With more and more research being carried out into how our lifestyle effects our health, it is becoming apparent that our food choices have a bigger part to play than we thought.
The rise of heart related diseases and other serious problems such as strokes and heart attacks means it is an important time to be looking at what we can do to ward off these conditions and stay in optimum health.
Why should we look after our arteries?
Arteries are the blood vessels that carry oxygen rich blood around the body. These can often get clogged up by a build-up of cholesterol and fatty deposits (called plaques) which lead to restricted blood flow to the heart and other major organs. By looking after our arteries and being mindful of the foods that we eat we can help prevent heart disease.
How does food affect the arteries?
Large quantities of food high in saturated fat and trans fats can be a factor in the clogging of arteries along with obesity. Foods such as meat, cakes and pastries, alcohol and other highly processed foods can cause the build-up of plaque in the arteries.
There are also many foods that can help reduce cholesterol and keep your blood flowing freely. We have put together a list of foods which can easily be incorporated into your diet.
Avocado- this trendy food is a great healthy replacement to mayonnaise. Add it to sandwiches for a creamy texture or even add it into a breakfast smoothie.
Whole-grains– wholegrain foods such as brown rice, whole wheat and oatmeal are a great source of fibre that can easily be added to your diet. Try replacing your white rice and bread with the whole grain variety for an easy and healthy swap.
Broccoli- adding these mini trees to your diet 2-3 x a week can help reduce arteries clogging as they are filled with vitamin K and help prevent cholesterol oxidation. A very tasty and versatile vegetable that is a great side dish.
Nuts- nuts are great for lowering bad cholesterol with almonds and walnuts being some of the better choices. A handful a day make an ideal healthy snack and can be chopped and sprinkled on salads.
Green tea- Full of antioxidants and known for its health benefits green tea works by stopping the body absorbing bad cholesterol. Try replacing your regular tea with this a couple of times a day.