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Foods That Open Blocked Leg Arteries

Foods That Open Blocked Leg Arteries Foods That Open Blocked Leg Arteries

Overview

Healthy arteries allow blood to carry oxygen throughout your body. Blocked leg arteries are a form of peripheral vascular disease, which involves the narrowing of arteries apart from your heart and brain. These blockages, caused by fat buildup, restrict circulation, leading to fatigue and leg cramps. PAD increases your risk for fatal heart attacks and stroke, according to the American Heart Association. Although no foods are known to unblock arteries, a heart-healthy diet may prevent or slow PAD progression.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are prime components of a heart-healthy diet. They provide rich amounts of antioxidants, which support your body's ability to resist and heal from infections and disease, and fiber, which may guard against heart disease. Varieties particularly rich in antioxidants include berries, citrus fruits, avocados, leafy greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots and winter squash. Raspberries, pears and apples provide 4 to 8 g of fiber per serving. Potatoes, bananas, pears, cabbage, peppers and spinach provide plentiful amounts of vitamin B-6. Without enough vitamin B-6, your blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine may increase, which is an independent risk factor for stroke and heart disease, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements. Incorporate a variety of fruits and vegetables into your dietary routine for the broadest nutrient benefits.

Legumes

Legumes, including beans, lentils and split peas, are top sources of dietary fiber and top plant sources of protein. As naturally saturated-fat-free and cholesterol-free foods, they provide heart-healthy protein alternatives to high-fat meat and dairy products, which may worsen the effects of PAD. To reap the benefits of a high-fiber diet, MayoClinic.com recommends that women consume at least 21 to 25 g of fiber per day and men consume 30 to 38 g per day. One cup of cooked split peas, black beans or lentils provides between 15 and 16.5 g of fiber. Nutritious fiber-rich legume dishes include lentil soup, low-fat vegetarian chili, steamed soybeans, hummus and baked bean patties.

Whole Grains

Unlike refined grains, whole grains contain all nutritious part of the grain, including the sperm, endosperm and germ. As a result, they provide more fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. In addition to lowering risk factors associated with PAD, a diet rich in whole grains may enhance weight control by increasing fullness between meals, according to the AHA. Particularly nutritious whole grain foods include cooked barley and whole wheat pasta, each of which provide roughly 6 g of fiber per cup. Other nutritious choices include brown rice, wild rice, quinoa and air-popped popcorn.

Cold-Water Fish

The oil in cold-water fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids -- essential fats with anti-inflammatory properties. Eating cold-water fish regularly, or at least twice per week, may help slow the buildup of fat in your arteries, according to the AHA. Fish particularly rich in omega-3 fats include mackerel, salmon, herring, flounder, halibut, sardines, albacore tuna and lake trout. For heightened benefits, prepare fish using heart-healthy cooking methods, such as baking, broiling and poaching. Natural herbs and lemon juice provide low-sodium alternatives to table salt.

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