Atherosclerosis is the leading cause of cardiovascular disease, and it is the condition of progressive clogging of the arteries.
The arteries are in fact blood vessels whose role is to transport oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the rest of the body. Normally, they are elastic, flexible, and strong.
Cardiovascular disease, which includes strokes, heart attacks, and peripheral vascular disease, is the major cause of death in the U.S. and accounts for about 600,000 deaths annually. This is mostly a result of the fact that it kills silently, as it does not show any symptoms until the state is severe.
When it comes to clogged arteries, the symptoms depend on their type:
- Coronary arteries: CHD, or coronary heart disease, is the state of clogged heart arteries, and the heart muscle cannot get enough blood. The main symptoms include angina, or pain felt in the chest, and pressure in the shoulders, back, neck, arms, and jaw, as well as shortness of breath and heartbeat issues.
- Carotid arteries: Carotid artery disease is the condition of clogged arteries in the brain. These arteries are narrowed or blocked due to plaque, and the symptoms include severe headaches, blurry vision, loss of balance, dizziness, speech issues, breathing problems, confusion, sudden weakness, loss of consciousness, paralysis, trouble walking, and unexplained falls.
- Renal arteries: Chronic kidney disease is a result of clogged arteries in the kidneys, and even though there are no symptoms at first, as the condition aggravates, one experiences nausea, fatigue, loss of appetite, high blood pressure, kidney failure, concentration problems, numbness or itchiness, and swelling in the feet or hands.
- Peripheral arteries: Peripheral arterial disease is caused by the clogged arteries in the pelvis, legs, and arms. The common symptoms include pain, numbness, and infections.
Atherosclerosis is the hardening, thickening, and narrowing of the arteries. The arteries are lined with a thin layer of endothelial cells, which maintains their inside smooth and toned and supports blood flow.
Yet, these cells are damaged due to free radicals, platelet cells, high homocysteine levels, and antioxidant deficiency.
When certain substances, like fat, cellular waste, toxic metals, cholesterol, and calcium, cannot migrate out of the atherosclerotic lesion, they cause accumulation of plaque, as well as fibrin, a material involved in blood clotting.
Atherosclerosis is a complex condition whose exact cause is still unknown, and the contributing factors to the damage of the inner layers of arteries include high blood pressure, insulin resistance, smoking, type 1 diabetes, and type 2 diabetes, as well as obesity, heavy metal exposure, chronic inflammation due to lupus, arthritis, diseases, or infections, high triglycerides, lack of exercise, or a type-A personality.
Atherosclerosis can also be a result of nutrient deficiencies or imbalances, oxidative stress through depletion of vitamin C or other antioxidants, and dietary factors such as a diet high in processed starches, sugar, and damaged fats.
Yet, in order to reverse it and unclog the arteries, and stop the progression of the accumulation of plaque, you should start consuming these 10 natural foods:
Garlic is extremely beneficial for unclogging arteries, lowering blood pressure, and preventing heart disease and atherosclerosis. The journal Atherosclerosis published a study in 1999, which showed that it effectively prevents plaque buildup in the arteries.
It was also proven to be able to prevent and treat atherosclerosis, and lower the risk of a heart attack and stroke by over 50%, due to its powerful blood-thinning properties.
Sesame seeds are another effective way to naturally unclog a blocked artery and prevent the progression of atherosclerosis.
In 2006, a three-month animal study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food demonstrated that sesame oil was high in fatty acids that effectively inhibited atherosclerosis lesion formation, and lowered, triglycerides, blood cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol levels in mice.
It has strong anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects, and the high amounts of heart-protective compounds such as shogaols and gingerols, prevent plaque buildup, lower cholesterol, and unclog arteries.
In 2000, the Journal of Nutrition published a study which found that ginger extract lowers aortic atherosclerotic lesion areas, cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, LDL-linked fat peroxides, and LDL aggregation.
The turmeric extract lowers LDL cholesterol and prevents plaque accumulation in the arteries. This powerful spice has been commonly used in the Indian and Ayurvedic cuisine. Its active ingredient, curcumin, has potent cardioprotective effects.
The findings of a 2011 study published in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research showed that curcumin lowers cholesterol and suppress early atherosclerotic lesions more effectively than the cholesterol-lowering drug lovastatin.
This juice is rich in antioxidants and punicic acid which unclog arteries, reduce the formation of plaque, and treat atherosclerosis. Pomegranate juice is also loaded with nutrients that support heart health, like selenium and magnesium.
One randomized, double-blind, parallel study published in the American Journal of Cardiology in 2009, showed that the daily consumption of 240 milliliters (ml) of pomegranate juice for up to 18 months slowed the progression of carotid artery disease in patients at a higher risk of coronary health disease.
Cinnamon effectively reduces many risk factors linked to atherosclerosis and heart disease.
According to a 2003 study published in the journal Diabetes Care, the daily intake of either one gram, three grams, or six grams of cinnamon reduces LDL cholesterol, glucose, triglycerides, and total cholesterol in type 2 diabetics.
Lemons reduce cholesterol levels and prevent oxidative damage. Moreover, the high vitamin C content soothes inflammation, strengthens arteries, increases high-density lipoprotein (HDL), and inhibits platelet aggregation.
Researchers have shown that kimchi, which is a popular probiotic Korean recipe that contains fermented cabbage and hot peppers, slows down the atherosclerotic process.
Namely, studies have found that it has an active compound known as 3-94-hydroxy-3,5-dimethoxyphenyl, which prevents the development of aortic atherosclerosis in high-cholesterol-fed rabbits.
Fermented cabbage also degrades toxic chemicals, including bisphenol A and the insecticide chlorpyrifos.
Ground flaxseed is rich in fiber and it unclogs arteries. Moreover, it is loaded in alpha-linolenic acid, which is an omega-3 acid that reduces blood pressure and inflammation and blood pressure.
Studies have also shown that the moderate flaxseed supplementation is a successful way to reduce hypercholesterolemic atherosclerosis.
Its compound, capsaicin, lowers LDL cholesterol in the blood, boosts blood circulation, and reduces the risk of stroke and heart attack. Researchers discovered that capsaicin prevents pulmonary and vascular complications linked to HAART drugs.
Other Natural Remedies for Clogged Arteries
To unclog the arteries, you can also consume coconut oil, chia seeds, asparagus, avocado, broccoli, and fenugreek seeds. D
ietary supplements and nutrients that are helpful in the treatment of atherosclerosis include methyl donators like folic acid, vitamin B6, choline, and vitamin B12, as well as antioxidants, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, pine bark extract, lutein, zeaxanthin, and grape seed extract.
Vitamin D, L-arginine, vitamin B3, fish oils, and coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) are also important nutrients, and other helpful supplements include selenium, copper, magnesium, resveratrol, chromium, and trimethylglycine.
Last, but not the least, do not forget to exercise regularly for at least half an hour daily, 5 times a week, in order to unclog your arteries. Try aerobic exercises, running, walking, yoga, tai chi, and meditation.