These Foods Can Help Prevent Atherosclerosis

The age of contracting heart attacks or strokes has been lowered.
More young people are experiencing cardiovascular disease. (Image: geralt via Pixabay/CC0 1.0 )

Many people think that cardiovascular disease occurs only in the elderly. In recent years, however, reports of heart attacks, strokes, or sudden death in middle aged or young people suggest that a broader range of the population is now at risk.

Dirty pipes

We frequently compare blood vessels to water pipes. Dirt can accumulate in the pipes, impeding the flow of water. With long-term buildup, the pipes can become hardened and lose their flexibility. In a similar way, plaques can form when the lining of the blood vessels becomes damaged. This leads to hardening and narrowing of the arteries, otherwise known as atherosclerosis. As the blockage grows, it cuts off more of the blood supply, leading to pain, typically in the chest or legs. The blockages can also rupture, which leads to clot formation. When one of these clots breaks loose it can result in a heart attack or stroke.

High blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol can lead to atherosclerosis. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

High blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol can lead to atherosclerosis. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

What causes atherosclerosis?

High blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol can lead to atherosclerosis, but other risk factors include obesity, smoking, excess alcohol intake, endocrine disorders, stress, an unhealthy diet, inadequate exercise, and aging.

Lifestyle changes

Those who have been diagnosed with atherosclerosis are advised to adjust their daily diet by cutting out animal fat and saturated fat, increasing vitamin C intake, and adding fiber to their diet in the form of fruits and vegetables.

Adequate exercise is also important. It is recommended to exercise 4-6 times per week for at least 30 minutes at a time. Walking, bicycling, swimming, doing push-ups, or lifting weights are all beneficial choices.

Medical or surgical intervention may be needed as well, so it is important to follow up with regular visits to a physician. Foods which can help prevent atherosclerosis include:

Adequate exercise is also important. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Adequate exercise is also important. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Eggplant

Eggplant is rich in niacin, which can increase the flexibility of the blood vessels. Niacin can also lower blood cholesterol.

Onions

Onions contain prostaglandin A (PGA), which can dilate blood vessels, reduce the viscosity of blood, and lower blood pressure. They also contain sulfur compounds that can help dissolve blood clots and decrease blood lipid levels.

When I traveled to Hong Kong, a wine retailer friend of mine told me that onions soaked in red wine can help get rid of common chronic diseases, and this treatment is apparently quite popular in Japan. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Onions contain prostaglandin A (PGA), which can dilate blood vessels, reduce the viscosity of blood, and lower blood pressure. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Garlic

Garlic contains allicin, which can reduce blood cholesterol.

Apples

Apples are rich in polysaccharides, flavonoids, potassium, vitamins C and E, and fiber, which all have beneficial effects in reducing blood lipid levels and possibly reversing atherosclerosis.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Apples are rich in polysaccharides, flavonoids, potassium, vitamins C and E, and fiber which all have beneficial effects in reducing blood lipid levels and possibly reversing atherosclerosis. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

White radish

Recent studies show that white radish can lower blood lipids, increase flexibility of blood vessels, and stabilize blood pressure.

Make this salad of white radish flavored with rice vinegar for a tasty way to eat more of this vegetable.

Slice some raw white radish into small pieces. Mix with a small amount of salt and pepper and soak in rice vinegar for 4 hours. Eat with sesame oil twice daily as an appetizer.

For more details in Chinese, please see: https://www.secretchina.com/news/gb/2017/12/16/843911.html

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