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What Nutrients Are Needed to Keep the Arteries & Veins Strong?

By Danielle Hall ; Updated August 14, 2017

Keeping the arteries and veins strong is an important consideration of heart health. Research indicates that certain foods and supplements can help protect the arteries and veins from damage. However, you should seek the advice of a medical professional before attempting to treat any vein or artery-related condition.

Carotenoids

LDL, known as the bad cholesterol, is a detriment to artery health. In particular, it is a major contributor to atherosclerosis, or the hardening of the arteries. In a study published in April 2010 in “Atherosclerosis,” researchers found that lycopene, lutein and beta-carotene lowered LDL levels in the blood, thereby, showing evidence that plant chemicals are effective in preserving artery health. Lycopene is a bright red plant chemical found in watermelon, papayas and red carrots. Lutein is a plant chemical with antioxidant properties, meaning that it can protect cells from damaging substances. Lutein is found in green, leafy foods like kale and spinach. Beta carotene is a compound that is used by the body to create vitamin A and found is large variety of plants and fruits including broccoli, cantaloupes and apricots.

Vitamin E

Venous thromboembolism is a condition where blood clots form in the veins. Vitamin E has been found to support vein health in patients with this condition. A study published in 2007 in “Circulation” noted that women who supplemented with 600 international units of vitamin E every other day reduced their risk of getting the condition.

Vitamin E is the term for a group of fat-soluble compounds that exhibit antioxidant activity. It is rich in foods such as mustard greens, chard and almonds. Yet, vitamin E supplementation in a pill-form may be a viable option for strengthening the arteries of the heart.

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Polyphenols

Polyphenols refers to a group of chemicals found in fruits, vegetables and other plants. EGCG is one type of polyphenol in green tea that has been linked to a lowered risk of cardiovascular disease, according to an article published in 2010 in the “Circulation Journal.” EGCG has antioxidant properties, meaning that it can reduce free radical damage to the arteries. Free radicals, although a natural byproduct of cellular metabolism, attach to cells of the arteries and cause damage and even cell death. According to the “Circulation Journal” article, studies indicate that EGCG in green tea can help protect the smooth muscle cells of the heart arteries. The smooth muscles help the arteries tighten and expand, helping to control the appropriate movement of fluid through the bloodstream.

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