about everything you read says to stay away from saturated fats, they are a part of a healthy lifestyle. One of the best saturated fat sources is coconut oil because it promotes artery health.
It goes without saying that too much fat can cause problems, but 15 to 30 milliliters of coconut oil a day can have a positive impact on your cholesterol, which allows your body to process it more efficiently.
6. Green Tea
Catechins are a plant-based chemical that has shown to reduce the amount of cholesterol that’s absorbed during digestion. Green tea is one of the best sources of catechins, and as little as one to two cups per day can provide this benefit. Plus, when you sit down with a nice cup of tea, it relaxes you, which also helps your heart.
Broccoli contains vitamin K, which helps stop the arteries from hardening. It’s also a great source of fiber, which helps regulate blood pressure and reduce stress on the arteries.
However, to prevent losing the nutrients broccoli provides, it must not be overcooked. The best way to prepare broccoli is to steam it for a few minutes.
Surprisingly, this commonly found spice offers a plethora of health benefits. Just five grams a day can help reduce bad cholesterol and unclog hardened arteries. In addition, it contains antioxidants that promote blood health. This doesn’t mean you need to choke down a teaspoon of cinnamon every morning. Simply adding a little extra cinnamon to your apple pie recipe or a dash on top of your favorite coffee drink can be a delicious way to include it in your diet.
Asparagus is a delicious vegetable that also has wonderful health benefits, including lowering your blood pressure and reducing the risk of developing life-threatening blood clots. While it has a lot of beneficial fiber, vitamins, and other nutrients, it can get pretty expensive, which is why it’s a great healthy treat. Just be sure to go easy on the butter; otherwise, you’ll do more harm than good.
10. Flax Seeds
Similar to chia seeds, flax seeds also contain alpha-linolenic acid, which, as you already know, can lower blood pressure and reduce artery inflammation. Even a small amount can help keep your arteries clear and blood flowing smoothly, so add a tablespoon to your favorite breakfast cereal or smoothie.
Turmeric is a spice that’s often added to curries and rice for its color and flavor. However, it can be added to other recipes and is a great spice to cook with because it helps promote heart health. Including turmeric in your diet could reduce inflammation as well as plaque buildup. In addition, the curcumin in turmeric can also help eliminate fatty deposits in the arteries.
Even though it sometimes has a negative connotation, coffee can actually help you achieve a healthy heart. According to research, drinking one cup of coffee every day can reduce your chance of developing heart disease. In addition, drinking coffee can help you feel relaxed, which is also great for your heart. But you must keep in mind that coffee is a stimulant, so if you drink too much, it won’t do your heart any good.
Almonds are delicious, heart-healthy food. Just grab a handful of almonds before you head out the door or pack a handful in your lunch. It offers a crunchy texture and is much better for you than a bag of chips.
Almonds have a lot of healthy fats, vitamins, protein, and fiber, which helps promote blood, heart, and artery health. If you don’t like almonds, you can eat walnuts as an alternative.
Watermelon isn’t just a delicious and refreshing summertime treat; it also contains L-citrulline, which is an amino acid that can lower blood pressure and reduce artery inflammation. Watermelon also helps your body produce nitric oxide, which promotes artery health.
While persimmons are difficult to find in most grocery stores, they offer health benefits that make the search worth it. These fruits have antioxidants that combat free radicals as well as polyphenols that lower bad cholesterol.
You can eat them nearly any way you want. They can be eaten raw like an apple, or they can be cooked in a variety of recipes. They can also be dried and eaten as a between-meal snack.
16. Olive Oil
Olive oil, which is a staple in the Mediterranean diet, can help reduce the risk of developing heart disease because the fatty acids in the oil are great for the circulatory system.
However, olive oil isn’t cheap, and if it is, it’s probably not 100% pure olive oil, which doesn’t offer the same benefits. Therefore, always purchase the most expensive olive oil that fits within your budget.
Cranberries offer a variety of health benefits. They contain many different antioxidants, which promote heart and circulatory health and regulates cholesterol levels. Even one glass of cranberry juice every morning can offer these benefits, but if you don’t like the tartness of cranberries, you can substitute it with red or black grape juice.
Spirulina is arguably the strangest food on this list. It’s actually algae, and most people take it in the form of a supplement. However, some health food stores carry it in a powdered form, which can be added to smoothies, cereal, or other dishes.
Spirulina contains naturally occurring chemicals that help control lipid levels in the blood and complete amino acid chains, both of which contribute to your general health and cell repair. In addition, spirulina also contains fatty acids that reduce artery damage.
19. Orange Juice
Orange juice contains high levels of vitamin C as well as other nutrients, which can greatly benefit your health. Orange juice can lower blood pressure as well as reduce artery damage. However, be sure to avoid the sugar-packed juices at the store. It’s always best to make your own to ensure you’re getting everything you need and nothing you don’t.
Pomegranates contain a ton of antioxidants, which is great for the blood, artery, and heart health. They can prevent artery damage that occurs during the oxidation process and can reduce the risk of blood clots.
Although they aren’t the easiest fruit to peel and eat, you can toss a few teaspoons of seeds onto your salad or rice dish for an extra burst of flavor. Alternatively, you could drink pomegranate juice, which offers the same benefits.