Foods That Make Blood Vessels Flexible & Elastic

Updated February 21, 2017

As your heart beats, arteries expand to allow blood to flow through them. Over time, arteries can become stiff and inflexible due to a build-up of plaque. Plaque is made up of "bad" cholesterol and other waste in the body. If enough plaque builds up in the walls of your arteries, serious complications can occur. Healthy foods and foods rich in good cholesterol can help keep arteries clear.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help remove bad cholesterol from arteries. Tuna, salmon, tilapia and swordfish are all excellent sources of omega-3s.

Omega-3s can also be found in plant sources, according to WebMD. Canola, nuts, soybeans, and flax seeds all contain omega-3s.

Monounsaturated Fats

Monounsaturated fats are healthy fats that help remove bad plaque from arteries. Cook foods in peanut or sunflower oils to garner the benefits of this fat. Use olive oil as the base of a vinaigrette. Avocado is a rich source of monounsaturated fat, as well as dietary fibre. Consume nuts such as almonds and peanuts. Almond butter and peanut butter are also good sources of monounsaturated fat.

Dietary Fiber

Dietary fibre also helps remove plaque from arteries. Enjoy whole grains like barley, brown rice and whole wheat pasta to get plenty of fibre in your diet. Choose whole-grain breads instead of white bread. Eat oatmeal and other whole-grain cereals. Many fruits are also high in dietary fibre, including apples, pears and bananas.

Healthy Diet

Eating a healthy diet can keep plaque from forming in arteries. Avoid sources of saturated fat, including red meats such as beef. Replace beef hamburgers with those made from turkey or soy. Refrain from eating cakes, pies, chips, cookies and other high-fat snacks. Eat a diet rich in colourful fruits and vegetables, which contain vital nutrients and are low in calories. Consume plenty of leafy greens, as well as carrots, celery, sweet potatoes and tomatoes. Enjoy fruits like peaches, pineapples, oranges and plums.

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About the Author

Based in the southeastern United States, Annabelle Brown began writing in 2000. She specializes in health, nutrition, education and pets. Brown holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Virginia Tech and is pursuing a Master of Science in English from Radford University and a Master of Education at Wright State University.