The arteries of a human body are meant to transport the oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the rest of the body. Usually, a healthy artery is supposed to be strong, flexible and elastic. However, clogging arteries do not have these characteristics and the progressive clogging of the arteries is called atherosclerosis.
According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, atherosclerosis is one of the leading causes of cardiovascular disease which includes strokes and heart attacks.
According to the CDC, in the United States, cardiovascular disease is the number one leading cause of death for Americans as it takes over 600,000 lives every single year.
Cardiovascular disease is also called the silent killer because there are usually no outward signs or symptoms that can differentiate someone with cardiovascular problems. Usually, symptoms occur when the condition becomes much worse and/or severe.
Atherosclerosis is the hardening or thickening of the arteries and it prevents blood from flowing to the vital organs. But besides taking medication, there are plenty of foods that can help with maintaining one’s heart health.
Curcumin, which is found in turmeric, is a fantastic spice that has the capability to reduce LDL cholesterol and also reduce the buildup of plaque in the arteries. A study published in 2011 in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research found that ‘turmeric could reduce cholesterol and suppress early atherosclerotic lesions better than the cholesterol-lowering drug lovastatin.’
Garlic is also essential for heart health since it helps with unclogging the arteries. A study published in 1997 in the journal Nutrition, found that garlic could both prevent and treat atherosclerosis.
According to Healthline.com, ginger also has many health benefits as it has compounds such as shogaols and gingerols which are known to prevent plaque buildup as well as unclogging arteries by reducing total cholesterol.
As reported by livestrong.com, cayenne pepper ‘is an herbal remedy used to treat circulatory disorders and heart disease.’ This delicious spice can help lower the risk of strokes and heart attacks while improving blood circulation because of a compound known as capsaicin.
As reported by healthline.com, adding a bit of lemon to your water and food can be extremely beneficial to the heart as lemon is known to reduce blood cholesterol levels, and also protects the arteries from oxidative damage.
A 2003 study which was published in the journal known as Diabetes Care found that one, three or six grams of cinnamon on a daily basis can help lower glucose, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol in type 2 diabetics.
According to Pubmed.com, blended up flaxseed is not only a great source of fiber but also great for the heart since it is a tremendous source of alpha-linolenic acid which is an omega 3 acid that can decrease blood pressure and lower inflammation.
As reported by Fox News, fermented cabbage or kimchi was found to be effective in preventing the development of aortic atherosclerosis in high cholesterol-fed rabbits. The active compound in kimchi known as 3-94-hydroxy-3, 5-dimethoxyphenyl has been shown to slow down the atherosclerotic process.
A 2006 study in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that the fatty acids in sesame oil could be beneficial to the prevention of atherosclerosis lesion formation, and can also lower the blood cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol levels.
Pomegranate juice has nutrients such as magnesium and selenium which is vital for heart health. A study in 2009 published in a journal called American Journal of Cardiology found that drinking 230 milliliters of pomegranate juice every day for 18 months could slow the progression of carotid artery disease.