In a world full of greasy, delicious foods, sedentary entertainment, and clouds of cigarette smoke, it’s no wonder that clogged arteries are the leading cause of death in the US, killing over 610,000 people each year.
Given this vital, albeit glum information, recognizing the major symptoms of heart disease should be our top priority…but it isn’t.
According to the CDC, a 2005 survey showed that while 92% of Americans know that chest pain is a major symptom of an oncoming heart attack, only 27% of participants knew all the major symptoms to look for.
The good news? We’re here to help by telling you all of the major symptoms to watch out for, and what types of food you can include in your diet to prevent and/or treat your clogged arteries.
First, let’s talk about what happens in your arteries before a heart attack or stroke.
Your arteries are responsible for carrying oxygen and nutrients in the blood to your heart, brain, and extremities.
Over time, and depending on several factors such as genetics, diet, and exercise, your body can experience a build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries.
These deposits are known as plaque that, when accumulated, will constrict your artery walls and slow or stop blood flow.
Not only that, but plaques can also rupture or break free from the artery wall and be carried through the blood until it gets stuck or forms a clot resulting in heart attack or stroke.
As we said before, the best way to prevent any of these life-altering events from taking place is to learn what to look for, and to eat with the heart in mind.
So, in addition to chest pains, you should be on the lookout for these symptoms as well:
Pain in the legs
Leg pain after walking short distances can be a HUGE warning sign that something is wrong. According to Dr. Daniel Claire of the Cleveland Clinic, discomfort in your lower extremities can be indicative of PAD, or peripheral artery disease.
If you’re feeling out of breath after short walks or light activity, WebMD says this could be a sign of a clogged coronary artery. Other symptoms can include chest pains, heart palpitations, dizziness, nausea, and sweating.
Your carotid arteries are responsible for carrying oxygen to the brain, and as NIH MedlinePlus points out, if one of these arteries are clogged it can cause terribly painful headaches.
If you begin to experience these without a reasonable explanation, you may want to book a visit to your GP.
If you’re finding it hard to “rise to the occasion”, you may want to be screened for heart disease.
According to the Physician’s Committee For Responsible Medicine (PCRM), erectile dysfunction can stem from a lack of blood flow to the penis and can indicate clogged arteries.
Pain In Your Lower Back
PCRM also notes that your lumbar arteries are generally the first to get clogged, leading to weakened discs and vertebrae. Being that chronic back pain is the most prevalent type of pain experienced by Americans, it might not hurt to screen for a blockage.
If you can’t seem to get your feet warm, WebMD says this could also be a sign of PAD, as the peripheral arteries are responsible for carrying blood throughout the lower extremities.
NIH MedlinePlus tells us that when your carotid artery becomes clogged, it can result in dizziness and an inability to balance yourself. So, if you’re having trouble staying on your feet, it might be time for a check-up.
Tightness In The Jaws
The folks over at Everyday Health explain that symptoms of clogged arteries can be quite a bit different for women than men, and urge women to be on the lookout for other symptoms, such as tightening of the jaw.
Sudden Onset Of Fatigue
If you are suddenly feeling more tired than usual, and don’t quite understand why, Everyday Health states this could also be another sign of clogged arteries in women, as a lack of blood flow means a decrease in oxygenation and nutrients to your brain and muscles.
Fortunately, you can treat or prevent these blockages with certain foods.
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Try including pomegranates for their powerful antioxidant effect, flax-seed for its ability to attack bad cholesterol, brassicas such as broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower to trigger antioxidants.
By incorporating these heart-healthy foods into your daily diet, and with the addition of moderate exercise, you could just end up saving your own life.
Check out this article for more information on foods that prevent clogged arteries.
H/T: Remedy Daily