All Women's Talk

17 Brilliant Artery Cleansing Foods ...

By Neecey

Two of the common health questions are, can you eat your way to health and do artery cleansing foods help in that goal? With heart disease and vascular disease being a major killer – did you know that it is actually the main cause of death of women over the age of 25 in the US [1] – it is an aspect of health that cannot be ignored. Artery cleansing foods will not clear blocked arteries but they are essential in any well balanced, healthy diet.

1 Avocado

AvocadoThe term superfood seems to be applied to any food these days that is deemed to be even moderately good for you, but when it comes to artery cleansing foods, avocado is a real winner. Although considered to be high in calories, the important fats in avocados are essential to lipid balance in the body. They are scientifically proven to reduce LDL cholesterol, which is the plaque that collects to block arteries. Avocados are more versatile than you imagine so it should be easy to incorporate into your diet. Check out some great recipes here: food.allwomenstalk.com.

2 Oily (Fatty) Fish

Oily (Fatty) FishThis includes salmon, herring, mackerel and tuna. What makes these fish good food for your arteries is their high content of omega-3 fatty acids. These work in cleansing your arteries because they thin the blood, which increases blood flow. This decreases the risk of inflammation and the risk of building up arterial plaque (LDL cholesterol). Here’s some salmon recipes for you to try: cooking.allwomenstalk.com.

3 Pomegranate

PomegranateIt’s as pretty as a picture when you cut open a pomegranate to reveal those juicy red jewel-like seeds, but the pomegranate is also one of the most potent artery cleansing fruits. This is because they contain phytochemicals (antioxidants) that protect the lining of the arteries from damage. The chemicals stimulate the production of nitric oxide in the body, which aids blood flow by keeping the arteries open. Some of the recipes here might tempt you to eat more pomegranates: cooking.allwomenstalk.com.

4 Asparagus

AsparagusSome people are put off eating asparagus because it can make urine smell funny, but it is among the best artery cleansing vegetables. There are more than 100,000 miles of arteries and veins in your body and asparagus works within that network to release and relieve pressure, thereby promoting blood flow and reducing the risk of inflammation, blockages and clogging. Check out Diana’s recipes to include more asparagus in your diet: diet.allwomenstalk.com.

5 Turmeric

TurmericIt is the curcumin in turmeric that makes this spice one of the artery cleansing foods you might want to increase your intake of. It has shown itself to be very effective against hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis) because it plays its part in preventing the build up of fatty deposits. Expand your recipe repertoire by trying out some Indian and Middle Eastern foods which use turmeric liberally. And, don’t just think that turmeric will help keep those arteries healthy – there are other significant health benefits, as explained here by Lisa: health.allwomenstalk.com.

6 Broccoli

BroccoliBack to the artery cleansing vegetables now. With broccoli you have a vegetable that is available all year round and cheap enough to eat in a good quantity. Broccoli is very rich in Vitamin K and full of fiber which, as you know, a diet high in fiber will also help lower cholesterol levels and reduce blood pressure (because high-fiber foods limit sugar absorption and have low GI). Vitamin K is essential for the formation and growth of bones and also helps in maintaining the right level of calcium in the arteries. Eating Well has some great broccoli recipes and Jen explains some more very good reasons to eat more broccoli here: food.allwomenstalk.com, health.allwomenstalk.com

7 Olive Oil

Olive OilCardiovascular disease is generally lower in the Mediterranean countries that have a cuisine based on olive oil (although that’s not the only healthy factor in Mediterranean diets). Olive oil is packed with mono and polyunsaturated fats – i.e. the fats that are good for you. It also has a high Vitamin E content, a powerful antioxidant with links to cancer prevention. Olive oil can help with blood pressure and also factors in the fight against LDL cholesterol. Some experts recommend that everyone should have 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil every day, but do remember, this is an oil and therefore high in calories, so moderation is still called for.

These artery cleansing foods will not repair damage or unclog blocked arteries, but we know that nutrition is a key factor in cardiovascular health and these foods should definitely be included in a healthy, balanced diet. How do you maintain your cardiovascular health?

