Our arteries carry blood and their nutrients throughout our bodies. Inside the blood are substances such as fat, calcium and cholesterol, which makes up plaque. Plaque adheres to the walls of our arteries and causes a condition called atherosclerosis, which is a narrowing or clogging of the arteries. Certain activities such as eating right, regular exercise and taking medications can help to clean plaque and calcium from artery walls.
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Eat a diet rich in fruits and green vegetables and omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids are found in fish such as tuna and salmon. Limit or avoid trans-fatty or saturated fats such as fried foods.
Exercise daily for at least 20 to 30 minutes. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking on your breaks at work or doing yard or garden work can all add up to your daily exercise regimen without having to set aside a separate exercise routine.
Stop smoking. Smoking contributes to excess plaque in the blood vessels, which may result in clogged arteries.
Lower your stress level. Stress may contribute to higher levels of plaque and calcium in arteries. Listen to relaxation tapes, take quiet walks, sit on your porch and enjoy nature, take up a new hobby such as caring for indoor flowers, knitting or reading a funny book.
Take any medications your doctor advises to remove excess plaque and calcium from your arteries. Cholesterol medications can reverse LDL, or bad cholesterol, that builds up in your arteries. High blood pressure medications may also help reduce fatty build-up on artery walls.
Talk to your doctor about an angioplasty if your doctor recommends the procedure to help with blockage from plaque and calcium deposits. An angioplasty involves a thin tube inserted into your blocked arteries with a wire run through the tube and a deflated balloon attached to the end of the wire. The balloon is inflated at the area of the blockage, squeezing the fatty deposits against the artery wall, and a stent is put in place to keep the artery open.
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