Health and Disease

21 Foods That Naturally Unclog Arteries

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21 foods that naturally unclog arteries

If your goal is to restore or maintain a healthy heart, there are a variety of foods that can help to unclog arteries of plaque build-up, lower your blood pressure, and reduce inflammation – the main culprits of cardiovascular illness.

Many of the foods on this list contain healthy fats, antioxidants, and soluble fiber which are great not only for your heart, but also to promote healthy skin, hair, hormone production, and nutrient absorption.  You can feel better, have more energy, and improve your heart health without the use of toxic chemicals.

  1. Asparagus

One of the best vegetables for clearing arteries, asparagus is full of fiber and minerals, as well as a long list of vitamins including K, B1, B2, C, and E.  Asparagus can help to lower blood pressure and prevent blood clots that can cause serious cardiovascular illness.  Try steaming raw asparagus for maximum vitamin potential!

  1. Avocado

The next time you make a sandwich or salad, consider adding a few slices of avocado in lieu of mayonnaise or heavy salad dressing.  Studies have shown that the daily consumption of avocado result in improved blood cholesterol with a decrease in triglycerides and LDL of around 22% and an 11% increase in HDL – the “good” cholesterol that helps to keep arteries clear of obstructions.  Not only can this delicious fruit help to keep your blood flowing smoothly, the average avocado also contains around 4 grams protein and 11 grams of fiber, not to mention an impressive list of vitamins and antioxidants.

  1. Broccoli

Broccoli is another vegetable that is loaded with vitamin K which helps to prevent calcification or hardening of arteries.  Eating vitamin- and antioxidant-packed broccoli can also help to prevent oxidation of LDL cholesterol which can lead to serious heart conditions.  This super healthy veggie also offers a heart-healthy dose of fiber which helps to normalize blood-pressure and reduce stress that may cause tears (and eventually plaque build-up) in arterial walls.

  1. Chia Seeds

When included daily as part of a heart-healthy diet, the fiber and alpha-linolenic acid contained in just two ounces of Chia seeds can help to keep arteries clear by regulating blood pressure, reducing LDL cholesterol, lowering triglycerides, and increasing HDL cholesterol.  Also, because daily cardiovascular exercise is another excellent way to improve heart health and keep arteries clear, Chia seeds are doubly effective.  The boost of protein and nutrients offered by this tiny superfood can help to make any workout feel just a little bit easier.

  1. Cinnamon

You’ve probably heard that a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.  But did you know that a spoonful of cinnamon makes your risk of heart disease go down?  Just one tablespoon of ground cinnamon per day can work to reduce cholesterol levels while at the same time clearing and preventing plaque build-up.  Cinnamon is also full of antioxidants which further improve cardiovascular health by protecting blood from damaging oxidation.  So put down the sugar and start enjoying cinnamon.  Try this fragrant spice in a cup of tea or sprinkled on top of coffee.  Or check out these recipes on EatingWell with cinnamon.

  1. Coconut Oil

Disregard the old myth that all saturated fats are bad and the leading cause of cardiovascular diseases like atherosclerosis.  Regular consumption of coconut oil – about 2 or 3 tablespoons per day – can help to reduce plaque build-up in the arteries by aiding the conversion of cholesterol in the blood stream into a form that our bodies can use.  The high concentration of medium-chain triglyceride, lauric acid present in coconut oil is also thought to improve blood coagulation as well as to perform antioxidant functions in the blood stream, further diminishing the risk of heart disease.

  1. Coffee

Also contrary to popular belief, coffee is not bad for your health.  Studies have found that drinking between 8 and 16 oz of coffee per day can reduce your risk of heart disease by around 20%.  Just remember to take all things in moderation, including caffeine.  Over-consumption of any stimulant has the potential to increase your blood pressure and heart rate, which can lead to some serious health problems.

  1. Cranberries

Cranberries are another antioxidant-rich food which can help to improve cardiovascular health by reducing LDL and raising HDL cholesterol levels. In fact, cranberry juice has more antioxidant power than all but one other fruit juice (100% red or black grape being the exception.)  Enjoy two servings of 100% pure organic cranberry juice daily to protect your heart and improve your health.

