Lifestyle Tips for Healthy Arteries

Across the US, more than 30 million adults have heart disease, and it’s a leading cause of death among adults worldwide. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to prevent heart disease. Keeping your arteries healthy and elastic is one way to reduce your risk of heart disease and other major problems like carotid artery disease.

At the Vascular Associates of San Diego in La Mesa, California, our expert team of top vascular disease specialists is ready to help you live your healthiest life. A healthy life includes healthy arteries. Here are some ways to keep your arteries in tip-top shape.

Why are clogged arteries so dangerous?

Arteriosclerosis occurs when your arteries harden up and become constricted or less elastic. In principle, any vessel in the body can be affected by arteriosclerosis. Another danger posed by arteriosclerotic vessels happens when parts of a calcified vessel wall can become detached, are transported on with the bloodstream, and can then entirely block smaller vessels.

Vascular calcification can have various consequences, such as:

Taking steps to prevent arteriosclerosis will, in turn, help prevent heart disease.

What happens when your arteries harden?

Healthy arteries are free of deposits (plaques), flexible, and elastic. Fat deposits on the endothelium (the innermost vascular wall of the vessels) make them narrower and harden, and the vascular wall thickens. That’s how arteriosclerosis occurs. Gradually, the arteries lose their elasticity and can no longer optimally regulate your blood flow.

The heart then has to pump harder so that the blood flow can reach and supply all body cells despite the narrowing of the arteries. The pressure increases, which causes damage to the vessel wall.

Ways to keep your arteries healthy

Arteries carry oxygen-rich blood to your heart and tissues. Arteries are elastic, but when they thicken or harden up, that oxygen-rich blood has trouble traveling through your body. Over the years, fats, cholesterol, and blood cells are deposited as plaques on the vessel wall so that the arteries become increasingly narrow. This happens to everyone as they get older, but you can delay the process by following these lifestyle tips to keep the vessels elastic.

1. Refrain from smoking

Nicotine causes the blood vessels to age remarkably quickly. To keep the blood vessels elastic into old age, it is important to reduce certain factors or eliminate them completely. Smoking is particularly damaging to the blood vessels and accelerates the constriction. In fact, smokers experience strokes ten years before nonsmokers. Keep your arteries healthy by never smoking or trying to quit the habit as soon as possible.

2. Change your diet

Omega-3 fatty acids keep your arteries healthy. To do this, you should eat a balanced diet. A wholesome diet with fish, fruit, vegetables, and nuts is recommended. Mediterranean cuisine, in particular, contains many valuable omega-3 fatty acids that your body incorporates into the cell walls and thus makes them more elastic. Reduce your intake of animal fats and sugar as well, which can contribute to the hardening of the arteries.

3. More exercise in every day

For healthy arteries, aim for half an hour of exercise a day. A leisurely stroll isn’t enough, and your workout should be a little more strenuous. Go jogging for half an hour, take a brisk walk, or cycle to work. It’s important to work up a little sweat. Don’t overdo the exercise if you’re just beginning a routine, but instead, slowly build up your training time.

Keep arteries healthy

Diagnosis and treatment of hardened or clogged arteries is crucial for a healthy body and life. If you have concerns or questions about lifestyle changes, you can call Vascular Associates of San Diego or book an appointment online today.

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