Can we clean the arteries, dissolve plaque and reduce the risk of stroke with certain foods? There are foods that you can use to lower the risk of developing atherosclerosis and that can contribute significantly to your health, once you take a close look at your diet plan, you can certainly swap bad foods for good ones, improving your health and lowering your risk.
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Lowering stroke risk: how does plaque build up in the arteries occur
Arteries are the largest blood vessels in the body. They carry oxygen through the body with blood to every organ, tissue and cell. Plaque buildup and inflammatory processes in the inner walls of the vessels can cause arteriosclerosis to develop , stiffening the vessels and leading to high blood pressure and, in the worst cases, vascular blockage and stroke. Atherosclerosis is thought to be largely acquired through lifestyle factors such as a poor diet, which includes high LDL cholesterol, obesity or prediabetes. Other risk factors include smoking or too little exercise. Arteriosclerosis is considered incurable. However, if you turn off and reduce the risk factors and change to positive behaviors, including diet, you can reduce the risk of stroke.
How diet can help prevent stroke
Risks for atherosclerosis include obesity and insulin resistance, which can result from a poor diet high in carbohydrates and sugar. You can minimize these risk factors by making strategic dietary changes. In general, it is advisable to consume anti-inflammatory foods rich in antioxidants, such as vegetables, nuts, seeds, fish and olive oil. You should minimize sugars and carbohydrates from industrially processed grains and replace them with whole grains , for example, white bread with quinoa.
These foods help heart health and cleanse your blood vessels naturally
It’s worth considering a change in diet. Natural foods have ingredients that can adjust our health. Try to include more of these foods in your diet plan for artery health care.
Lower blood sugar levels with flaxseed
Flaxseeds are a natural source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 acids of plant origin. They also provide fiber and antioxidants. Regular flaxseed intake is associated with lowering blood glucose and insulin levels in people suffering from obesity or prediabetes. Preliminary animal studies have found evidence that flaxseed may halt the progression of plaque in blood vessels. Remember that whole flaxseeds are not fully metabolized, so use ground ones or grind them a bit yourself, such as with a coffee grinder, before consuming. Store them in the refrigerator. Buy organic quality.
Sea fish against deposits in the blood vessels
Fatty sea fish is a very potent source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory and protective properties against vascular inflammation and atherosclerosis. Appropriate sea fish include salmon, sardine, anchovy and mackerel. Omega-3 fatty acids also have the property of lowering platelet aggregation, which can be responsible for the formation of blood clots. It lowers triglyceride levels and provides good HDL cholesterol , which helps prevent the buildup in blood vessels caused by LDL cholesterol. Try to regularly include 2 or more servings of sea fish per week in your diet to lower your risk of atherosclerosis.
Reduce stroke risk: berries have an anti-inflammatory effect
Blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries – they are packed with ingredients that have a positive effect on blood vessels. These include polyphenols, phytochemicals such as quercetin and anthocyanins, which are powerful antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory effects. Thanks to these properties, berries help to positively influence blood pressure and blood sugar levels, thus contributing to the maintenance of healthy blood vessels. At the same time, berries have a low glycemic value and are suitable for frequent consumption.
Citrus fruits are rich in phytochemicals
Citrus fruits also contain phytonutrients that eliminate free radicals in the body. Citrus flavanoids have the property of protecting against LDL cholesterol turning into an even more dangerous form – oxidized LDL cholesterol, which is strongly associated with the formation of atherosclerosis.
Cold pressed virgin olive oil
According to science, olive oil reduces the risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke. Its monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidant polyphenols fight inflammation in the body, reduce platelet aggregation, prevent LDL oxidation and help lower blood pressure.
Like olive oil, avocado is endowed with properties that help keep arteries clean. According to a 2019 study published in the Oxford Academic Journal of Nutrition (1), eating one avocado a day can help lower LDL cholesterol.
Legumes contain fiber
Beans, peas, lentils, chickpeas – legumes have fiber that helps lower LDL cholesterol. According to a meta-study published in 2014 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (2), one serving of legumes per day is already said to significantly lower LDL cholesterol. Legumes are also associated with lowering blood pressure and lowering chronic inflammation, which are known to promote atherosclerosis and damage to blood vessels.
This is why you should definitely include tomatoes in your menu
Tomatoes contain the phytochemical lycopene, which is also responsible for their red color. According to a 2013 study (3), people who practice a diet rich in lycopene are said to have a 17%-26% lower risk of developing heart disease. Another study (4) revealed that higher levels of lycopene in the blood were associated with a lower risk of heart attacks. Tip: Fat increases the absorption capacity of lycopene, so add a dash of cold-pressed organic olive oil to your pasta.
Leek vegetables such as onion, garlic, leeks, chives, scallions, or shallots have been linked to effectively lowering the risk of developing and even dying from atherosclerosis and heart disease. This happens thanks to their organosulfur compounds, which, according to various studies, lower blood pressure, cholesterol, inflammation and increased platelet formation, all of which generally amounts to keeping blood vessels clean.
Other foods that can prevent atherosclerosis that you should include in your diet plan is cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli or cauliflower, as well as walnuts, beets, spinach, dark chocolate and green tea. Stay healthy!
(1) To the 2019 study , published in the Oxford Academic Journal of Nutrition.
(2) Reduce stroke risk: 2014 study published by researchers at the University of Toronto.
(3) Study on the effects of regular consumption of tomatoes, conducted by Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism , Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas in Mexico.
(4) Study regarding lycopene, conducted by School of Public Health, Medical College of Soochow University, Suzhou.