  1. Cold-water “Fatty” Fish

Also rich in healthy fats, cold-water fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, and tuna can help to clear arteries.  Try to eat fish twice per week to reduce plaque build-up and inflammation that can lead to heart disease.  Also, eating cold-water fish can help to improve your overall cholesterol – lowering triglyceride levels and increasing HDL cholesterol in the blood-stream.

  1. Flaxseeds

One of the best sources of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), flaxseeds are known for their ability to reduce blood-pressure and inflammation, helping to keep arteries clear of obstructions and improve overall heart health.  Enjoy a serving of 100% organic golden flaxseed added to a delicious smoothie or in a salad.

  1. Green Tea

Green tea – especially nutrient-rich Matcha green tea – contains high levels of catechins, antioxidant plant phenols which hinder the absorption of cholesterol during digestion.  Enjoy a cup or two of green tea every day to improve your blood-lipid levels and help reduce arterial blockage.  Green tea also provides a natural boost to the metabolism which can help you to lose weight, further bolstering your cardiovascular health.

  1. Nuts

A heart healthy snack alternative to prepackaged and processed foods, raw nuts are a delicious way to clear arteries with many auxiliary benefits, to boot!  Almonds are by far the best option, being very high in monounsaturated fats, vitamin E, fiber, and protein.  Walnuts are another great choice.  As an excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) – the same EFA that gives flaxseeds their favorable reputation – eating a serving of walnuts every day can help to improve blood-pressure, reduce inflammation, and keep arteries clear of obstructions.

  1. Olive Oil

Rich in monounsaturated oleic acid – an essential fatty acid (EFA) known for its positive effects on cholesterol levels and oxidative stress in the blood stream – olive oil is widely considered to be one of the healthiest oils for cooking and dressing food.  According to a recent study, use of olive oil for these purposes can actually reduce the risk of serious cardiovascular illnesses by up to 41%.

A word of caution: When shopping for olive oil, avoid buying the lowest-priced option on the shelf.  These products are inexpensive for a good reason.  Low-cost olive oils are often cut with cheaper, less-healthy oils or have been damaged by heat during the extraction process.  Instead, go with a certified 100% organic virgin olive oil.

  1. Orange Juice

Drinking just two cups of 100% orange juice (no sugar added) every day can help to improve blood pressure and reduce inflammation of arteries.  Also, orange juice is full of antioxidant vitamin C which helps to keep arteries clear by preventing oxidative damage in the blood stream     The back drawl to Orange Juice is that most commercial orange juices are very very high in High Fructose Corn Syrup.  So pure, fresh squeeze orange juice is good for you, commercial brands are not.,

  1. Persimmon

Persimmons are loaded with antioxidants and polyphenols, both of which work to decrease LDL and triglycerides in the blood-stream.  Persimmons are also a great source of fiber which helps to regulate blood pressure, keep your heart healthy, and your arteries clear.

  1. Pomegranate

Antioxidant phytochemicals naturally present in pomegranates do an excellent job of protecting the circulatory system from damaging oxidation which can cause plaque build-up and dangerous blood clots.  Pomegranate also naturally stimulates production of nitric oxide in the blood which helps to open arteries and regulate blood pressure.  Try eating fresh pomegranate or enjoy some organic pomegranate juice!

  1. Spinach

One of the famed dark leafy greens, spinach is loaded with fiber, potassium, and folate – all of which help to lower blood pressure and keep arteries clear.  According to recent studies, just one serving per day of folate-rich greens like spinach can lower homocysteine levels – a known risk factor for cardiovascular diseases like atherosclerosis.  Why not mix it up a little?  Enjoy your spinach sautéed, in a salad, or as part of a heart-smart smoothie!

  1. Spirulina

Spirulina is a cytobacteria (or blue-green algae as they are often called) which not only helps to regulate lipid levels in the blood, it is also a complete protein.  Unlike other plant sources of protein, Spirulina contains all of the essential amino acids needed by the human body to maintain optimum health.  Spirulina is also packed with EFAs, including alpha-linolenic acid – the essential omega-3 fatty acid found in chia and flaxseeds that has been researched extensively for its ability to reduce arterial inflammation and improve cardiovascular health.  Take Spirulina daily as a supplement or try it in powder form in some of these delicious recipes.

