Unclog Your Arteries—The Natural Way!

January 31, 2019

11 Superfoods that can help prevent heart attacks

We’ve all been there. Drano® in one hand and a pipe wrench in the other—all in an attempt to unclog a blocked kitchen drain. However, what if I told you that the clogged drain could have been avoided simply by preventing certain food from going down it in the first place. As the kitchen drain goes, so goes the way of our body’s arteries. Every day, people across the United States ignore the advice of experts to eat a balanced diet and live a healthy lifestyle and instead, choose to consume large quantities of artery clogging foods. Burgers, fries, greasy whatever, all in the name of good taste. It is because of these personal choices that thousands of people die each year from coronary artery disease. Sadly, this dietary pattern is becoming the American way and, unfortunately, even the fire department way.

It seems that organized mess is being replaced with a quick bite out for lunch, which I’m not complaining about. I love to get out in the district and mingle with the locals. It breaks up the day, and it gives members a chance to meet the people we care for when they are at their best, not their worst. In spite of our occasional ignorance of eating right, there is help out there. Below is a list of everyday foods that are not only packed full of nutrients to make us healthier, but are also cholesterol absorbing, protein neutralizing superfoods that can prevent, and maybe even reverse the damage already done. All you have to do is eat them!

Apples

It’s true—an apple a day can, in fact, help keep the doctor away. Though not typically thought of as a super food, apples are abundantly filled with rich nutritional benefits like antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that can help in lowering your blood pressure and decrease the risks of heart disease. There are many varieties of types and flavors, so mix it up and save on that co-pay by avoiding an unnecessary visit to your doctor.

Oranges

Who doesn’t love a glass of orange juice in the morning? Oranges are a delicious fruit that is saturated with vitamin C, fiber, and nutrients and contains high levels of a soluble fiber called pectin, which helps absorb cholesterol in foods. This superfood/fruit is also packed with potassium, which can help bring down that blood pressure while neutralizing proteins that lead to heart scar tissue or heart failure.

Avocados

I love seeing avocado commercials on television. It makes me want to run out and get some guacamole and chips. Okay, maybe skip the chips and instead just spread the delicious topping on some toast or spoon it on a taco. As well as being one of my favorite superfoods, avocados benefit us by being rich in potassium, antioxidants, and monounsaturated fats, which can help lower cholesterol and lower the risk of heart disease.

Eggplant

Okay, by themselves, these purple wonders of nature may not be the tastiest of the group of superfoods, but slap a little marinara sauce on them and not only do you have a great vegetable base dish to serve, but you will also get an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants such as anthocyanin, which gives the plant its deep color. Eating eggplant improves circulation, reduces cholesterol, lowers heart disease, and prevents blood clots. Is your mind failing you? Eggplant is also a great brain food and can help prevent cell membranes from damage.

Kale

I know, kale wasn’t one of my favorites at first, but if mixed with a number of other ingredients, it starts to grow on you. This leafy green is overflowing with nutrients that can help maintain your cardiovascular system and even prevent heart disease. Kale is actually one of the most beneficial of the superfoods, especially for your heart. It’s loaded with antioxidants, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. Some of the local stores even have a great variety of pre-made salads to choose from–dressing included. Once you try it, you may not want to go back to iceberg lettuce again.

Garlic

I love cooking with garlic. Nothing fills the kitchen with love better than this heart-boosting superfood. A traditional additive to hundreds of recipes, garlic can help lower the plaque level in your arteries and reduce blood pressure. Garlic can also reduce the enzymes which can constrict your blood vessels. If consumed in pill-form, studies also show that garlic can reduce the plaque buildup in arteries by up to 50 percent.

Red Wine

In the good old days, it was not uncommon for a glass or two of wine to be consumed with a nice meal at the station; however, those days have long passed. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have a glass or two at home. A perfect way to take the edge off of a long day, or compliment a good meal, the occasional glass of red wine could, in moderation, actually helps boost your HDL levels and prevent a buildup of cholesterol. Red wine also contains antioxidants which can prevent coronary heart disease and can help reduce blood clots by ensuring your blood vessels stay flexible. So, cheers!

Pomegranates

While not the easiest of superfoods to eat, adding these little niblets to a smoothie, shake, or salad is a great way to protect against oxidation of plaque in the artery walls and prevent heart disease. Studies also show that the tasty fruit can also help prevent strokes, prostate cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as promote healthy skin, joint, dental and liver health.

Broccoli

We have all been told to eat our broccoli, and for good reason. This heart-healthy vegetable contains sulforaphane, an anti-inflammatory which can prevent chronic blood sugar problems. It can also help reduce cholesterol, and keep blood vessels strong too.

Blueberries

We have all seen the scene from Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory when Violet Beauregard blows up like a blueberry after chewing a piece of gum. I can almost guarantee you that, unless you are allergic to this superfood, that will not happen. I can also assure you that by consuming blueberries on occasion, say 3 times a week, you will decrease the chance of some cancers, reduce the buildup of cholesterol, reduce your blood pressure, and protect against the buildup of plaque on your arterial walls.

Salmon and Sardines

This last superfood is not my favorite, but others find it tasty. Love them or hate them, these oily fish still put up a good fight against high triglycerides. Salmon and sardines are packed with omega-3 fatty acids and nutrients, which can help lower the levels of triglycerides, prevent blood clots, widen constricted blood vessels, and ultimately help prevent against heart disease.

By John Hicks

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