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Atherosclerosis is a deadly disease where plaque builds up in the walls of the arteries.  Arteries are the blood vessels that help in carrying oxygen-rich blood to the heart and various other parts of the body. Plaque can be made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium or any other metabolic substance found in blood. When the plaque sticks onto the wall of the arteries, it stays there and over time, it hardens and narrows the arteries. This creates an obstruction to the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the organs.

Atherosclerosis can occur due to smoking, high fat-rich diet, obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure. High levels of triglyceride, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and total cholesterol indicate a risk of heart disease. A person with atherosclerosis need medications to remove the clot from the artery, however, people with severe plaque build-up may have to undergo surgical procedures to clear up the plaque. If not treated, atherosclerosis can lead to critical conditions like coronary artery disease, peripheral artery disease and even chronic kidney disease

Apart from the medical treatment, you can add a few things in your diet to slow down the progression of the disease and ensure a faster recovery. Here in this article, we will give you some simple home remedies that can clear off the plaque from your arteries to prevent atherosclerosis.

  1. Garlic for atherosclerosis
  2. Pomegranate for atherosclerosis
  3. Green tea for atherosclerosis
  4. Spinach for atherosclerosis
  5. Asparagus for atherosclerosis
  6. Avocado for atherosclerosis
  7. Turmeric for atherosclerosis
  8. Broccoli for atherosclerosis
  9. Apples for atherosclerosis
  10. Chia seeds for atherosclerosis

Garlic is known to combat atherosclerosis by lowering hyperlipidemia (increased fat), high blood pressure, and hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels), thus preventing the formation of thrombus. 

In an animal study, it was seen that garlic has anti-atherogenic (prevents the blocking of arteries) and anti-atherosclerotic (fights against atherosclerosis) effects on the artery wall. Garlic does that by reducing the levels of lipid content (fat content) in cells of the artery wall, thus preventing fat accumulation within the cells. 

A long-term experiment was done on rabbits to find out the effect of garlic and garlic preparations on atherosclerosis. The rabbits were fed with 2% garlic powder along with a high-cholesterol diet. After one year it was seen that the levels of cholesterol, triglyceride and LDL cholesterol were reduced.

Another study done on humans also showed a significant decrease in serum cholesterol and triglyceride.

One of the causes of atherosclerosis is blockage of the arteries due to platelet accumulation. Studies have shown that consumption of garlic has the ability to inhibit the platelet aggregation in the arteries. You can add garlic in most of your dishes or you can eat one or two cloves of raw garlic early in the morning.

Pomegranate is known as a heart-healthy fruit as it has known to relieve cardiovascular diseases. As many as 73 patients with at least one cardiovascular risk factor were given 240 ml pomegranate juice per day for a year. After a year, it was seen that the patients who consumed pomegranate juice had increased elasticity in their arteries than those who were just given a placebo.

Another study was done on 45 patients with coronary heart disease who were given pomegranate juice continuously for 3 months. After 3 months, the result of the study showed that the patients who received pomegranate juice had less stress-induced ischemia (restricted blood flow) than those who got a placebo. 

Pomegranate is also rich in antioxidants so it diminishes the chances of atherosclerosis by reducing the free radicals in the body. Free radicals in the body can damage organs. 

In another study, pomegranate juice was given to 10 atherosclerotic patients with carotid artery stenosis (CAS) for a year. After one year it was seen that the levels of paraoxonase 1 enzyme (the enzyme of good cholesterol) increased whereas the levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) components were reduced.

You can have one cup full of pomegranate a day or you can pomegranate juice and drink one glass of it regularly.

Green tea has the ability to reduce the levels of lipid in the body, thus preventing coronary artery disease. In a study done on rabbits, it was seen that after 17 weeks of consumption of green tea, there was a reduction in atherosclerosis.

Green tea has polyphenols (GTP) which provide anti-oxidant property to green tea. Furthermore, in another study, it was described that administration of green tea extracts at low doses on a regular basis, in the animals with atherosclerosis, may contribute to a reduction in the progression of the disease.

Green tea has also shown a reduction in the levels of low-density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides. You can drink a cup of green tea once in the morning on a regular basis.

Atherosclerosis can be managed with the help of a wide variety of things such as consuming food fibres, vitamins, regular exercise and other herbal remedies. Several types of lab research and clinical studies have concluded that food fibres are helpful in reducing the cholesterol levels in the body and also helps in treating conditions like cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis.

Food fibres can be found easily in spinach which is also rich in anti-oxidants. You can steam 2-3 leaves of spinach and eat it or you can stir fry it with garlic and some peppers. You should consume spinach at least twice a week. 

