Cleansing The Heart And Arteries For Great Cardiovascular Health

Cardiovascular health can often be improved quickly through diet and lifestyle changes. When it comes to cleansing your arteries and heart, the most important factor to consider is your cholesterol level; reducing cholesterol levels should be your top priority. Specific nutrients that reduce the amount of cholesterol in the blood stream are vitamin C, vitamin E, niacin, and lecithin when taken in whole foods.

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that reduces arterial aging and helps prevent fatty plaque build-up on blood vessel walls. Vitamin C aids in the metabolism of proteins and boosts the immune system by building killer cells that fight viruses and bacteria. Along with preventing free radical damage, vitamin C promotes healing, builds collagen in the skin, and aids in joint repair.

A healthy individual needs about 1,200 milligrams of vitamin C per day. People with poor health should get 2,000-3,000 milligrams. Since your body can only use vitamin C in small doses, preferably from whole foods and not synthetic sources, it is best to ingest foods or whole food nutritional supplements in 500-milligram doses a few times per day. Good sources include red bell peppers, kiwi, sour cherries, green bell peppers, papayas, strawberries, raspberries, currants, oranges, cantaloupe, and Brussels sprouts.

Be aware, though, that vitamin C oxidizes quickly. A squeezed orange or a cut-up apple starts to lose vitamin C in ten minutes.

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps protect your cells and cell membranes from free radical damage. It helps keep the LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) in your blood from attaching to your artery walls, lowering your risk of a heart attack. Vitamin E also works as a mild blood thinner, making clots less likely to form. It also seems to prevent common eye conditions, such as macular degeneration and cataracts.

You need about 400 IU of vitamin E per day. Good sources of vitamin E are wheat germ oil, almonds, sunflower seeds, olives, hazelnuts, sweet potatoes, peanut butter, and avocados. Supplementation is necessary, since it is practically impossible to get enough vitamin E from food.

Lecithin is found in most legumes, especially soybeans. Legumes are also a good source of choline, which is a potent lipotrophic agent that controls fat metabolism.

Finally, plant fiber from whole grains helps reduce fat in the blood and therefore prevents hardening of the arteries. Most effective fibers are the grains of rye, quinoa, amaranth, and oats. Unprocessed grains are also a great source of niacin and vitamin E.

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