I was taught in medical school that coronary artery disease (CAD) progresses from minor fatty streaks in youth, to plaques in early adulthood, to complicated plaques causing heart attacks and death later in life.
I was taught that genetics were responsible for this progression. And only drugs could reverse the process.
But good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle CAN reverse arterial plaque and disease. For more information on the big strategy to reversing coronary disease, see our full article here.
Here are the top nutrient-dense foods to help reverse coronary artery disease
- Avocado– One of the best fruits to consume for its healthy fat and potassium and magnesium rich meat. Studies have shown that eating avocado can lead to improved blood cholesterol, while lowering LDL and triglycerides and increasing the good cholesterol that helps keep arteries clear.
- Onions and Garlic– Rich in sulphur, vegetables in the onion and garlic family can help prevent blood vessel inflammation, inhibit the clumping of blood platelets, and increase the availability of nitric oxide, preventing coronary artery hardening and blood clots.
- Flavonoid-rich Berries– Full of plant-based antioxidants, fiber, minerals and vitamins, berries such as blueberries, cranberries, raspberries and blackberries can help improve cardiovascular health by reducing LDL cholesterol and raising HDL cholesterol levels.
- Fatty, Cold-water Fish– Eating fish rich in healthy omega-3 fats such as tuna, salmon, mackerel, and sardines can help clear arterial plaque. Studies demonstrate that omega-3 rich fish intake even just a few times a week has been associated with a reduced risk of atherosclerosis.
- Nitric-Oxide Rich Beets– Eating foods like beets that are rich in dietary nitrates may help improve blood vessel function and decrease inflammation, which may help prevent atherosclerosis. These nitrates are converted to nitric oxide in the body, which helps the blood to flow more smoothly in the body. If you haven’t developed a taste for beets, try adding our heart beet powder to your morning smoothie for a healthy change!
- Lycopene-Loving Tomato– Research has shown that consuming lycopene-rich tomato products, especially those made with olive oil may aid in decreasing inflammation, boosting HDL (good) cholesterol, and reducing the overall risk of heart disease.
- Spice It Up– Curcumin, the most beneficial compound in turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. By adding turmeric and other spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, cayenne and ginger to your diet you can help reduce inflammation by reducing free radicals and reduce damage to your arterial walls which is a major contributor to plaque buildup.
- Nuts and Seeds– Raw, organic nuts and seeds, especially walnuts, flax and chia, really are small foods that pack a big nutritional punch! They are high in fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. Eating these foods can help regulate blood sugar and protect against diabetes, which is a major risk factor in developing atherosclerosis. In addition, consuming nuts and seeds help improve blood vessel function and boost good cholesterol.
- Green Vegetables– It is important to include green vegetables of many different varieties for best heart health. Mineral rich leafy greens such as arugula, kale, chard and spinach help decrease inflammation and improve blood vessel function. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage help detoxify the body with their high fiber content and also contain phytonutrients that help reduce oxidative stress. In fact, studies have linked cruciferous vegetable consumption to reduced arterial calcification, which is a major component of CAD.
- Polyphenol Rich Beverages– Coffee, green tea, and cocoa are important dietary sources of polyphenols and have received much attention during the past several years because of their beneficial effects on cardiovascular health. Of course, the quality of these foods matter, so make sure you are sourcing organic, toxin-free products for your beverage needs. We love our Cardiology Coffee since it surpasses these standards and compounds in coffee can help prevent LDL damage. For more information, check out our article Is Coffee Good or Bad for Cholesterol Levels.
Keep in mind that you can reverse coronary artery disease. Read more about that here. In addition to the dietary recommendations above, it all centers around decreasing inflammation through quality sleep, detoxification, stress management and smart supplementation. Here are some of the products we recommend for prevention and reversal of coronary artery disease.
Supplements to reverse and prevent CAD:
- Daily Defense– This supplement is loaded with antioxidants and glutathione boosters. It will give your body the tools it needs to get any job done. 2 scoops per day in water or smoothie. Add a tablespoon of organic coconut butter or almond butter. It is truly delicious!
- Vitamin K2– I suggest 1 cap of Super K per day. K2 keeps the calcium in your bones and out of your arteries. Plenty of data on K2.
- Magnesium– Magne 5, two caps 2x per day. Mag is involved in over 300 different enzymatic reactions in the body. It will assist in plaque reversal as well.
- OptiLipid– 1 cap 2x per day of our Berbe. This supplement will assist in pulling cholesterol from plaque and bringing it back to the liver for recycling.
- Heart Helpers probiotic– 1 cap daily, 25 billion count, 10 strains. Pure heart health. Good gut bacteria produce nutrients to clear blockages. Give em’ a try.