  1. Turmeric

Curcumin, the main component of Turmeric, is a powerful anti-inflammatory.  Adding turmeric to your diet can seriously reduce inflammation and damage to arterial walls which are leading causes of plaque build-up and blood clots.  Furthermore, studies have shown us that the high levels of curcumin in Turmeric can aid in the reduction of fatty deposits in the arteries by up to 26%.

  1. Watermelon

Not only is it delicious, watermelon is another fruit that is great for your heart.  As an excellent natural source of the amino acid L-citrulline, watermelon can help to keep arteries clear by lowering blood pressure and decreasing inflammation.  In much the same way as pomegranate, watermelon naturally stimulates production of nitric oxide, which further improves artery health and blood pressure

  1. Whole Grains

Trade out your bleached carbohydrates for their whole grain alternatives to give your heart health a boost.  Foods like whole grain breads, whole wheat pastas, brown rice, quinoa, barley, and oatmeal have long been celebrated for their role in improving blood-cholesterol levels, keeping arteries clear, and reducing the risk of serious heart disease.

Need a little help finding foods that fit the bill?  This is only the beginning.  Each food also has interactions with you and your medication.  Call us at:

Health and Wellness Associates

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Foods, Lifestyle

Wild Roses and Rose Petal Honey

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While roses have been adored for their beauty for thousands of years, they are more than a pretty face and scent. They offer us powerful medicine for decreasing both emotional and physical pain, for healing wounds, and for decreasing systemic inflammation such as arthritis. Here are some lessons I’ve learned from wild roses. Scent is a powerful way to alter your mood. Try taking a deep breath from the heart of a rose flower. Can you feel its immediate effect of opening and cheering your heart? Herbalists commonly use roses to mend a broken heart and to support someone going through grief, sadness and depression. Herbalist David Winston recommends rose petals in combination with hawthorn leaves and mimosa bark for grief and post-traumatic stress syndrome.1

Rose can cause and cure physical pain. If you’ve ever been hip deep in a rose bramble or were a little too unaware around roses, then you became immediately aware of its defense mechanism. Rose thorns can easily snag skin and clothing, leaving a painful reminder that there is more to roses than beauty. But while roses can leave their scratches, they can also be used to heal wounds and relieve pain. All parts of the rose plant have long been used to heal both external and internal wounds. In his book, Native American Ethnobotany, Daniel Moerman has recorded numerous uses of roses by Native Americans. One common wild rose species, Rosa woodsii, was used extensively by the Paiute in topical applications for boils, sunburns, sores, cuts, swellings and wounds. The Okanogan-Colville used chewed leaves as a poultice for bee stings.2

Roses teach presence and awareness My husband and I have done a fair bit of wildcrafting, and out of all the plants we’ve harvested and tended in the wild, gathering rose petals is my favorite sensorial experience. We often set out in the morning with our mesh gathering bags in hand. We feel the warm sun on our skin and hear the call of the songbirds around us. As we approach the rose brambles, we can often hear the buzz of bees before the roses are in sight. If it’s a hot day and the wind is just right, the scent of roses rushes to greet us before we’ve even bend down to meet the flowers with our noses. As we begin to harvest, I savor the silky feel of the petals on my fingers. But, I can’t get too wrapped up in the beauty of it all. Otherwise I may brush too nonchalantly against the thorns or reach for a flower without looking…and you never know what’s hiding in the heart of a rose. Here’s what I saw while out harvesting the other day.

Tips for Harvesting Wild Roses Today I want to share some wild rose harvesting tips with you along with one of my favorite ways to enjoy wild roses: rose petal honey. When I harvest rose petals to infuse into honey, I like to gather the best petals I can find. The first thing I do is make sure I am harvesting in an area that is free from pesticides and herbicides. Next I want to make sure that I am harvesting from an area where the roses are abundant so I can be sure to leave plenty of roses for the bees and other insects. Before I harvest, I smell the roses to make sure they are fragrant. While all of our wild roses are fragrant, I’ve found they have more scent when harvested in the earlier part of the day rather than the evening. To harvest the petals, I first tap the flower gently to help any insects in the flower find their exit. I then cup my fingers behind the petals and gently tug on them. If they don’t immediately let go I move on to a different flower. Once I have enough petals for my honey, I take them home and lay them out in a tray on the porch to further help any small critters find their way out.

