Adding lemon juice in your morning water is a healthy habit and good for your heart. Lemon is known to reduce blood cholesterol levels, and it helps the arteries by preventing oxidative damage. Lemons are also a great source of the potent antioxidant vitamin C. High doses of vitamin C have been found to strengthen arteries, reduce total cholesterol, increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL), inhibit platelet aggregation, and reduce inflammation.
Apples contain a substance called pectin which, according to Liz Applegate, Ph. D., faculty member and sports nutrition director at the University of California at Davis, is a fiber that joins up with cholesterol. Plus, apples have flavonoids, which can reduce your probability of suffering from heart problems by up to 50%.
Pomegranates contain a high level of antioxidants that help fight free radicals in the body. They also aid in reducing fatty deposits in the arteries, thus helping prevent serious problems like atherosclerosis.
This fruit also stimulates the body’s production of nitric oxide, which helps keep your arteries open and your blood flowing. This prevents plaque buildup and blood clots in the arteries.
A 2004 study published in Clinical Nutrition reports that patients with carotid artery stenosis who drank pomegranate juice for three years saw reduced common carotid intima-media thickness, blood pressure, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation.
A 2013 study published in Atherosclerosis notes that pomegranate extract has atheroprotective effects that appear to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the vessel walls.
Eat 1 to 2 fresh pomegranates daily.
You can also drink a glass of freshly extracted pomegranate juice once daily.
It is rich in vitamin K, which is needed for bone formation and helps to keep calcium from damaging the arteries, Dr. Schneider says. Not to mention, broccoli is full of fiber, and studies show a high-fiber diet can also help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Avocado helps reduce the “bad” cholesterol and increase the “good cholesterol” that helps to clear the arteries. It also contains vitamin E, which prevents cholesterol oxidation, as well as potassium, which is known to lower blood pressure. Avocados are a delicious replacement for mayo on a sandwich, or as a salad topping, and of course, in guacamole.
This dark, leafy green is filled with potassium, folate, and fiber, which helps lower blood pressure and prevents artery blockage. One serving per day helps lower homocysteine levels, a risk factor for heart diseases such as atherosclerosis.
It doesn’t matter if you eat it raw or cooked, the benefits are the same. So try it in salads, smoothies and even on your omelet.