5 Best Foods to Clean Out Your Arteries

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The Best Foods To Clean Out Your Arteries
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Arteries are the largest blood vessels in the body. They are the most critical part of your cardiovascular system. These blood vessels consist of veins and capillaries that transport oxygen-rich blood to and from every body part. So, it’s inarguably crucial that these vital channels stay healthy.

However, millions of people suffer from unhealthy arteries. [1] An example of an unhealthy artery is a clogged artery. This is where plaque builds up in the blood vessels, restricting the blood from flowing normally.

Clogged arteries or hardening of arteries, also known as atherosclerosis, is a condition where cholesterol and fatty deposits, cell waste, calcium, and fibrin accumulate along the artery walls. This interferes with normal blood flow and could lead to heart attacks, strokes, or even heart diseases.

Atherosclerosis is a condition that is reported to be the cause of an astonishing 50% of fatalities in westernized societies. [2]

How Do Arteries Get Clogged?

Clogged arteries are the primary cause of the common heart disease in the United States, known as coronary artery disease. They have affected about 20.1 million Americans ranging from age 20 and older. In 2020, coronary artery disease killed about 697,000 people in the United States, making up 1 in every five deaths. [1]

The arteries’ inner part, known as the endothelial layer, can develop inflammation. This inflammation can cause scarring, cholesterol deposits, and calcium deposit buildup.

As the American Heart Association states, this condition develops gradually and often worsens with age. [3]

The biggest culprit causing atherosclerosis is insulin resistance. This condition affects a third of Americans, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [4]

Insulin resistance occurs when the cells found in the muscles, liver, and fat don’t respond to insulin and cannot take up sugar or glucose from the blood. In return, this situation elevates glucose and insulin levels in the bloodstream, creating widespread inflammation, and damaging the arteries’ lining over time.

Several other risk factors can cause this chronic inflammatory disease:
• Leading a sedentary lifestyle
• Smoking cigarettes
• Diabetes
• Poor diet
• Obesity
• History of atherosclerosis in the family
• High blood pressure
• High LDL (bad) cholesterol

When atherosclerosis occurs, the doctor, depending on the location and severity of the plaque, can recommend entirely bypassing the clogged arteries or performing surgery to remove it.

The Best Foods To Clean Out Your Arteries

Strategic dietary shifts may help clean out your arteries. However, a 2020 commentary and review of earlier studies noted that one needs to successfully control all the significant risk factors to reverse atherosclerosis. [5] This means reducing high levels of “bad cholesterol”, quitting smoking, reducing blood pressure, stress management, exercise, and diet.

1: Foods Rich In Vitamin K2

Vitamin K plays a role in activating proteins which help in calcium metabolism, heart health, and blood clotting. [6][7] This vitamin is believed to reduce the deposition of calcium in your arteries. [8]

To prove its effectiveness, one study involving 16,057 women found that those with the highest vitamin K2 had a lower chance of suffering from heart disease. [9] It showed a 9% risk reduction of heart disease occurred for every ten mcg of K2 they consumed per day.

In simple terms, foods rich in K2 lower the amount of calcium in your blood by transporting it to your bones.

Examples: Eggs, grass-fed beef, cheese, liver, and sauerkraut.

2: Low Carb Foods

Lowering your carbohydrates and doing intermittent fasting are linked to improving your insulin levels. Studies show that low carbs help reduce your blood sugar and insulin drastically. [10] It could also help treat and possibly reverse type 2 diabetes. [11]

How does it work? When your insulin levels are high, it could cause massive inflammation throughout the body, clogging the arteries and causing clots.

Insulin is also related to causing a condition where the proteins inside the arteries become damaged: AGEs (advanced glycated end products)

Sources: seeds, non-starchy vegetables, seafoods, fruits, nuts, and meat.

3: Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids have several powerful health benefits for your brain and body. But most importantly, they have been tied to coronary heart disease.

Researchers previously found that fish-eating communities had low cases of heart diseases. [12] This created a link between omega-3 fatty acids consumption and reduced heart disease chances

They help keep the arteries smooth and free from damage, prevent inflammation and blood clots, raise ‘good’ HDL cholesterol levels, and are a significant triglycerides reduction.

