Your arteries, veins and capillaries make up your cardiovascular system, along with your heart. They transport useful substances and waste materials to areas where they can be used and excreted, respectively. Diseases like hypertension and atherosclerosis make the blood vessels, and ultimately the heart, prone to damage and inevitably lead to death.
However, physical activities and more importantly, a healthy diet can help to prevent all that. Here are some foods that will help to keep your vascular system strong and healthy.
This vegetable is rich in vitamin K which prevents the formation of varicose veins and vascular calcification, which is caused by Calcium. It also contains a compound known as Sulfuraphane which has antioxidant effect and plays a major role in production of enzymes that promote vascular health.
2. Green tea
It contains an adequate amount of Epigallocatechin gallate, an antioxidant which prevents damage of the epithelial layer of your vessels. It also helps to lower LDL levels and reduces the rate at which cholesterol is absorbed, thereby preventing various cardiovascular diseases.
Apples contain pectin which inhibits absorption of bile acids in the gut. When this happens, cholesterol in the blood has to be used by the liver for the production of bile. This helps to prevent atherosclerosis by reducing the levels of LDL, which is the bad type of cholesterol, in the blood. They contain flavonoids which function as antioxidants, preventing vascular damage by free radicals. Their potassium and magnesium content also helps to control blood pressure.
4. Citrus fruits
These fruits are high in vitamin C, which plays a major role in the formation of collagen. Collagen helps to strengthen the blood vessels. Vitamin C also functions as an anticoagulant, preventing blood coagulation that might lead to blood clot formation and cause a stroke.
Avocados are high in unsaturated fats which help to reduce LDL levels in circulation. They also contain potassium and vitamin E, which help to control blood pressure levels and have antioxidant effects.
The antioxidants contained in pomegranates prevent cell damage and over-accumulation of smooth muscles in the walls of blood vessels, as this dangerously increases blood pressure. They also provide the body with nitric oxide that dilates your arteries and increases blood flow. They also prevent atherosclerosis by blocking oxidation of LDL in the blood.
Vitamins B6, B9 and B12 that are contained in this vegetable help to reduce the levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine, which is an amino acid, causes damage of the endothelial cells and can cause increased blood clotting. It also reduces levels of the C-reactive protein, which usually causes inflammation.
Your arteries, veins and cap
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