Asparagus is widely available in India and is used for various medicinal purposes in Ayurveda. An experimental study was done on rats to find the effectiveness of study asparagus root on the cholesterol levels of the body. The study concluded that the Phyto-components present in Asparagus root such as phytosterols, saponins, polyphenols, flavonoids and ascorbic acid, help in increasing the production of bile acid. Bile acid helps in clearing off the excess cholesterol in the body.

Asparagus also increased the antioxidant levels in the liver of the rats who had hypercholesteremia (increased levels of cholesterol in the body). Antioxidants prevent the conversion of cholesterol into plaque, thus preventing atherosclerosis. You can saute asparagus in two tablespoons of olive oil and then one teaspoon salt to it. Consume one small bowl of asparagus daily to reap its benefits.

Avocado is known as a superfood and is rich in anti-oxidants. Seven studies were done on around 487 subjects to analyse the effects of avocado intake on cholesterol levels. The studies concluded that avocado consumption increases the levels of serum HDL-cholesterol in the body which is known as good cholesterol. You can either add avocados in your salad, sandwich or can eat it just like that.

Curcumin is a yellow pigment which is found in turmeric. It is known to have various medicinal properties such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-infectious properties. Various pieces of research have claimed that curcumin can be used for the management and prevention of cardiovascular diseases. 

Scientists have found that curcumin increases good cholesterol in the body and accelerates the cholesterol metabolism pathway so that the levels of total cholesterol, triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein (LDL, also called the bad cholesterol) does not increase in the body. If these levels increase in the body, they can cause heart diseases. 

Curcumin also helps in the reverse transportation of cholesterol, where the excess cholesterol is taken from the peripheral tissues (like skin and stomach) and is either sent to the liver (who distributes it to all the other tissues of the body) or is removed from the body by the gallbladder.

Curcumin is known to improve the ability of blood flow in an atherosclerotic (plaque-filled) coronary artery by restricting the deposition of lipids and obstructing the entry of inflammatory cells like epoxidase, lipoxidase, TNF-α, IFN-γ and CRP in the artery. Curcumin also delays the formation of plaque in the arteries. 

You can add a teaspoon of turmeric powder in a glass of warm milk and consume it once daily. You can also get curcumin supplements from the market and consume one tablet daily.

Broccoli belongs to the cruciferous family which has other vegetables such as cabbage and cauliflower. According to the New British Heart Foundation (BHF), cruciferous vegetables have a chemical in them, the normally-protective protein (also called Nrf2), which boosts the natural defence mechanism in the body to protect arteries from the disease. Nrf2 is present in those areas of arteries that are prone to any kind of disease.  However, in research, it was found that the innermost layer of cells present at branches and bends of arteries did not have the active form of Nrf2, which made them more prone to inflammation and diseases. 

Sulforaphane is a sulfur-rich compound which is found in broccoli. When scientists administered sulforaphane in the body, it was seen that it re-activated Nrf2 in the disease-prone regions of the artery and restored the ability of the cells to protect themselves from inflammation. The researchers concluded that broccoli can not only help these regions of the arteries to remain healthy but can also help in reducing the progression of any existing disease. You can eat a small bowl of steamed broccoli regularly for reaping its benefits. You can even add it in your salad.

Apples are rich in polyphenols which are organic substances that are packed with antioxidants and various other health benefits. The apple polyphenol contains procyanidins, which gives it anti-atherosclerosis and cholesterol-reducing effect. 

A study was done on rabbits to find out the effect of apple polyphenols on the thickness of the wall of the aorta (the largest artery of the heart) and on the lipid accumulation area. The study concluded that in the group that used apples, the thickness of the artery wall reduced and the lipid accumulation also reduced as compared to the control group (the ones who were not given apples). Apple polyphenols were also effective in reducing the oxidative stress marker.

Another study was done to find out the effect of apple procyanidins (present in apple polyphenols) on conditions like hyperlipidemia (excess amount of cholesterol and fat in the body), atherosclerosis and hepatic steatosis (collection of fat in the liver). The study stated that the apple phenols have the potential to reduce the levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) and also reduced the monocyte adhesion in the cells of the aorta. Monocyte adhesion is the first step towards the accumulation of plaque in the arteries. Therefore, it was concluded that apple procyanidins can be called as an anti-atherosclerotic agent.

To reap the benefits of polyphenols in apples, you can consume an apple daily. You can also make an apple smoothie or juice.

Chia seeds (Salvia hispanica L.) contain a large amount of Omega-3 fatty acid and α-linolenic acid in them. Various researches have concluded that the antioxidant property of chia seeds can help in reducing the oxidative stress of the body which can otherwise lead to arteriosclerosis in the heart. 

Studies also claimed that chia seeds have anti-inflammatory and anti-atherosclerotic effects which have counteracted the risk of cardiovascular disease in various in vivo (in the lab) and animal studies. You can add chia seeds in your salad or your sandwich. You can even add a spoonful of chia seeds in water, let them soak and then have that water early in the morning.

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