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9 Foods to cleanse your arteries to protect your heart

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9 Foods to cleanse your arteries to protect your heart

  1. Pomegranates

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Initial studies point to pomegranates having blood thinning properties, as well as working against clogging or stiffening of the arteries.  The wide range of antioxidants also helps to clean the blood.  The fruit is also considered beneficial for lowering blood pressure, fighting prostate cancer, anti-inflammatory properties (it is particularly useful for the digestive system) among many other benefits.   Again, foods that help the heart provide a range of benefits for the whole body.

As the fruit is only available seasonally, most likely much of your intake of pomegranates is going to be in juice form or as a supplement capsule.  Fortunately, the juice itself contain more anti-oxidants than most fruit juices. Remember that fruit juices have already lost their healthy fiber and may have lost much of their nutritional benefits if they have been processed or pasteurized.   What you thought was a healthy option may turn out to be little more than sugar-water (fructose).

Choose fresh fruit itself when you can or make sure you drink fresh fruit juice. Unfortunately, the cheaper brands may simply lack the health benefits you seek when you buy fruit juice. While it might look daunting, removing the “meat” from a pomegranate is easier than it might appear – rolling it before cutting it can help to loosen the seeds and submerging the cut fruit in water will help to soften the pith, allowing you to easily whack the seeds out.

The deep red color of this fruit is a sign that it is packed with anti-oxidants, like berries.  Pomegranate seeds contain polyphenols (anti-oxidants) which have many health benefits and the seeds themselves are a valuable source of nutrients and fiber. A single pomegranate can supply 40% of your daily Vitamin C requirement alone. Just be careful if you are on blood pressure or cholesterol medications, as they may react badly to the fruit.

         2. Avocados

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For a health food, Avocados are surprisingly tasty and can be included in your diet in so many ways.  While their softness makes them a favorite baby food, they can be crushed on toast for a healthy snack or used in salads either in slices or softened as a dressing to replace high-fat mayonnaise or other unhealthy salad dressings – guacamole has Avocados as their main ingredient after all.  You can find a use for Avocados at every meal of the day!

The recent rise in the popularity of Avocados has as much to do with their flavor and utility as with their health benefits.  Strangely enough, the avocado tree should have died out in its South American home centuries ago, along with the giant ground sloth which was the only dispersal agent left for its giant seed, but which became extinct 13,000 years ago. It is thanks to humans’ enjoyment of this fruit that we still have avos today.

Containing 20 different nutrients, the fruit, sometimes called the alligator fruit, packs 2 grams of protein and 15 grams of healthy fats. Most of the carbohydrates are healthy fiber.  It has many anti-oxidant nutrients and is especially high in potassium, which helps reduce blood pressure.  Although bananas are well-known for their high potassium content, Avocados have twice the amount so are even better.

Avocados help the heart by reducing the “bad” cholesterol fats in the blood and increasing the “good” cholesterol, which helps clear arteries of blockages.  Their ability to be used as tasty substitutes for many unhealthy foods makes them especially attractive as health foods.  The healthy oils in Avocados will also help you better absorb nutrients in vegetables such as vitamins A, D, E and K which needs to be combined with fats to be absorbed by the body.
 

         3. Oily Fish

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As attractive as fish seem to be in terms of healthy eating, it is possible (but unlikely) to eat so much fish that the levels of fish oils become dangerous.  In addition, fish high on the marine food chain, such as tuna, may contain high levels of poisonous heavy metals such as mercury.  Pregnant women should be careful about eating certain kinds of fish, though the Omega-3s in fish oil is essential for the baby’s early growth and development.

The oil in oily fish is also useful for carrying certain nutrients which depend upon fat to be absorbed into the body, which makes fish particularly healthy. As is common with most foods that benefit the heart, eating fish regularly offers a variety of other health benefits many other areas of the body.  Try to eat fish at least twice a week, preferably with a meal that contains some fat which helps it to be absorbed. If you are allergic to fish, walnut oil is similar in nature

Oily fish refers to fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, and sardines. Fish oil is full of omega-3 fatty acids which can help lower the risk of heart disease, improve mental ability, and protect against cancer, dementia, and arthritis.  Fish are probably the only food which can provide us with vitamin D. While lack of Vitamin D is usually associated with lack of exposure to sunlight, fear of skin cancer has begun to cause Vitamin D deficiency even in sunny countries.Fish oils are also particularly good at lowering the level of a certain type of fat in the blood – triglycerides – an excess of which can collect in your arteries and clog them. Fish oils also help to lower blood pressure slightly, reduce blood clotting, lower heart and stroke risks and reduce irregular heartbeats. They also increase the levels of the “good” cholesterol, HDL.  Of course, they are also a good source of protein with low-fat content.

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