7 Foods to Keep Your Blood Vessels Young

A jar of honey.

Generally, consuming at least two tablespoons of locally made-honey a day is advisable since it can help your body desensitize to local pollen. (Image: Bhofack2 via Dreamstime)

If the body’s blood vessels are not working properly, they cannot deliver blood to all parts of the body. As you age, fatty traces form in your blood vessels causing the cells lining the inside of the vessels to increase in number and size. This leads to medical emergencies, such as heart attacks and strokes. According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular disease accounts for 32 percent of all deaths worldwide.

To combat these conditions, early prevention is better than a cure. In addition to regular exercise, it is important to control weight, improve diet, and reduce stress.

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The following 7 foods can keep blood vessels young

1. Blueberries

Berries such as strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries are very beneficial to health and can be eaten regularly to help avoid blood clots. Blueberries are rich in vitamins, fiber, trace elements, and antioxidants such as polyphenols.

Blueberries are rich in vitamins, fiber, trace elements, and antioxidants such as polyphenols. (Image: congerdesign via Pixabay)

Blueberries can reduce the inflammatory response through antioxidants and reduce the accumulation of cholesterol in blood vessels by affecting the metabolism and transport of cholesterol. They can also protect the cells that line the inside of the vessels by affecting their function. High blood pressure, diabetes, and chronic inflammation can all damage the walls of blood vessels. Blueberries can improve all three of these conditions.

2. Honey

Studies show that honey has cardiovascular benefits because it contains polyphenols. The polyphenols in honey include quercetin, caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), acacia, kaempferol, galangin, and salicin, which are all good for cardiovascular health. These substances can help reduce the risk of heart disease by fighting thrombosis, preventing oxidation of bad cholesterol, and improving vasodilation.

3. Walnuts

The alpha-linolenic acid in walnuts is transformed into DHA and EPA, which help to reduce neutral fat and cholesterol in the blood and prevent blood vessel aging. Walnuts also contain unsaturated fatty acids, which can remove waste materials from the blood vessels and keep them healthy.

Japanese herbalist Ko Ha suggests that a small amount of walnuts every day can improve cardiovascular indicators and thus slow down the aging of the brain. However, according to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), walnuts are very hot and contain a lot of fat, so eating too many of them will also make you hot.

4. Cauliflower

Eating cauliflower can help prevent hardening of the arteries. (Image: Thanamat via Dreamstime)

Cauliflower contains folic acid, which can break down substances that cause hardening of the arteries. In addition, cauliflower also contains radish sulfur, which is useful for blood vessel health and the prevention of heart disease and stroke.

5. Tofu

Tofu contains peptides that help normalize cholesterol in the blood and prevent blood vessel aging. Lecithin in tofu is a phospholipid that forms cell membranes, brain and nerve tissues, and transports cholesterol from the blood to the liver. This reduces the accumulation of cholesterol in blood vessels and prevents problems like hardening and narrowing of the arteries, strokes, and memory problems related to blood flow to the brain.

6. Collagen and vitamin C

Collagen (an animal protein) and vitamin C are the materials used to make the lining of blood vessels. Collagen is also the material for the production of lymphocytes (one of the immune cells), which can further protect the health of blood vessels if the immune system is boosted.

7. Dark chocolate

Eating dark chocolate lowers the risk of coronary artery disease.
Eating dark chocolate lowers the risk of coronary artery disease. (Image: NatashaBreen via Dreamstime)

Resveratrol and cocoa polyphenols (flavonoids) in dark chocolate have been linked to heart health, and a paper in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology in 2020 showed that people who ate dark chocolate more than once a week had an 8 percent lower risk of coronary artery disease than those who ate it less than once a week.

Translated by Audrey Wang

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