Arteries are the main lines of transit in the human body, carrying oxygen and carbon dioxide. Although they are vital to human life, these lines are getting clogged and hardening at alarming rates; atherosclerosis, the clogging of arteries, is a leading cause of death on this planet. Placed end to end, the arteries and capillaries in your body would circle the earth; all that distance fits inside your body. Diet, genetic makeup, stress, and other basic lifestyle choices lead to clogged arteries—the name for stored fat and crud in artery walls is plaque—and, left untreated, clogged arteries will lead to a heart attack or a stroke. In addition to conventional treatments here are some other natural remedies that are worth trying. Please note that these results reflect the conclusions of our own research and have not been reviewed by the FDA. Always consult with your doctor first.
Garlic has been used to treat heart problems and hypertension for thousands of years. In modern times, research has confirmed garlic’s powers: big doses—at least 2,400 mg daily—substantially decrease diastolic and systolic blood pressure. Ingesting one to four cloves a day (raw or gently cooked) provides 4,000 mcg of allicin, an extremely healthy compound. Regular garlic eating reduces “bad” cholesterol by at least ten percent, and prevents the formation of blood clots—all of these functions help to clear out the arteries. If you can’t handle garlic’s strong taste, garlic supplements are an easy alternative.
Strongly detoxifying, cherries are excellent for treating swollen joints, urinary tract infections, and also for cleaning out arteries. Cherries’ particular plaque-reducing antioxidants are anthocynins, which give the fruit its red coloring. Their high fiber content also helps to lower low-density lipoproteins levels (LDL cholesterol, the so-called bad kind).
3. Fermented cabbage
A Korean dish with a long history, kimchi is made with fermented cabbage, hot pepper, and various other ingredients. This delicious food may slow down atherosclerosis. Kimchi also contains helpful bacteria that neutralize harmful toxins in the body.
Turmeric is a major Indian spice, and its main polyphenol (plant chemical) is curcumin. Curcumin is a friend to the heart; it prevents damage to arteries when blockages are present. And it’s anti-inflammatory in nature, so it calms inflammation in the body, like excess levels of bad cholesterol floating in the bloodstream, en route to artery walls.
A very healing fruit, the pomegranate reverses plaque buildup in arterial walls, and it also aids mammary gland and skin health. Pomegranate seeds are just as healthy as the fruit, and can be munched on for a high-energy afternoon snack (or for tricking young maidens into staying in the underworld).
Another staple of Ayurvedic medicine in India, guggulipid comes from the gum resin of the mukul myrrh tree. In clinical trials performed in India, guggulipid has seriously reduced both the levels of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream. Unlike mass-produced pharmaceuticals, herbal remedies carry few to no side effects, and never any scary ones (like so many commercial drugs do).
7. Swiss Chard
Chewy Swiss chard is rich in vitamin E, a polyphenol (another name for this element is antioxidant) that prevents free radicals from oxidizing cholesterol; in other words, it wards off hardening of the arteries. A powerful detoxifying agent, chard cleans out the blood of latent toxic material.
8. Olive oil
Human bodies need fats and oils to create cellular structures; but a lot of processed foods contain way more fats and oils than any body can use (and this causes arterial plaque). Some oils and fats are good for you—highest among these are the monosaturated oil made from olives and almonds. Frequently cooking meals with omega-3 fatty acid rich olive oil—best is cold-pressed extra virgin organic olive oil—may lower the risk of heart disease by half. Nuts, like almonds and Brazil nuts, along with avocados, are other strong sources of monounsaturated fat, and they all unclog arteries. Omega-3s also reduce triglyceride (the fat circulating in blood) and break down blood clots.
9. B vitamins
B vitamins can prevent heart disease from setting in prematurely. One study, done in 2005 and published in the journal Atherosclerosis, found that a daily regiment of combined B vitamins (B6, B12, and folic acid) for a year reduced arterial thickness significantly. Choose natural sources of B vitamins, like probiotics and leafy greens, or whole food extract vitamins, over their cheap synthetic counterparts.
One of the 22 amino acids, the building blocks of life, L-Arginine stops arterial hardening by 24%, according to a medical review of more than thirty studies. L-Arginine is also able to reverse an underlying cause of heart disease, endothelial dysfunction.