8 Oats

OatsOats and all other whole grains are wonderful for reducing cholesterol in the body. This is essential for cleansing your arteries. Think of whole grains as a broom, due to their soluble fiber content. This soluble fiber "sweeps" through the arteries, cleansing them completely. In the process of removing cholesterol, and sweeping wastes out of the body, blood pressure is reduced significantly. Add oats, brown rice, or quinoa to your list of whole grains to eat daily. These are some of the most healthy and nutrient rich whole grains you can consume. To try oatmeal in a whole new way, try it in a savory recipe, such as in these delicious savory oatmeal recipes: food.allwomenstalk.com.

9 Almonds

AlmondsAlmonds are an excellent source of Vitamin E, soluble fiber, and healthy monounsaturated fats that your heart needs for the best health possible. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant that helps reduce damage to the arteries and prevent oxidative stress. The fiber in almonds help to remove cholesterol from the body, and the monounsaturated fats help to prevent inflammation, lower triglycerides, and reduce visceral fat. Almonds also contain magnesium, which is one of the best minerals to consume to reduce your blood pressure. Eating just one ounce per day, or two tablespoons of almond butter can help you get in the recommended amounts. Try some of these tasty almond butter recipes if you need a good place to start: food.allwomenstalk.com.

10 Spirulina

SpirulinaDon't shy away from this amazing sea veggie just yet please! Spirulina, also known as blue green algae, is one of the healthiest sources of nutrients on the planet! Spirulina is a seaweed from the deepest parts of the water and it is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, chlorophyll, Vitamin B12, and is the richest source of protein of any plant food per serving. Just one teaspoon has 4 grams of protein! I adore spirulina, and no, I don't actually enjoy the taste, but in a smoothie with some stevia, you never taste it! Just one teaspoon of spirulina a day will also provide you with 150 % of your daily Vitamin B12 recommendations, along with plenty of Vitamin A and K to cleanse your arteries as well. Vitamin B12 is essential to energy production and prevents iron deficiency anemia. Spirulina is also a wonderful source of iron as well, which ensures your red blood cell count is in a healthy range. The Omega 3 fatty acids in spiruilna have been found to reduce oxidative damage, lower blood pressure dramatically, and the chlorophyll content in spirulina helps to alkalize the body and clean the arteries as an extra bonus. Preventing inflammation is key to reducing arterial damage and chlorophyll is the best way to reduce inflammation in the body since it is the most alkaline source of nutrients. Try some of my favorite superfood powders that contain spiruilna, which you find here: health.allwomenstalk.com.

11 Cinnamon

CinnamonI've been eating cinnamon for years now, and honestly can't imagine my life without it! I adore this nutrient rich spice and also love knowing it is good for my whole body. Cinnamon is wonderful source of antioxidants and is actually extremely high on the ORAC scale, which rates different foods according to their antioxidant content. Cinnamon has also proven to reduce insulin in the body, which lowers the blood sugar. It is such a tasty, sweet way to reduce your sugar cravings! Reducing blood sugar in the body is important for your arteries, and your waistline. In fact, just one teaspoon a day has been proven to reduce fat in the bloodstream by as much as 26%. Sprinkle some cinnamon on your yogurt, oatmeal, in your smoothie, in your coffee or tea, on eggs, protein pancakes, fruit, sweet potatoes or roasted squash. Any way you use it is great! For a complete list of the reasons cinnamon is so great for you, read Jordin's article here: health.allwomenstalk.com.

12 Acai

AcaiI adore acai berries! Acai berries are an excellent source of polyphenols, which are a type of antioxidants. Acai also contains a large amount of omega 3 fatty acids and fiber. Acai is wonderful for reducing arterial damage, lowering blood pressure, has been found to have benefits associated with gastrointestinal stress too. Most importantly, it contains about ten times the powers of blueberries in nutrients that directly benefit cholesterol, arterial flow, and that are good for your heart. Acai berries have been linked to a weight loss trend, but ignore that hype and just eat them because they are great for you! I like to purchase the freeze dried powder, or the frozen fruit purees. Since they are harvested in Brazil, it is best to buy them when they are flash frozen into a powder or fruit pulp to preserve the nutrients. Acai has a delicious taste that is reminiscent of chocolate and blueberries, and it made my list of the best new ingredients to put in your smoothies too, which you can read all about here: food.allwomenstalk.com.

