Shortness of breath and random chest pains as you age could be signs that you are developing a cardiovascular related disease. Cardiovascular diseases are on the rise such that nutritionists the world over have branded it the 21st century “plague.” It is believed that these cardiovascular diseases are mainly brought about by clogged up arteries brought about by our wrong food and lifestyle choices. Clogged arteries are mainly caused by eating a lot of processed foods which of course contain saturated fats, toxins and chemicals.
Arteries are blood vessels which carry oxygen and nutrients from the heart to the rest of the body. Naturally, our arteries should be flexible, strong, elastic and should have no deposits so that blood can flow through them easily. The wrong food choices we make help deposit fatty substances, cholesterol, cellular waste products and calcium on the inner walls of our arteries over time. This in turn reduces our blood flow and in some cases causes blockage.
Good news however is that there are some foods that will clean up your arteries. These foods are:
Olive Oil – Has monounsaturated fats which cannot oxidize hence cannot stick to your artery walls to form plaque.
Tomatoes– Contain an antioxidant called carotenoid lycopene which help lower the risk of atherosclerosis
Grapes– These have flavanoids that prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) which leads to the formation of plaque in artery walls.
Berries– Most richly colored berries are rich in antioxidant flavanoids that prevent hardening of arteries and also help scour plaque from the walls of the arteries.
Apples – They contain a soluble fibre known as pectin which helps lower cholesterol.
Garlic – Can inhibit coronary artery calcification (the result of calcium deposition in the coronary arteries which serve as markers for plaque formation).
Spinach – Contains folic acid and potassium which help to prevent High Blood Pressure. Spinach is also rich in lutein which helps prevent heart attacks by keeping artery walls clear of cholesterol build up.
Oily fish -Contains Omega 3 fatty acid which prevent formation of clots
Green tea – Contains powerful antioxidants called flavanoids which improve the health of the cells lining the blood vessels and this helps lower risk of heart disease.
Pomegranates– These have high antioxidant content which help fight hardening of the arteries.