These 20 foods naturally clear your arteries and protect you from heart attacks. Eat healthy and live longer!

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Heart problems are one of the leading causes of death in many countries. A major risk factor for both heart attack and stroke is clogged arteries, which can interrupt blood flow throughout the body. Stress, lack of movement, and especially unhealthy eating are all contributors to heightened rates of heart attack. But making a few small changes to your diet can drastically lower your risk. Here are some foods and drinks that are known to help keep your arteries free of blockage:

Salmon

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Flickr/cruster

Salmon is considered one of the heart-healthiest foods out there. The reason for this is the many healthy fatty acids naturally found in the fish. These help to lower and prevent heightened cholesterol, triglyceride levels, and inflammation. Other healthy fish options are tuna, herring, and mackerel. Of course, it’s best to buy organic fish if possible.

Orange juice

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Flickr/gpeters

100% orange juice is rich in antioxidants that support healthy blood vessels. Orange juice is also known to lower blood pressure levels. Two glasses of fresh juice each day are enough to cover your daily recommended value of vitamin C and provide sufficient vitamins and minerals to positively impact your health.

Coffee

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Flickr/waferboard

Yes! Finally there’s a healthy reason to have that morning cup of joe. Studies have shown that enjoying 2-4 cups of coffee during the day can lower your risk of heart attack by up to 20%. But keep in mind that coffee can also have negative effects on your stomach and excess caffeine is also not particularly healthy for you.

Nuts

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Flickr/cowbellsolo

Nuts have long been known for their abundance of healthy fats. These include omega-3 fatty acids and unsaturated fats. Not only are these good for your cholesterol levels, but they also benefit your joints and memory. Walnuts and almonds are particularly high in these healthy fats. One handful each day can make all the difference.

Persimmon fruit

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Flickr/haynes

Rich in fiber and healthy sterols, persimmons can help lower your cholesterol levels. These so-called “divine fruits” are sweet and tasty additions to salads or cereal.

Turmeric

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Turmeric contains high levels of curcumin, which has many positive attributes. The spice helps to prevent overactive fat storage and lowers tissue inflammation. Turmeric makes a tasty addition to many dishes and also makes a delicious tea.

Green tea

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Green tea is well-known for its simultaneously energizing and calming effects. One reason for this is the cetachin contained in the tea leaves. This antioxidant lowers cholesterol absorption and supports metabolism. 1-2 cups of tea per day is enough to provide the maximum benefits.

Watermelon

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Flickr/sadikot

The epitome of summer fruit is not only refreshing, it also widens blood vessels by promoting the production of nitric oxide. An occasional piece of watermelon can work wonders!

Whole grain

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Flickr/notahipster

Whole grain flour is another effective way to prevent high cholesterol. It is high in fiber, which bonds with cholesterol, preventing it from collecting in arteries. Foods high in whole grain don’t only prevent cholesterol from building up, they also help to break down any existing buildup. Good sources of whole grain are oats, brown rice, and whole grain bread.

Cheese

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Flickr/bl0ndeeo2

Cheese doesn’t always have the best reputation when it comes to cholesterol, but if it’s not consumed in excess, it can actually help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Seaweed

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Flickr/San

The list of healthy ingredients in seaweed is mind-blowing: It is rich in numerous minerals, vitamins, proteins, antioxidants, and carotenoids. Regular consumption can help regulate blood pressure and widen vessels, both of which are beneficial to circulation. People who regularly eat seaweed can lower their cholesterol by up to 15%.

Cranberries

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Flickr/tigergirl

Cranberries are a great source of potassium. If you regularly drink cranberry juice, you’ll raise levels of healthy cholesterol and lower dangerous ones. Consuming 2 glasses per day has been shown to lower your risk of heart attack by up to 40%.

Cinnamon

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Flickr/Raj Stevenson

Cinnamon is not only delicious in tea or baked goods, it is also an important tool to fight high cholesterol by preventing buildup in arteries. Even 1 teaspoon per day can have a noticeable effect.

Pomegranate

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Flickr/veisto

Pomegranates are rich in phytochemicals that naturally promote nitric oxide production, which is in turn a good way to help circulation. This exotic fruit makes for a beautiful addition to salads and/or pomegranate juice is another healthy option.

Spinach

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Flickr/laurelfan

Not only good for Popeye’s muscles, spinach also helps to clear arteries and lower blood pressure. Even though the myth of spinach’s high iron content has since been debunked, it is still known to be rich in potassium and folic acid. Both of these lower your risk of heart attacks and support muscle tissues.

Olive oil

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Flickr/Smabs Sputzer

Italians and Greeks have long known the secret to good health: high-quality olive oil. Cold-pressed olive oil provides your body with healthy fats and lowers cholesterol levels. This can lower the risk of heart attack by up to 41% – wow.

Broccoli

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Flickr/sk8geek

This green power vegetable, exploding in vitamin K, prevents calcium settling in your arteries. It also is beneficial to blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Whether eating it raw as a snack, or as part of a larger meal, broccoli is a nutrient-rich addition to your day.

Avocado

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Flickr/threelayercake

It’s no longer a mystery that avocados are extremely healthy for you. The fats found in avocados promote a healthy balance between good and bad cholesterol, which is vital for healthy arteries. This versatile fruit is delicious in salad, on bread, or on its own with a dash of salt and pepper.

Asparagus

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Flickr/jwillier

Asparagus is a Herculean fighter against high cholesterol. The contents of asparagus prevent clogging of veins and inflammation. Asparagus is delicious as a main dish, in soup, or as a side to noodles or potatoes.

Wow. What a wide selection of foods that make for healthy hearts – I’m sure there is something in there that will please every person’s taste buds. I love it when delicious and healthy comes together.

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