A heart-healthy diet is the best way to support your blood vessels. Doctors tend to focus on the heart, but the body has miles and miles of blood vessels that must remain healthy in order to effectively transport blood to oxygenate all the tissues and organs. Damaged vessels become brittle, clogged or blocked and that can result in heart attack, stroke or other forms of heart disease. In particular, we want to take care of the inside of the blood vessels, called the endothelium. Foods rich in certain nutrients really help.
Omega-3s: foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids benefit the vessels. Omegas are polyunsatured fats that support improved circulation because of their anti-inflammatory properties. Omegas calm systemic inflammation which can open blood vessels. Omegas also are anticoagulants and can help blood flow smoothly, free of clots. Foods high in omega-3 are oily fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines, flaxseed and walnuts.
Nitric oxide is another important element for keeping the elasticity of the arteries. It is also a vasodilator so it relaxes and widens vessels for better blood flow. Eating certain nitrates contributes to your body then producing nitric oxide. Beets, broccoli, carrots, celery, spinach and bok choy are all good nitrate sources.
Potassium helps lower blood pressure, so foods like bananas, sweet potatoes and watermelon are all great sources. Folic acid and other B vitamins are important because they break down homocysteine, an amino acid that damages the endothelium. Citrus, beans and leafy greens like spinach and kale are rich in these B vitamins.
Even with these foods in the diet, other nutrients are important. The body needs certain enzymes to convert vitamins and chemicals so that they do no harm to vessels. That is why I recommend my private label Opti Vessel Support. It is a comprehensive multiple enzyme formula developed to provide further support to vessel function, balance of inflammation and blood circulation. It can really help promote recovery from physical stress because it helps break down unwanted proteins, including homocysteine, to help with the body’s natural repair process.
My formulation includes the enzymes protease, amylase, papain, trypsin, lipase, chymotrypsin, bromelain and peptidase. It also contains the two flavonoids, quercetin and rutin. These enzymes provide the catalyst for metabolic reactions in the body. The body does produce its own enzymes, but we often do not have sufficient levels so the body’s functions are not optimized. Age, stress, individual biochemistry and certainly diet are all factors. This formulation has all three types of enzymes needed for healthy vessels: metabolic enzymes to carry out cell functions, digestive enzymes to break down food and absorb nutrients, systemic enzymes to break down unwanted proteins, and proteolytic enzymes that are absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract into the systemic circulation. Finally, peptidase enzymes are included to help maintain normal inflammation levels.