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4 Silent Signs You May Have Clogged Arteries and the Best Foods to Eat To Prevent It

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artery
Image (under license) – © shutterstock.com

The human body is a system with built-in warning signs against serious disease. The following signs we have listed, some of which are very discreet, might mean that a visit to the doctor is in order.

1. Leg Pain and Numbness: Pain or numbness in the calves while you walk can mean clogged arteries. [1] Another feature of this condition is relief from said pain and numbness when you put your feet up to rest, also called intermittent claudication.

2. Erectile Dysfunction: A lot of studies have proven that erectile dysfunction in men can be an indicator of an impending cardiovascular disease. [2] If you can’t get it up when you normally could, it might be time to find an underlying cause instead of pinning the whole thing on mood and popping a blue pill.

3. Hair Loss: Losing hair, while it’s regularly attributed to aging, may also mean high levels of triglycerides in the blood stream. [3] High triglycerides or bad fat in the blood stream can be impeding proper circulation, which may cause baldness in both men and women.

4. Earlobe Crease: A diagonal earlobe crease, (abbreviated to DEC), isn’t a definite sign of clogged arteries. You could just as easily be born with it. However, along with other indicators like age, weight, and gender, studies show that it’s associated with a higher risk factor for “coronary artery calcification,” a medical term for clogged heart vessels. [4]

Paying attention to these signs and taking the concerns to a medical health professional right away could even save your life, since clogged arteries are directly related to cardiovascular (heart) disease.

BEST FOODS TO PREVENT CLOGGED ARTERIES:
Prevention is always better than cure, as they say, and these modifications to your diet can help you avoid clogged arteries and heart disease altogether.

Say goodbye to soda: All sugar-sweetened beverages are linked with obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and significantly elevated cholesterol deposits. [5] All these conditions lead to arterial inflammation, hardening, or clogging. Cut soda and artificially-flavored beverages out of your daily diet altogether and you’ll no doubt see a positive change in your health.

A realistic take on taking away sugar-sweetened beverages out of your diet is a gradual decrease. Swap one sugary drink for a glass of water or 100% fruit juice weekly, until it’s completely eliminated daily. If it’s sweet, and it’s not natural, it has to go.

Tea
Consider replacing unhealthy soda with healthy tea instead. Flavonols and anthocyanins found in black, purple and oolong teas have been found by researchers to protect the heart and blood vessels. [6] Tea can also lower blood pressure and prevent hardening and plaque buildup in the arteries. The daily target is three cups a day, so consider switching your late afternoon cup of coffee with tea instead.

Vegetables and Fruits
Virtually all organic produce have clinically proven benefits for the human body. [7] Brightly colored fruits and vegetables are the main source of vitamins and antioxidants that the cells in our body use to protect itself. Vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins from bok choy, asparagus, and bell peppers, and Vitamin C from tomatoes and carrots have nutrients that the body can use right away.

8 or more servings of veggies and fruits per day contributes to a 30% decreased risk of suffering a brain or heart attack, while eating more than 5 servings lowered the risk for coronary heart disease by 17%. [8] You might have an easier time transitioning your diet to a healthier one by replacing one portion of a meal with fruits and vegetables. Gradually increase the servings per week until you get about 8 to 12 servings. Recent studies have shown that variety is just as important as quantity, so make sure to switch up the recipes once in a while.

Leafy Greens
Lettuce, parsley, cabbage, radishes, and collard greens may directly affect arteries by relaxing blood vessels and clearing plaque formations. Research shows that the nitrate in a bowl of these leafy greens makes your blood pressure drop for the rest of the day. [9] Add leaves to everything that you can think of; sandwiches, soups, make vegetable wraps, shakes and smoothies with them.

Herbs and spices
Italian seasoning, allspice, nutmeg, basil, cinnamon, granulated garlic, and most of the spices in the kitchen rack may be good for the cardiovascular system, including of course the arteries. A study conducted by researchers in Pennsylvania State University found that bad cholesterol in the blood decreased by as much as 30% just by adding 6 g of cinnamon to the subjects’ daily diet. [10]

Added benefits, such as what the spices do to the eliminated fat, is still being researched, but adding a bit more spice to your next meat and vegetable barbecue wouldn’t hurt. Adding cinnamon to your coffee, tea, or apple slices is a fine dessert idea too.

Omega-3 Rich Fish
To date, there’s no fat healthier for the heart like omega-3, found in abundance in fatty fish like sardines, mackerel, anchovies, salmon and herring. Omega-3 helps eliminate arterial blocks and improve cardiovascular health. [11] The American Heart Association recommends 2 servings of æ cups of these flaked fish a week.

