Peripheral Arterial Disease which increases the risk of stroke and heart attack is experienced by 1 in 20 Americans.(1)
1 in every 3 individuals above 50 with diabetes is likely to have PAD.(2)
Peripheral artery disease refers to the disorder, which takes place in the arteries of one’s circulatory system. Arteries imply the blood vessels responsible to carry blood rich in nutrients and oxygen to different body parts from the heart. PAD takes place in arteries, which are responsible for carrying blood towards the legs and arms.(3)
What To Eat When You Have Peripheral Artery Disease?
If you are a patient of peripheral artery disease, you should look for the foods, which helps in avoiding blocked/clogged arteries.
Whole Grains: Whole grains contain dietary fiber to help in improving the levels of blood cholesterol and provide protection to the heart against severe diseases. The latest studies have shown that diets containing whole grains in high amounts help in thinning the carotid artery walls. These arteries deliver blood to the brain. On the other side, the thickening of carotid arteries lead to the buildup of atherosclerosis and increase the risk related to stroke and heart disease in peripheral artery disease.
Avocados: Avocados are one of the heart-healthy fruits and thereby, help in managing the condition of blocked/clogged arteries. Avocados also help in reducing bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol levels. These fruits also have potassium in enough amounts to avoid the cardiovascular problem and vascular calcification in the arteries in peripheral artery disease.
Cruciferous Veggies: Cruciferous veggies, such as cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli come packed with tons of benefits for your overall heart health. Each of these has proved to prevent blocked arteries and given protection against cardiovascular problems.
Turmeric: Turmeric comes with various powerful anti-inflammatory compounds. These help in reducing the damage to your arterial walls. Inflammation levels have a close relationship with atherosclerosis i.e. blocking or hardening of arteries.
Fatty Fish: Fatty fish comes with healthy fats i.e. unsaturated fats. Hence, the consumption of fish leads to relatively fewer heart attacks. Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce triglycerides levels and avoid the risk related to cardiac death in peripheral artery disease.
Pomegranate Juice: You should make the habit of drinking pomegranate juice to achieve optimum heart health. The juice has proved to clear blocked arteries and improve the flow of blood. Pomegranate is one of the free radical fighting fruits and hence, it has high antioxidants levels to stimulate nitric oxide production in the blood.
Nuts: Nuts act as powerhouses to boost heart health. These are rich in vitamins, unsaturated fats, and fiber, because of which nuts are excellent options in the category of healthy snacks. You should try cashews, almonds, and Brazil nuts, as all of them are rich in magnesium. Magnesium prevents the buildup of cholesterol and plaque in arteries and thereby, avoids the condition of blocked arteries.
Citrus Fruits: Most of the citrus fruits contain vitamin C and antioxidants, both of which are good for your arteries. Especially, vitamin C has a prime role to reduce the risk related to heart disease and flavonoids present in citrus fruits protect the arterial walls.
Olive Oil: Olive oil contains monounsaturated oleic acid, which protects the heart and reduces the risk of both stroke and cardiovascular disease significantly.
Coffee: A relevant research study has justified that having 2 or 3 cups of coffee in a day reduces your risk related to developing blocked arteries and thereby, avoid peripheral artery disease.(4)
What To Avoid When You Have Peripheral Artery Disease?
You have to avoid certain food items, especially the ones rich in saturated fats if you are suffering from peripheral artery disease. This is because; saturated fats encourage the blockage in arteries, which is the main cause of PAD. Common examples of saturated fats are-
- Butter, whole milk and cream products
- High-fat cheese products
- High-fat meat cuts, like the ones, appear marbled with fatty substances
- Ice cream
- Processed meats, like hot dogs, sausage, bologna, and salami
- Coconut oil and palm oil, which are added to prepared and packaged food items, like doughnuts, cookies, and energy bars.(5)
To conclude, we should say that by maintaining a diet to prevent the blockage of arteries, one can expect to manage his/her condition of peripheral artery disease.