Atherosclerosis (Clogged Arteries) occurs when fatty deposits accumulate along artery walls. You may have also heard it referred to as “hardening of the arteries”.  This condition causes the arteries to narrow and restricts blood flow to the heart and other parts of the body.

This is a major underlying cause of heart disease and coronary artery disease. It is the most common type of heart disease in the United States and is the underlying cause of about 50% of deaths in other Western countries.

It is a chronic inflammatory disease with many dangerous risks to your overall health.

If you follow a diet rich in healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, and fish you could reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease.

But…

If you can answer yes to any of the bullets below, you are definitely at risk!

  • if you have high LDL (bad) cholesterol
  • if you have high blood pressure
  • if you smoke cigarettes
  • if you have diabetes
  • if you have a family history of atherosclerosis
  • if you are obese
  • if you consume a poor diet 
  • if you live a sedentary lifestyle

Here are 15 foods that may help keep you healthy and keep Atherosclerosis away.

1. Berries

Blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, raspberries, and blackberries are often associated with great health benefits, including their ability to reduce inflammation and improve heart health.  Berries, packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds can also help prevent clogged arteries and reduce inflammation and cholesterol accumulation.

2. Beans 

Beans are well known for their heart health benefits.   Packed with fiber, beans are essential for preventing atherosclerosis.  An excellent way to keep cholesterol levels in check and help to reduce your risk of clogged arteries is a diet that includes about 1 serving (130 grams) of beans daily.

3. Fish

Eating omega-3-rich fish may help reduce the risk of atherosclerosis.  Eating more fish has been associated with a reduced risk of atherosclerosis.  

4. Tomatoes 

 It is thought that combining cooked tomato with olive oil may offer protection against clogged arteries too.

5. Onions

A diet rich in onions may protect the arteries. Onions contain sulfur compounds that are believed to  help prevent blood vessel inflammation, inhibit the clumping together of platelets in the blood, and increase the availability of nitric oxide.  All of these effects may help protect against atherosclerosis and improve overall artery health.

6. Citrus fruits

Citrus fruits provide a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Flavonoids which are found in citrus fruits  can decrease inflammation and help prevent free radicals in the body from oxidizing LDL (bad) cholesterol. This may be why eating citrus fruits  is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke — two conditions linked to atherosclerosis.

7. Spices 

Spices, like ginger, pepper, chili, and cinnamon may help protect against clogged arteries.  These have anti-inflammatory properties and may help hunt free radicals, improve blood lipid levels, and reduce the accumulation of platelets in the blood.

8. Flax Seed 

Flax seeds are high in fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals, including calcium and magnesium. 

Flax seeds contain secoisolariciresinol diglucoside (SDG), an anti-inflammatory and cholesterol-lowering lignan compound whose properties counter atherosclerosis

9. Try These Vegetables

Eating vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower may help reduce your chances of developing clogged arteries. Eating cruciferous vegetables is associated with a decreased risk of atherosclerosis.  It is strongly believed that these vegetables greatly reduce arterial calcification and risk of death caused by atherosclerosis-related disease 

10. Beets

Beets are high in nitrates, which your body converts to nitric oxide. Inflammation in the blood vessels leads to decreased nitric oxide production. So, eating beets that are rich in dietary nitrates may help improve blood vessel function and decrease inflammation..

11. Oats

Oats  contain antioxidants called avenanthramides, which may help inhibit inflammatory proteins called cytokines, as well as adhesion molecules. This may help prevent atherosclerosis.

12. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are awesome sources of protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. 

Studies have consistently shown that nut and seed intake can significantly improve atherosclerosis risk factors.  Eating nuts and seeds can reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and blood pressure and may help boost HDL (good) cholesterol 

13. Leafy greens

Lettuce, kale, arugula, Swiss chard, and spinach, all  offer a great amount  of nutrients that may help protect against atherosclerosis. Like beets, green leafy vegetables are a good source of dietary nitrates, which can help improve blood vessel function and reduce inflammation.

They’re also loaded with potassium. This mineral helps prevent vascular calcification, a process that contributes to atherosclerosis 

14. Cocoa and dark chocolate

Research has found that eating chocolate is associated with a reduced risk of stroke, heart disease, and diabetes. Cocoa and dark chocolate products are rich in polyphenol plant compounds.  These help increase nitric oxide production and decrease inflammation in the arteries, which can help improve physical function in people with atherosclerosis. The research also  found that consuming 40 grams of dark chocolate significantly improved walking time and blood levels of nitric oxide compared with consuming milk chocolate 

15. Olive oil

A great part of The Mediterranean diet is rich in high fiber vegetables, beans, and olive oil all are thought to improve heart health.  Olive oil, in particular, may help reduce the risk of atherosclerosis.  Researchers attribute olive oil’s ability to increase heart and blood vessel health to its high content of polyphenol compounds.

In conclusion

A diet filled with nutrient-dense foods may help reduce your risk of developing clogged arteries. Adding the foods mentioned above may be an effective way to prevent atherosclerosis. Adding them to your daily routine may significantly decrease your risk of disease and boost your overall health.