- slide 1 of 4
Experts agree that cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the “plague” of the 21 century. According to the American Heart Association, nearly 2,500 Americans die of CVD each day, an average of one death every 35 seconds. CVD claims more lives each year than the next four leading causes of death combined, which are cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, accidents, and diabetes mellitus.
The increase of these deposits within the body’s arteries is what generally causes cardiovascular diseases. These deposits, known as plaque, are made of cholesterol, calcium, fats and many other compounds coming from cellular degeneration and death. Plaque narrows the arteries. Also, abrupt plaque rupture can clog arteries and capillaries and even lead to clots inside the heart with the consequence of strokes and heart attacks.
Poor exercise and diet habits are usually responsible for plaque build-up within the arteries. There is also a genetic component or predisposition to it, in which case, appropriate measures should be taken, usually in the form of some sort of medication to keep cholesterol low and avoid plaque build up. However, for the majority of people with poor diet habits and sedentary lifestyles, there are natural ways to start cleaning up your arteries and keep them healthy and plaque-free.
- slide 2 of 4
A good eating regime is the first natural way to keep your arteries working properly and avoid plaque build-up. What is an appropriate diet for healthy arteries? Eating plenty of fresh, minimally processed food is essential. These are packed with nutrients and low in dangerous trans-fats. According to Dr. Stengler, in his book, The Natural Physician's Healing Therapies eating right means eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, fiber-rich foods, and fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, and sardines
Among vegetables, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts (cruciferous plants in general) have plenty of antioxidants, which are known to combat different type of diseases. Regarding fruits, colorful fruits, especially those reds, yellow, blue and or purple, should be ingested. Again, they are densely packed with antioxidants. Strawberries, blueberries, cranberries and many other colorful fruits are powerfully high in antioxidant foods.
Deep-water fish is essential to keep your arteries healthy because they contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties and help to keep your blood thin enough to avoid clots and deposits. Flaxseed and walnuts also have important amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.
- slide 3 of 4
We already know that exercise keeps you healthy. And this is especially true for your heart and arteries. Dr. Stengler recommends to exercise at least 30 minutes a day. Of course, you should start slowly. Start with 15 minutes and keep increasing the time devoted to exercise to 30 minutes, 45 min if you can. And do it every day, 7 days a week, or at least six times a week. Regularity is the key for healthy arteries and to avoid plaque build-up.
- slide 4 of 4
Fish oil supplements have extensively studied for their beneficial effects on cardiovascular diseases (Kris-Etherton et al 2003). Dr. Stengler also believes that garlic tablets, Vitamin E, K, can help keep arteries at their top state of health
Plaque is dangerous for your artery's health. There are medications to prevent plaque build-up, but there are also natural ways to keep your arteries healthy and to help you clean plaque build-up. Eat right, exercise regularly and take certain dietary supplements to keep your arteries clean.
Stengler, M. 2008. The Natural Physician's Healing Therapies (Bottom Line Books),
Heart Disease & Stroke Stats
Kris-Etherton et al. (2003). Fish Consumption, Fish Oil, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, and Cardiovascular Disease. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. 2003;23:e20 American Heart Association
First Image (http://www.flickr.com/photos/uelis/2424246383/)