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Food to help maintain vascular health: Nutritionist’s advice

Food to help maintain vascular health: Nutritionist’s advice Illustrative image (Freepik)
Author: Maria Kholina

A common problem associated with vascular health is calcification. It involves the deposition of calcium salts in the arteries that are responsible for transporting blood to the muscles of the heart myocardium. The disease is chronic, and its course is asymptomatic at first.

Nutritionist Oksana Skitalinska shared recommendations on how to maintain vascular health and prevent calcification.

Why does vascular calcification occur?

"We all know that heart and vascular diseases are the leading causes of death. Most of them are caused by atherosclerosis. This process is accelerated by diabetes, autoimmune diseases, polycystic ovary disease, menopause, smoking, overeating, and stress," the doctor says.

She says that a C-reactive protein (hsCRP) test helps to monitor the condition of blood vessels. It shows the level of inflammation in the body. The normal range is 0-1 mg/l. If there are more than 2 mg/L, this is already an inflammatory risk factor.

It is also worth checking the calcium index (Agatston index), which measures the amount of calcium deposited in the arteries. From 0 to 10 is a minimal risk.

"As a result of osteoporosis (leaching of calcium from bones), chronic inflammation, diabetes, high-protein diet, high blood acidity), kidney failure, frequent and very excessive physical activity, arterial calcification accelerates," says Skitalinska.

How to maintain vascular health

The nutritionist advises to:

  • provide the body with enough magnesium: it binds phosphates
  • provide the body with vitamin K2: it is abundant in mature cheeses, such as Parmesan
  • regulate the enzyme alkaline phosphatase - increased activity of phosphatase can indicate zinc and vitamin D deficiency
  • the body should receive polyunsaturated fatty acids omega-3 (fish oil, fresh flaxseed oil), nuts, flax seeds, chia)
  • follow anti-inflammatory nutrition
  • include taurine and carnosine in your diet
  • eat anti-fibrotic foods - quercetin (onion peel tea), curcumin, cocoa, blueberries
  • quit smoking
  • be physically active.

This material is for informational purposes only and should not be used for medical diagnosis or self-treatment. Our goal is to provide readers with accurate information about symptoms, causes, and methods of detecting diseases. RBС-Ukraine is not responsible for any diagnoses that readers may make based on materials from the resource. We do not recommend self-treatment and advise consulting a doctor in case of any health concerns.