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Foods to Eat for Clogged Leg Arteries

Foods to Eat for Clogged Leg Arteries

Overview

Clogged leg arteries may result from peripheral vascular disease, in which fat builds up in your leg's arteries, or deep vein thrombosis, in which a blood clot forms. Treatment for clogged leg arteries may involve medications, surgery and lifestyle changes, including a diet aimed at improving your cholesterol levels, blood pressure and body weight. Quitting smoking, exercising regularly and wearing compression stockings to reduce swelling can also help. For best results, seek guidance from your doctor or dietitian.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables provide antioxidants such as vitamin C and beta-carotene that support strong immune system function. They also offer fiber, which promotes digestive function and appetite control. Incorporating a variety of fruits and vegetables into your diet may help you control your blood pressure and weight, according to the American Heart Association. This makes them prime components of a diet geared toward minimizing arterial blockage. Fruits and vegetables particularly rich in fiber and nutrients, yet low in calories, include berries, kiwi, tomatoes, citrus fruits, leafy greens, bell peppers, broccoli and cabbage.

Legumes

Legumes, such as lentils, beans and split peas, are high in protein. They provide cholesterol-free, low-fat alternatives to fatty protein sources, such as red and processed meats, which may worsen cholesterol and blood pressure problems. The University of Maryland Medical Center describes legumes as "one of the best" sources of fiber. Substitute beans for ground beef in tacos, casseroles and chili. Replace high-fat, creamy soups with lentil or split-pea soup. Additional nutritious legume-based dishes include chilled bean salads, baked bean patties, steamed soybeans and vegetable and bean burritos.

Fish

Fish are additional heart-healthy protein alternatives to red, fried and processed meats. The AHA recommends eating fish at least twice per week and emphasizing fish containing omega-3 fatty acids. These include salmon, mackerel, herring and halibut, linked with improved artery and overall cardiovascular health. For heightened benefits, prepare fish using low-fat cooking methods, such as broiling, baking, poaching and grilled with olive oil or nonstick cooking spray and natural herbs.

Whole Grains

Because whole grains contain all nutritious parts of the grain, they supply more fiber, protein and micronutrients, such as B-vitamins and selenium, than refined grains. Most of your carbohydrate choices should be rich in fiber, according to the UMMC, so choose whole grains, such as oats, barley, brown rice and quinoa, instead of enriched breads, cereal, pasta and snack foods, most often. When purchasing breads and other prepared foods, check nutrition labels to ensure that whole grains are the main ingredients.

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