Certain specific foods in each food group are known for cleaning arteries, promoting a healthy circulatory system, preventing heart disease, and reducing blood pressure. Add these foods to your diet to manage your weight and build a healthy heart and circulatory system. Check out the following recommendations and choose organic as much as possible to obtain the highest levels of nutrients without chemicals, pesticides and GMOs.
Discover the benefits of drinking milk, and eating modest amounts of cheeses such as Gruyere, Cheddar, Parmesan, and Swiss. Raw, unpasteurized, homogenized dairy provides calcium to your diet, helping to stabilize kidney function and blood pressure, says TheBloodPressureCenter.com. Choose raw and organic milk and cheeses over conventional dairy products to benefit from natural, live enzymes found in raw milk.
Whole grains, especially oats and oat bran, are high in soluble fibers that bind to and flush cholesterol from the system, according to renowned expert on nutrition and fitness, Elizabeth Applegate, Ph.D. of the University of California at Davis. Additionally, eating whole grains can improve digestion due to the presence of high levels of fiber, says Applegate. Avoid wheat and barley if you’re gluten intolerant.
Fresh fish is high in heart healing omega-3 fatty acids. Fish also provides monounsaturated fats and calcium, which are shown to help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attacks, according to The Blood Pressure Center website.
Salmon, mackerel, sardines, kippers and clams are all high in omega-3 fatty acids as well as sterols, which help the body block the absorption of cholesterol.
Pectin is a natural fiber found primarily in citrus fruits, apples. Pectin binds to cholesterol and helps flush it from the blood, points out Applegate. She explains that eating apples can lower cholesterol levels as much as 10 percent over a six-week period. Both lemons and oranges are high in potassium and assist the kidneys in the regulation of blood pressure. Grapefruit supplies vitamin C and folic acid. Pink grapefruit in particular, supplies lycopene, an antioxidant that offers protection against cholesterol damage and supports eye health and vision.
Folic acid and vitamin B is found in corn, which helps protect the arteries and is high on the list of Applegate’s Heart-Smart Foods. Buy only organic corn to avoid GMOs, pesticides, herbicides and other noxious chemicals. Other vegetables to add to your diet that help protect blood vessels and the buildup of LDL cholesterol include onions, garlic, beets and avocados.
Nuts and seeds
According to Edgar Cayce in his book Nourishing the Body Temple: Edgar Cayce’s Approach to Nutrition, eating 10 raw almonds daily can prevent cancer and other chronic diseases. High in minerals and phyto-nutrients, vitamin E oil, and monounsaturated fats, almonds are a heart-healthy wonder food.
Olive oil is the go-to healthy fat and is recommended by healthcare advocates and nutritionists alike. Other healthy fats are avocados, flax seed oil, nut oils, chia seeds, virgin coconut oil and raw butter.
Dried beans are full of soluble fiber and provide high levels of vitamin B and folic acid. Eating beans or legumes removes excess fatty deposits, preventing clogged arteries, according to Applegate.
Garlic is considered a natural antibiotic that helps prevent the formation of blood clots by lowering cholesterol. Eat one clove of raw garlic daily for artery protection, says Applegate. Cinnamon reduces blood sugar protecting the kidneys and circulation from the effects of diabetes.
The Journal of the American Medical Association points out that as little as 1/2 oz. of dark chocolate daily protects your heart and controls blood pressure with its high levels of phenols, known to help clear the arteries of plaque.
22 Heart Smart Foods (Liz Applegate, Ph.D.)
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