We all know our heart is important – without a strong healthy heart, we’re dead. But did you know there are foods you can eat that will help clean your arteries, improving your cardiovascular health?
Let us share with you our ten favorite foods that will clean your arteries:
1. Cayenne pepper
Something spicy can also help unclog your arteries. The compound capsaicin found in cayenne pepper can help reduce LDL cholesterol in the blood. Cayenne pepper can also lower your risk of stroke and heart attack, and improve blood circulation. Also, highly-active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) with HIV protease inhibitor ritonavir is associated with accelerating atherosclerosis and pulmonary artery hypertension. A study published in 2009 found that capsaicin could help prevent pulmonary and vascular complications associated with HAART drugs.
Cinnamon can help reduce many risk factors associated with atherosclerosis and heart disease. A 2003 study published in the journal Diabetes Care in 2003 found that either one gram, three grams, or six grams of cinnamon daily can lower glucose, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol in type 2 diabetics. The study observed 60 diabetics for a 40-day period. Researchers concluded that cinnamon can help reduce the risk factors of cardiovascular disease.
3. Fermented Cabbage
Kimchi is a popular probiotic Korean recipe that includes fermented cabbage and hot peppers that has been found to slow the atherosclerotic process. A 2007 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that an active compound in kimchi called 3-94-hydroxy-3,5-dimethoxyphenyl can help prevent the development of aortic atherosclerosis in high-cholesterol-fed rabbits. Fermented cabbage has also found to degrade toxic chemicals, including bisphenol A and the insecticide chlorpyrifos.
Flaxseed is another important food for heart health. Ground flaxseed can help unclog arteries with high fiber. It is also a good source of alpha-linolenic acide, an omega-3 acid that can lower inflammation and blood pressure. In turn, arteries will not become clogged. In a 1997 study published in the journal Atherosclerosis, researchers found that flaxseed lowered the development of aortic atherosclerosis by 46% in rabbits.
Researchers concluded that modest flaxseed supplementation is an effective treatment for reducing hypercholesterolemic atherosclerosis. Also, it is a good idea to grind your flaxseed. They contain greater amounts of omega-3. On the other hand, the polyunsaturated fats in pre-ground flaxseeds will break down over longer exposure to oxygen, and it can become rancid.
Garlic is also considered one of the better foods that unclog your arteries. Studies have found that garlic can help prevent heart disease, lower blood pressure, and slow down atherosclerosis. In a study published in the journal Atherosclerosis in 1999, researchers found that garlic could prevent plaque buildup in the arteries.
A review published in the journal Nutrition in 1997 found that clinical trials on garlic had positive effects in the prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis. Another study from 1999 also found that garlic can reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack by more than 50%. Garlic is thought to help against strokes and heart attacks since garlic acts as a blood thinner.
Want to know how to clean your arteries naturally? Use ginger! Ginger has incredible anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects. Ginger contains heart-protective compounds likeshogaols and gingerols, which can effectively prevent plaque buildup and unclog arteries by reducing total cholesterol. According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2000, researchers found that ginger extract could reduce aortic atherosclerotic lesion areas, cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, LDL-linked fat peroxides, and LDL aggregation.
Adding lemon juice in your morning water is a healthy habit and good for your heart. Lemon is known to reduce blood cholesterol levels, and it helps the arteries by preventing oxidative damage. Lemons are also a great source of the potent antioxidant vitamin C. High doses of vitamin C have been found to strengthen arteries, reduce total cholesterol, increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL), inhibit platelet aggregation, and reduce inflammation.
8. Pomegranate Juice
The high antioxidant content and punicic acid in pomegranate juice are thought to help decrease plaque formation, unclog arteries, and fight atherosclerosis. Pomegranate juice also contains important nutrients for heart health, such as magnesium and selenium. In a randomized, double-blind, parallel study published in the American Journal of Cardiology in 2009, researchers found that drinking 240 milliliters (ml) of pomegranate juice daily for up to 18 months slowed the progression of carotid artery disease for patients at risk of coronary health disease.
9. Sesame Seed
Sesame seeds can help unclog a blocked artery. Evidence shows that they can help prevent the progression of atherosclerosis. A three-month animal study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food in 2006 suggests that the fatty acid content in sesame oil could effectively inhibit atherosclerosis lesion formation, blood cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol levels in mice.
Turmeric is a popular spice used in Indian and Ayurvedic cooking. The primary polyphenol in turmeric called curcumin has long been known for its cardioprotective effects. Turmeric extract is thought to reduce LDL cholesterol and the buildup of plaque in the arteries.
In a 2011 study published in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, researchers found that turmeric could reduce cholesterol and suppress early atherosclerotic lesions better than the cholesterol-lowering drug lovastatin. Also, a 2006 study on mice suggested that curcumin can help prevent artery damage associated with carotid artery blockage.