We all want to live a long life, and eating a few simple foods has been scientifically proven to prevent—and in some cases reverse—the top cause of death in the modern world.
At present, atherosclerosis (the progressive narrowing and clogging up of the arteries) is the driving process behind cardiovascular mortality, the top cause of death on this planet at approximately 18 million deaths annually. A complex process, involving autoimmunity, infection, dietary incompatibilities, and other known and unknown factors, it is—despite conventional medical opinion—entirely preventable, and in some cases reversible.
Here is some of the peer-reviewed, published research proving that fact:
- B Vitamins – Yes, something as simple as adding a source of B-complex to your regimen can prevent the juggernaut of heart disease from taking your life prematurely. A double-blind, randomized study, published in 2005, in the journal Atherosclerosis found that a simple intervention using 2.5 mg folic acid, 25 mg Vitamin B6, and 0.5mg Vitamin B12 for 1 year, resulted in significant reductions in arterial thickness (as measured by intima-media thickness). Even niacin or folic acid alone has been shown to have this effect on patients. [Note: Always opt for natural sources of the B-group vitamins, including probiotic supplementation, which produce the entire complement for you, or a whole food extract, versus synthetic or semi-synthetic vitamins which, sadly, predominate on the market today].
- Garlic – As we have documented extensively previously, garlic can save your life. It has been found to regress plaque buildup in the arteries, among many other potentially life-saving health benefits.
- Pomegranate – This super healing fruit has been found to regress plaque buildup in the arteries and provide dozens of validated health benefits, including replacing the function of the mammalian ovary.
- Fermented Cabbage – Kimchi, a Korean recipe, which includes fermented cabbage, hot pepper, various other ingredients, and sometimes fermented fish, appears to stall the atherosclerotic process in the animal model. Additionally, strains of good bacteria in kimchi have been found capable of degrading toxic chemicals that can additional bodily harm.
- L-Arginine – This amino acid is capable of preventing arterial thickening—up to 24 percent reduction!—in the animal model. We have done an extensive literature review on arginine supplementation and have found that in over 30 studies demonstrating this fact addition to 150 known health benefits, it is capable of addressing the underlying dysfunction associated with cardiovascular disease: endothelial dysfunction, with no less than 20 studies proving this fact.
- Turmeric (curcumin) – The primary polyphenol in the Indian spice turmeric known as curcumin has been found to be an excellent cardioprotective, with over 30 studies demonstrating this fact. One study found that curcumin prevented damage to the arteries associated with blockage (neointima formation). We’ve discussed turmeric’s cardiovascular health benefits in greater depth in an article comparing it to aspirin online.
- Sesame Seed – Probably one of the most underappreciated superfoods on the planet, sesame seed, which we have shown is as effective as Tylenol for arthritic pain, may be an excellent cardioprotective substance, ideally suited for preventing the progression of atherosclerosis. One animal study found it was capable of preventing atherosclerosis lesion formation. Another human study found that eating sesame seed paste can reduce blood markers of cardiovascular disease.
This is a small sample of evidence-based natural interventions for cardiovascular disease prevention and/or regression. We have a much larger set of studies on over 200 natural substances capable of reducing the risk of heart attack and associated cardiovascular diseases.
Remember, heart disease is not a natural process, that we must accept as inevitable based on family history of an outdated gene-based model of human disease risk. Our daily decisions, especially regarding what we decide we are going to eat or do not eat, are first and foremost. We can use food as medicine, sloughing off the pharmaceutical industry meme that we need statins to stave off the ‘inevitable.’ Take back control of your health with nutrition, and realize that food is the only medicine that will both nourish us and heal our bodies in a way that will produce lasting health.
Sayer Ji is the founder of Greenmedinfo.com, a reviewer at the International Journal of Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine, co-founder and CEO of Systome Biomed, vice chairman of the board of the National Health Federation, steering committee member of the Global Non-GMO Foundation.