13 Green Tea

Green TeaIs there anything green tea isn't good for? Probably not! Green tea happens to be a top food to prevent arterial damage because of it's antioxidant content. Green tea is also a fantastic source of the powerful and anti-inflammtory nutrient, chlorophyll. Green tea contains the type of antioxidants known as polyphenols, which cleanse the arteries and reduce oxidative stress. It is also rich in antioxidants known as catechins, that help to execute cholesterol immediately out of the blood stream to protect your heart. My favorite type of green tea is a less processed form known as matcha green tea, and you can read why I love it so much here: health.allwomenstalk.com.

14 Watermelon

WatermelonWatermelon is not only delicious, but it's great for your heart and your arteries! Watermelon contains the amino acid known as L-citrulline, which has been proven to reduce blood pressure in just 4 weeks. You would need to consume it everyday over a large period of time to see the best results, but hey, it's a free chance to eat a delicious fruit! Even though watermelon does contain a large amount of water, giving this fruit its' name, watermelon is much more than water. It also contains lycopene, which is an antioxidant proven to be great for your heart as well. Eat about 1 cup or more a day to get the benefits within a month. You can also find out some delicious ways to enjoy watermelon, besides just eating it raw, that Holly shares with us here: food.allwomenstalk.com.

15 Kale

KaleKale, spinach and collards were all rated to be some of the best leafy greens for your heart. Kale stands out because it contains more fiber, more Vitamin K and more Vitamin A than the rest, but don't leave any of them out of your diet. All leafy greens are so great for you.! Vitamin K is essential for proper blood flow and blood clotting that keeps your arteries healthy, and Vitamin C found in kale is also excellent for arterial blood flow as well. The fiber in kale is great to reduce cholosteraol by sweeping wastes from the body, and the chlorophpyll in this dark green veggie is amazing for lowering inflammation. Spinach also contains large amounts of folate and potassium that help reduce your blood pressure, so get your fill of greens, whichever ones you choose! If you're not sure what to do with this dark green veggie, try some of Diana's delicious recipes here: diet.allwomenstalk.com.

16 Pumpkin

PumpkinPumpkin and winter squash varieties like butternut, acorn, kobocha, spaghetti, etc. are some of the highest sources of potassium you can consume. Potassium is extremely important for lowering blood pressure. It's that power nutrient that makes us seem to relax when we're stressed, along with the mineral magnesium, which is also found in these oranges veggies. Potassium is important for your heart because as your blood pressure is lowered, arterial flow improves. Pumpkin and winter squash are also top sources of soluble fiber, which as you now know, is key to sweeping cholosterol from the blood stream and wastes from the body. I've already chosen a few of Allison's pumpkin recipes to make this month as fall approaches, which you can also find here: cooking.allwomenstalk.com.

17 Chia

ChiaLastly, let's not forget the almighty chia seed! Chia seeds are the perfect combination of all the amazing nutrients your arteries need to be healthy. They contain potassium, soluble fiber, Omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and magnesium. All of these amazing nutrients reduce blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, aid in detoxification of fats, prevent inflammation, and enhance arterial blood flow. Add chia seeds wherever you can, however you can! They are one my must-have power foods. If you're looking for some new ways to use chia seeds, just read Jenni's article on the best new ways to use these almighty seeds here: food.allwomenstalk.com.

Artery cleansing foods are so great for you in more ways than one, and the best part is, they all taste great! Try to eat as many sources as you can on a regular basis, and your heart will be in fabulous shape in no time! Just avoid processed foods, refined sugars, and drink plenty of healthy liquids like water, tea, veggie juices, and smoothies. What are your favorite foods on this list?

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