Your body contains a wide net of vessels, which supply blood to all organs and satiate them with oxygen.If cells don’t attain sufficient amount of oxygenated blood, they lose ability to work properly and begin to die off bit by bit.
In the majority of cases blood flow may be blocked by fatty accumulations, which can stick to arteries’ lining and narrow their lumen. This process is medically called atherosclerosis.The problem occurs frequently in coronary arteries, which deliver oxygen to the cardiac muscle. That’s why you may experience high blood pressure, heart attack and angina.
Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death among Americans. Doctors say that poor diet together with smoking, lack of physical activity and excessive alcohol consumption, were recognized as the main culprits of atherosclerosis and heart disorders.
The good news is that we’re able to keep our vessels clean and prevent heart attack, adding these foods to the menu:
- Salmon – oily fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel are full of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which can help to prevent atherosclerosis development. The American Heart Association recommends taking at least two servings of heart-healthy fish a week.
- Oats – old-fashioned oatmeal is a great source of beta-glucan (type of fiber), which doesn’t allow «bad» LDL cholesterol to absorb into your bloodstream, keeping your vessels plaque-free in this way.
- Berries – these natural sweets are filled with fiber and antioxidants called flavonoids. These chemicals protect cells from oxidative damage and lower risks of heart attack and stroke.
- Tofu – soy products cannot only satiate your body with lean protein but also bring a lot of fiber and minerals. It was found that eating tofu can reduce your hazards of atherosclerosis occurrence.
- Tomatoes – it’s really a good choice for your heart. Tomatoes contain a high amount of antioxidant lycopene, which can help to get rid of LDL cholesterol and reduce risks of heart disease.
- Nuts – almonds, walnuts, peanuts etc. are rich in healthy fats, fiber, vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids. Remember that nuts refer to high-calorie foods, therefore it’s worth limiting yourself on a handful per day.
- Dark chocolate – flavonols in cacao beans have the ability to protect your arteries’ walls from fatty buildup and to control your blood pressure. Pay attention that these benefits are available only in dark chocolate, which contains not less than 70% of cacao.
- Olive oil – it is an essential part of heart-healthy Mediterranean diet. The reason is that extra-virgin olive oil is a perfect source of monounsaturated fats, which were recognized to decrease cholesterol levels.
- Red wine – yes, you read wright, drinking alcohol can bring benefits to your health. Red wine contains polyphenol called resveratrol, which helps keep your arteries open. Specialists recommend taking no more than one glass of wine a day for women and two – for men.
- Low-fat dairy products – choose low-fat milk and yogurt to attain sufficient amount of potassium, without taking unhealthy saturated fats.
- Legumes – lentils, kidney beans and peas can significantly lower your risks of atherosclerosis and heart disease, owing to high content of soluble fiber and vitamins B.
- Flaxseeds – omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and phytoestrogens. What’s more is needed to improve your heart health?
- Avocado – this creamy-textured fruit consists of «good» monounsaturated fats, which can prevent atherosclerosis development and reduce chronic inflammatory process in your body.
- Spinach – leafy green is packed with fiber and carotenoids. That’s why spinach might be a good addition to your salad or whole-grain sandwich.
- Oranges – like other citrus fruits, oranges contain high amount of vitamin C and flavonoids, associated with lower risks of cardiovascular disease.
- Potatoes – that’s right, deep fried potatoes and chips can only boost your risks of heart disease, obesity etc.However, potatoes by itself is full of potassium and fiber, which can potentially reduce hazards of cardiovascular disorder.
- Broccoli – vegetables are the good option for your health in any case. It was found that eating broccoli can be beneficial for your heart, as it represents a great source of vitamins C and E, fiber, potassium and calcium.
- Asparagus – being rich in beta-carotene, fiber and folate, this low-calorie product can be really useful for your heart and vessels.
- Pomegranate – pomegranate juice can help to avoid avoid atherosclerosis progression and heart disease occurrence, owing to high amount of polyphenols and anthocyanins .
- Papaya – it’s maybe the most tasty way to satiate your body with heart-friendly potassium, magnesium and beta-carotene.