Arteries Are the Key to Good Health
--- Keep Your Pipes Clear
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By Samantha Landry
Last updated March 30, 2017 (originally published February 9, 2008)

What do arteries have to do with your general health? Everything. The
health of your arteries will directly affect your heart, your risk of stroke,
even your risk of developing erectile dysfunction.  

To see why, ask yourself this question.  Quick test. If you wanted to know
whether our economy is healthy, which of the following companies would
give you the best overall indication?, Walmart, UPS?  

I would argue that even though Walmart is  a giant mega-retailer and
Amazon is a giant mega click-and-mortar retailer, that the correct answer
is Number 3--UPS.  Why?    

Almost all companies have to ship in order to get their goods to you.  If
the number of shipments overall is up, then, the companies that ship
through the shipping service like UPS must be doing okay.  It's the
shipper, the distributor, that is the key to the whole works.  Which is all a
roundabout way to ask--if you want to know whether a human is healthy
overall--check the shipper.   

Arteries are pipes. Complicated pipes, but pipes nonetheless. To keep them
healthy, keep them clear of gook. Gook, in the case of our bodies, takes
the form of fat left there from the body's inability to use all the grease we
consume from burgers, fries, chicken--you know the culprits.  Again, blood
vessels are pipes.   If a pipe is squeezed --which is what happens when
your vessels constrict, either because you smoke or you are overweight
--the pressure increases.  Same thing would happen if you squeezed on a
garden hose.  Here is what a healthy arterial pipe looks like:             

Eat enough excess fat or sugar and streaks develop--early gook.  Age,
fatty diets and sedentary living can deposit fatty streaks in our arteries.  

Over time, the fat can develop fibroids, turning
streaks into a more permanent layer of fat, called an atheroma.    Now,
you're in trouble. Article Continues Below.

So, let's suppose your pipes are pretty clogged. Is there anything you can
do short of surgery (the dreaded balloon procedure or worse) to help
unclog them?    It turns out that, some foods act as, well, pipe cleaners.

Walnuts are among the best pipe cleaners in nature.    Studies have shown
that those who consume a
handful of walnuts daily decrease their risk of
arterial and heart disease.  Walnuts decrease inflammation and reduce
levels of substances that promote the clogging of your arteries.  How?   
Studies have shown that adding walnuts to a healthful diet can decrease
CRP (C-reactive protein) levels.

CRP is a measure of inflammation. Since inflammation damages arteries,
adding walnuts lowers the level of daily damage to your arteries which in
turn reduces the risk of a blocked arteries.  Walnuts also help to patch up
your arteries. Another study has shown that walnuts reduce levels of
VCAM-1, a substance that encourages white blood cells to stick to
damaged artery walls.  

Walnuts and flax seeds are the highest plant sources of alpha-linolenic acid
(ALA), a compound which your body converts into omega-3 fatty acids.
Walnuts contain 2.574 grams of ALA per teaspoon and flax seeds contain
2.350 grams of ALA per teaspoon.

Recent studies have been singled out
flax seeds for their ability to block
the formation of plaque in your arteries. In one study in 2007 from St.
Boniface Hospital Research Center in Canada, seven groups of mice were
fed fattening diets. One of the seven group was also fed a diet enhanced
10% by flax seeds. After 24 weeks, the mice on the 10% flax seeds diet
had significantly less plaque clogging their arteries.  A picture is worth a
thousand words, so take a look at the difference in the arteries without
flax seeds (picture A)  and with flax seeds (picture B) below:

Article continues below.

Now, here's the key point.  Arteries are arteries are arteries. They are all
the same.  They are all just pipes. Wonderfully engineered pipes, mind
you,  but pipes nonetheless.    What makes them different is their location
and where they lead too.   In other words, Interstate 101 is the same as
Interstate 202 but 101 leads to your heart and 202 leads to your brain.    
The pipes that lead to your heart are called coronary arteries. The pipes
that lead to your brain are called carotid arteries.  

If a blood clot or additional thickening causes the arteries to become
totally blocked, then a stroke (in the case of the carotid arteries) or a
heart attack (if the blockage occurs in the coronary arteries surrounding
the heart) or
deep vein thrombosis ( in the case of the arteries in your
legs) can occur.  If the arterial system supplying your penis get clogged by
fat, you will develop erectile dysfunction.

That is the reason the lifestyle changes you make to reduce your risk of
heart attack are the same ones that reduce your risk of stroke.  And that's
the reason any activities or habits or foods that increase your risk of heart
attack also increase your risk of stroke.  

So, start to change the key shared risk factors and you will reduce your
risk for many diseases --- stop smoking, stop sitting and
start eating foods
that help keep your arteries clear.

Arteriosclerosis Is an Inflammatory Disease

The underlying process that leads eventually to blockage of your arteries is
an inflammatory process. Like all inflammatory processes, this one begins
with an injury, which then progresses and, in the presence of too much
bad fat in your blood, is exacerbated by the reaction of your body to the
injury.  These downward spiraling processes are sometimes called the
"inflammatory cascade".

One of the best ways you can protect your arteries and improve your
health in general is to lower the levels of inflammation in your body and
keep them low. We've mentioned above that walnuts and flax seeds can
significantly lower inflammation in your arteries.

Other foods that lower inflammation include anti-oxidant rich foods such
as dark green, leafy vegetables and drinks and foods rich in Vitamin C.  

Vitamin C, whose scientific name is "ascorbate or "ascorbic acid" is
especially important in controlling inflammation because it acts as a
substrate, sacrificing itself to enable chemical effectiveness of all other
anti-oxidants in your body. As one measure of Vitamin C's power as an
anti-oxidant, scientists have found that
even the arterial inflammation
caused by smoking can be significantly reduced by taking Vitamin C.

Do you know your blood pressure numbers? Did you know that your ideal
blood pressure changes depending on your age? Where do you stand?
chart on this page can help.

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Top 10 Natural Remedies to Unclog Your Arteries

Orange Juice Helps Reverse Artery Damage in Chronic Smokers
Flax seeds - Top 10 Health Benefits

High Blood Pressure -10 Natural Remedies

Coronary Calcification - Causes and Top 7 Natural Remedies

Deep Vein Thrombosis -Causes and Cures

Leg Swelling -Causes and Top 10 Natural Remedies
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The Same Foods Which Clog Your Arteries and Lead
Heart Disease Also Can Lead to Stroke.

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