Despite its complexity, our heart is basically a pump. If it gets clogged, it doesn’t work as efficiently, eventually causing it to break down. Whilst parts of your water boiler can be easily replaced, the same can’t be said for your heart, which needs constant maintenance to stay healthy. Fortunately, our body is well-adapted to do that itself. We just need to give it a fighting chance. Although heart disease has many causes, the most common is arterial hardening, which is caused by fatty deposits in our blood vessels. If untreated, it can lead to hypertension, loss of circulation and even cardiac arrest, as sections of the heart become starved of blood. Here’s six foods that can clean out your arteries, and keep deadly heart disease at bay.
1. Omega-3 fatty acids
Found in many oily fish, nuts and seeds, omega-3 fatty acids are essential for your cognitive health, as well as promoting a strong heart. Besides increasing the amount of HDL (A.K.A good) cholesterol, which helps reduce the “bad” kind, omega-3’s prevent blood clotting and inflammation, which can both contribute to clogged arteries. Good dietary sources are fish, walnuts, chia seeds and cod liver oil capsules.
Also known as vitamin B3, niacin is commonly found in chicken, organ meats and leafy greens, which is instrumental in cardiovascular health. It increases your levels of HDL cholesterol and it removes the dangerous low-density versions, by transporting it to the liver for removal.
Known for being fiddly to eat, this seedy fruit is rich in antioxidants called phytochemicals, which protect your arterial walls from damage. It also increases the production of nitric oxide, which despite sounding scary, actually helps dilate vessels and improves blood flow, reducing the risk of clots and fatty build-up.
6. Vitamin C
Citrus fruits such as oranges and many vegetables are excellent sources of vitamin C, which are necessary for healthy connective tissues. Besides keeping your arteries maintained, vitamin C boosts your immunity, reducing inflammation and the risk of plaque. In fact, eating just one orange daily can reduce blood pressure significantly.
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