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17 Common Foods That Help Unclog Your Arteries and Prevent Heart Attacks
Although no one likes to think about it, heart disease is the number one killer in America. It’s called the silent killer because most people have no idea that they have heart disease until it’s too late. Heart disease occurs because of a buildup of plaque in the arteries that lead to your heart. When this occurs it’s called atherosclerosis. When we are born, our arteries are smooth and flexible. As we age, they can become more narrow and hard. This means that the heart does not get the blood flow that it needs. It becomes damaged due to a lack of nutrients and oxygen.
How do our arteries become blocked? Through the increasing deposits of cholesterol-laden plaque. As the plaque builds up over the years, it inflames the blood vessels.
Although many people have no idea they have a problem until they have a heart attack, there are some warning signs you should pay attention to, including:
- Shortness of breath, especially when doing something simple, such as walking
- An increased heartrate
- Irregular heartbeats, or a flip flop feeling in the chest
- Dizziness, weakness
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor right away to rule out heart disease.
There are ways to help avoid this problem, however. Getting older does not mean you are forced to accept heart disease, blood clots, or a heart attack.
The foods on the following list contain plenty of the antioxidants, soluble fiber, and healthy fats that are good for your heart, as well as promoting other heathy functions in the body including proper hormone production, nutrient absorption, and an improved immune system function.
Keep reading for 17 of the best foods that can help your heart as well as unclog your arteries.
1. Chia Seeds
These very tiny seeds contain important fiber and alpha linolenic acid that can keep the arteries clear by reducing bad (LDL) cholesterol, lowering triglycerides, regulating blood pressure, and increasing good (HDL) cholesterol in the bloodstream. This tiny yet powerful superfood can help improve heart health and keep the arteries clear of heart clogging plaque.
2. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has gotten a lot of bad rap in the past, with many claiming that its fat causes cardiovascular disease, but these old fashioned myths are changing. In fact, regular consumption of about 3 tablespoons of coconut oil each day can actually reduce the level of plaque in the arteries by converting the cholesterol into a type of compound that the body can actually use. Also, the lauric acid and high concentration of medium chain triglycerides improves the coagulation of blood and increases the antioxidant function, which all leads to a lower risk of developing heart disease.
Raw, unsalted nuts are one of the best snack alternatives to processed foods such as potato chips or French fries. Raw nuts not only clear the arteries with their high levels of monounsaturated fats and vitamin E, they also offer the body numerous other health options. Almonds are the best of the bunch, since they are the lowest in calories, with walnuts placing a close second. Nuts are a great source of alpha linolenic acid, the same thing that gives flaxseed their reputation. Eating one to one and a half ounces of walnuts or almonds each day can lower inflammation, reduce blood pressure levels, and keep your arteries clear of plaque.
This fruit is high in antioxidant phytochemicals that protect the circulatory system from the oxidation that damage the arteries and causes plaque build- up. Pomegranates stimulate the production of nitric oxide in the blood, which will regulate blood pressure by opening the arteries. Eat some fresh pomegranates or enjoy fresh organic juice a few times week to help remove plaque and keep the blood going to your heart!
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