10 foods that help protect the heart and clean arteries

Building up of plague in the arteries can put you at a higher risk for heart attack and stroke. Plaque can rupture the arteries thus cause a heart attack or it can get large enough to an extent of blocking the flow of blood. Although it is not possible to eliminate plaque in the arteries, Harvard Health claim that doctors can shrink it. The doctors simply try to remedy the problem through finding small, soft plaques, taking away the cholesterol from inside and letting them to shrink, thus reducing the danger of rupture and blockage.

The remedy carried out to shrink the plaque is accomplished with drugs called Statins. These drugs have severe side effects that make some patients wary. Some of these effects include fuzzy thinking, digestive issues, muscle pain and in some cases, liver damage. For this reason, it is important to watch your diet and make some changes as the first option for shrinking arterial plaque, reducing cholesterol and helping prevent heart damage. Below constitute some of the food you can include in your diet.

1. Asparagus

Asparagus is rich in minerals and vitamins which helps to lower blood pressure and other health benefits. A half-cup of asparagus contains 6% of the recommended daily allowance of potassium which helps to relax blood vessels. As a result, this reduces the pressure on plaque thus making it less likely to rupture.

2. Avocado

A study carried out and published in the Journal of the American Heart Association revealed that adding avocado to the diet can help reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol. This fruit is a rich source of potassium which helps in reducing blood pressure.

3. Broccoli

Broccoli is rich in vitamin K thus this veg helps to prevent calcium from damaging the arteries. Also, broccoli is rich in fiber which helps to lower blood pressure
4. Spinach
Spinach is rich in potassium and it is also a good source of fiber and folate. These properties help to lower homocysteine levels blood pressure. High levels of homocysteine can damage the arteries lining and cause blood to clot easily which can lead to blockages.5. Whole grains

despite being tasty, whole grains are good sources of soluble fiber. The soluble fiber binds to LDL cholesterol thus allowing it to pass from the body instead of pilling in the arteries. Further, whole grains are highly rich in magnesium which assists in regulating blood pressure through dilating blood vessels.
6. Turmeric
Turmeric is well known as a potential anti-inflammatory which can reduce damage the walls of arteries. It can also help in balancing homocysteine levels since it is a good source of vitamin B6.
7. Olive oil
Olive oil is a rich source of vital fatty acid known as monounsaturated oleic acid which lower LDL cholesterol. According to a study published by the American Academy of Neurology, people who regularly use olive oil have 41% lower risk for stroke compared to people who do not use olive oil.
8. Almonds
Almonds are a good addition to the diet since they are endowed with a variety of heart-healthy nutrients. They are rich in magnesium, fiber, proteins and healthy fats. These nutrients help in prevention of plaque formation and help in lowering blood pressure.
9. Fatty fish
Fatty fish such as herring, tuna, mackerel and salmon are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids help in reducing inflammation and also may help to raise good” HDL cholesterol.According to Cleveland Heart Lab, taking omega-3 fatty acids is a natural way to lower blood pressure.
10. Orange juice
Researches conducted have found out that taking two glasses of orange juice each day can substantially help to reduce blood pressure. The flavonoids found in this citrus fruit also aid to prevent damage to the arterial walls.