If you don’t have wild roses growing around you I suggest you move to an area that does. It’s worth it! Okay, kidding aside, you can use domesticated roses, however you want to make sure they haven’t been sprayed and that they have a strong scent. Heritage varieties adapted to your region require little effort to grow. If they don’t have a scent, then find different roses. Never use roses from florist shops since those roses have been sprayed with all sorts of chemicals.

Rose Petal Honey

This is a simple treat to make that tastes incredibly luxurious. We make this every spring, but never seem to make enough. We drizzle it on pancakes, French toast, ice cream, oatmeal, and, as seen in the photos, les petits palmiers (a French pastry). What you’ll need… a small jar enough rose petals to fill the jar gently honey to fill the jar (I use local honey I get from a beekeeping friend) Once your rose petals have been cleared of any insects, place them into your jar. Put in enough roses that you gently fill the jar but they aren’t completely crammed in there. (Unless they are dusty there is no need to wash the rose petals. In fact your honey will be stronger in flavor if you don’t rinse them.) Next fill the jar with honey. Because I use local honey that hasn’t been processed, my honey is often hard and crystalized. I like to gently warm the honey to make sure it has a syrup-like consistency. Being slightly warmed and more fluid helps it to better infuse the petals. (If you keep the temperature of the honey below 95 degrees F., you will still maintain the characteristics of the raw honey.) I often add the honey in two steps. First I fill the rose petal jar with honey and stir it well to release air bubbles. Then I add more honey to fill the jar again. I recommend waiting at least three days before you eat the honey. The honey will pull out the moisture from the roses, infusing it with their perfumed flavor. There is no need to strain the petals and we keep our rose petal honey on the counter. If you live in a warmer climate you may want to keep it in the fridge. This honey will keep for a long time (if it lasts that long!). Last year we didn’t make nearly enough, so we avoided taking out the petals when we used it and then kept refilling the jar with honey when it got low. This year we will definitely be making more. Remember not to give honey to kids under one year of age.

Health and Wellness Associates

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R. de la Foret

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle

What Your Wrinkles Are Telling You

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What Your Wrinkles Are Telling You We all get older and signs of aging start by appearing on our faces. Wrinkles are the most visible sign of aging and can be spotted easily. Most of us are bound to get them in the course of our lives.

Many people want to avoid wrinkles especially when they first show up. There are many things people do to avoid wrinkles. Studies show that when we hit our 30′s we avoid the sun, reduce smoking, and cut down alcohol use. While these things are helpful to avoid wrinkles, have you ever thought that the wrinkles and fine lines on your face might be saying something about your health?

Wrinkles and the Brain Experts have linked facial wrinkles with the effects of aging on our brain. Studies show that the more wrinkles we have the more our brain is impacted by aging. Dr. Douglas Fields research found that by looking at the state of our skin we can tell much about the health of our brain. Usually the rate our brains start to age depends on external factors and genetics. Hormones play an important role in keeping our brain and skin healthy, deficiency of certain hormones is linked to various forms of cognitive impairment and dementia. When we don’t use sunscreen it disturbs our immune system and triggers inflammation, this damages the skin and has an aging effect on our brain. Skin and brain cells develop from the same embryonic tissue which is why they age at the same rate. Another factor correlating brain and skin aging is Alzheimer’s disease. Physical and mental exercises can be used to keep our brains and skin healthy. Avoiding toxins, stress, alcoholism, and cardiovascular disease will slow the effect of aging on brains and skin which will also help you reduce wrinkles.

Wrinkles and the Heart The American Heart Association performed a study on 10,000 people over a period of 35 years that showed wrinkles and other signs of aging are related to heart attacks and heart disease. From the total analyzed approximately 50% had both wrinkles and skin disorders. If you are in your 40′s and have wrinkles it’s a good idea to book a doctor’s appointment for a heart check-up.

Wrinkles and Other Organs Wrinkles are linked with many health-related factors. Studies show facial wrinkles are linked to osteoporosis. New research has found a strange connection between wrinkles and bone health, the more wrinkles you have the more likely you are to have less bone density, this is more common in women with early menopause.

One primary cause of wrinkles is smoking tobacco and having longterm alcoholism, these habits are also linked with deterioration of bone health. While wrinkles are common signs of aging they may also be screaming about your overall health and should not be ignored.

If you need help reversing any of these conditions, or you want to prevent wrinkles that may be in your family line; give us a call,

Health and Wellness Associates

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P Carrothers

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