Examples: fatty fish (such as salmon), walnuts, cod liver oil, and grass-fed meats

4: Tocotrienols (Vitamin E Family)

Tocotrienols are substances that aren’t commonly found in nature. However, when they do, they occur at deficient levels. These chemicals in the vitamin E family help improve healing, have a neuroprotective effect, have anticancer effects, and increase overall health. [13][14][15]

They also play a massive role in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease by slowing down plaque buildup and lowering cholesterol levels. [15]

Examples: Oils of rice bran, barley, palm fruit, and wheat germ.

5: Potassium-Rich Foods

Potassium is linked to prevention of vascular calcification. In a review, green leafy vegetables, a great source of potassium, were found to reduce the risk of heart disease by up to 15.8%. [16]

Good sources of potassium include: whole grains, beans, nuts, fruits (i.e., bananas, kiwi, pineapples, apricot, oranges), and vegetables, including potatoes, carrots, and leafy greens.

Dietary changes can help reduce the risk of atherosclerosis. To gauge the stage of your arteries, you can get a CAC (coronary artery calcification) check, as advised by Dr. Eric Berg. And if you find any sign of plaque buildup, use the above tips to clean your arteries.



[1] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm

[2] National Library of Medicine: Atherosclerosis https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507799/

[3] American Heart Association: https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/cholesterol/about-cholesterol/atherosclerosis

[4] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2017/p0718-diabetes-report.html

[5] Schade, D. S., Gonzales, K., & Eaton, R. P. (2021). Stop stenting; start reversing atherosclerosis. The American Journal of Medicine, 134(3), 301-303: https://www.amjmed.com/article/S0002-9343(20)30945-1/fulltext

[6] Schwalfenberg, G. K. (2017). Vitamins K1 and K2: the emerging group of vitamins required for human health. Journal of nutrition and metabolism, 2017: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5494092/

[7] Anderson, J. J., Kruszka, B., Delaney, J. A., He, K., Burke, G. L., Alonso, A., … & Michos, E. D. (2016). Calcium intake from diet and supplements and the risk of coronary artery calcification and its progression among older adults: 10‐year follow‐up of the Multi‐Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Journal of the American Heart Association, 5(10), e003815: https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/jaha.116.003815

[8] Theuwissen, E., Smit, E., & Vermeer, C. (2012). The role of vitamin K in soft-tissue calcification. Advances in Nutrition, 3(2), 166-173: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22516724/

[9] Gast, G. C. M., de Roos, N. M., Sluijs, I., Bots, M. L., Beulens, J. W., Geleijnse, J. M., … & van der Schouw, Y. T. (2009). A high menaquinone intake reduces the incidence of coronary heart disease. Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases, 19(7), 504-510: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19179058/

[10] Noakes, M., Foster, P. R., Keogh, J. B., James, A. P., Mamo, J. C., & Clifton, P. M. (2006). Comparison of isocaloric very low carbohydrate/high saturated fat and high carbohydrate/low saturated fat diets on body composition and cardiovascular risk. Nutrition & metabolism, 3(1), 1-13: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16403234/

[11] Westman, E. C., Yancy, W. S., Mavropoulos, J. C., Marquart, M., & McDuffie, J. R. (2008). The effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-glycemic index diet on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus. Nutrition & metabolism, 5(1), 1-9: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2633336/

[12] Dewailly, É., Blanchet, C., Gingras, S., Lemieux, S., & Holub, B. J. (2003). Fish consumption and blood lipids in three ethinic groups of Québec (canada). Lipids, 38(4), 359-365: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12848280/

[13] Mohamad, S., Shuid, A. N., Mokhtar, S. A., Abdullah, S., & Soelaiman, I. N. (2012). Tocotrienol supplementation improves late-phase fracture healing compared to alpha-tocopherol in a rat model of postmenopausal osteoporosis: a biomechanical evaluation. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2012: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3398681/

[14] Sen, C. K., Khanna, S., & Roy, S. (2004). Tocotrienol: the natural vitamin E to defend the nervous system?. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1031(1), 127-142: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15753140/

[15] Meganathan, P., & Fu, J. Y. (2016). Biological properties of tocotrienols: evidence in human studies. International journal of molecular sciences, 17(11), 1682: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5133770/

[16] Pollock, R. L. (2016). The effect of green leafy and cruciferous vegetable intake on the incidence of cardiovascular disease: A meta-analysis. JRSM cardiovascular disease, 5, 2048004016661435: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4973479/

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