References:

[1] What is Peripheral Arterial Disease? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/pad

[2] A Systematic Review of the Association Between Erectile Dysfunction and Cardiovascular Disease. European Urology. http://www.europeanurology.com/article/S0302-2838%2813%2900851-8/fulltext/a-systematic-review-of-the-association-between-erectile-dysfunction-and-cardiovascular-disease

[3] A Comparative Study of Dyslipidaemia in Men and Women with Androgenic Alopecia. http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/mjl/adv/2010/00000090/00000005/art00009

[4] Abstract 19064: Association of Diagonal Earlobe Crease With Traditional Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Coronary Artery Calcification in the General Population: Heinz Nixdorf Recall Study. http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/130/Suppl_2/A19064.short

[5] Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Cardiovascular Disease. Current Nutrition Reports. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13668-012-0013-3

[6] Flavanols and Anthocyanins in Cardiovascular Health: A Review of Current Evidence. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. http://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/11/4/1679/pdf

[7] Cardiovascular diseases: oxidative damage and antioxidant protection. European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences. http://www.europeanreview.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/3091-3096.pdf

[8] Quantity and variety in fruit and vegetable intake and risk of coronary heart disease. American Society for Nutrition. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2013/10/02/ajcn.113.066381.full.pdf

[9] Suppression of erythropoiesis by dietary nitrate. The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. http://www.fasebj.org/content/early/2014/11/23/fj.14-263004.abstract?sid=58e73111-4b5f-4fe6-a39b-c3aab313ef43

[10] Spices and Herbs May Improve Cardiovascular Risk Factors. Nutrition Today. http://journals.lww.com/nutritiontodayonline/Citation/2014/09001/Spices_and_Herbs_May_Improve_Cardiovascular_Risk.6.aspx

[11] Fish 101. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/Fish-101_UCM_305986_Article.jsp#


Amazing “Golden Milk” Turmeric Tea Recipe

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Golden Milk Turmeric Tea
Image – Wellness Mama

Here’s an awesome recipe for golden milk – a super-healthy drink made from turmeric – which is considered one of the best spices in the world for all round health benefits!

This drink contains not only turmeric but also coconut milk, cinnamon, raw honey (or maple syrup) , black pepper, ginger and optional cayenne pepper. All kinds of good stuff, in other words.



Some have described this drink as soothing and relaxing – “like chai without the caffeine”. The chai reference is appropriate, because it turns out that this is an old Indian recipe (except the old Indian recipe made with cow’s milk). Well, now you have further options! ;)

If possible, use fresh, organic ingredients for best results. Another version of the recipe includes the addition of 1tsp of almond oil or coconut oil – but you could probably also add flax or hemp oil – and then blend!

Turmeric is amazing stuff and we have written about its profound healthful qualities before: 600 Reasons Turmeric May Be The World’s Most Important Herb One thing to note – turmeric can stain some plastic containers, marble countertops and fingertips.

Something else to note – black pepper has a positive influence on the way the human body works with turmeric and it’s valuable to combine the two. More info here: http://www.herbs-info.com/blog/substance-in-black-pepper-increases-bioavailability-of-beneficial-turmeric-compounds-by-2000-percent/

The usual safety notes apply: This website is not medical advice, and please check with your doctor before using herbs if you are pregnant, using medications or have other health conditions.

Ok, here is the link to the full Golden Milk tutorial: http://wellnessmama.com/223/turmeric-tea-recipe/


How To Make Fire Cider – A Potent Cold & Flu Remedy

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Fire Cider - Traditional Cold And Flu Remedy
Image – www.mommypotamus.com

We just discovered a super tutorial over at mommypotamus.com for how to make your own fire cider. If it sounds like just a warm drink for a cold winter’s night, think again: It’s actually an infusion based on a powerful and ancient healing formula – and many people are raving about its powers against colds and flu. Many people are making this in gallon jars a couple of times a year.

This super tonic includes all manner of all-natural ingredients that have been praised for their anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and decongestant qualities. However one thing to note is that this is not an overnight prep: You’ll need to make the batch a month in advance of when you need it.

There are various forms of this recipe as it has passed through the years. One famous version is that of the renowned herbalist Rosemary Gladstar. Ingredients in the version we have linked to include (organic is best) ginger root, horseradish root, turmeric root, white onion, garlic cloves, jalapeno peppers, lemons, apple cider vinegar and organic honey. It’s also possible to add herbs including rosemary, thyme and black peppercorns. The adventurous herbalists among you could probably think of a few more to add here.

One thing I found fascinating is that its uses are not limited to being drunk as a “wellness shot” – it can also be used as a marinade, salad dressing or as an additive to tea, juice or hot water.

Please note that ginger, especially fresh ginger, is controversial and sometimes contraindicated in pregnancy – it is reported that it has a small possibility of causing a miscarriage in the first trimester of pregnancy. Several medications also may interact with ginger. [1]

Ok, here’s the link to the full tutorial: http://www.mommypotamus.com/fire-cider-recipe/

Another page that you might want to check out: The Top 10 Most Amazing Herbal / Natural Remedies For Colds And Flu: A Definitive Guide – See more at: http://www.herbs-info.com/natural-remedies-for-colds-and-flu.html

Reference:

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/961.html

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