This keeps your blood vessels healthy and elastic

This keeps your blood vessels healthy and elastic

Atherosclerosis , i.e. the calcification of the blood vessels, is a normal ageing process, but it can be accelerated pathologically by an unhealthy lifestyle. It is, therefore, essential to strengthen your blood vessels early. Here, you can find out which factors contribute to the development of arteriosclerosis and what you can do yourself to create healthy, elastic vessels.

Vascular problems are common.

Problems with the vessels are not uncommon:

  • Every third German over forty has “calcified” blood vessels.
  • Eighty per cent have elevated cholesterol levels.
  • Fifty per cent each suffer from high blood pressure and obesity.

If several factors come together, the risk to the cardiovascular system increases dramatically. Because risk factors don’t add up, they multiply.

Even if everything seems perfectly calm outside the vessel, a volcano slumbers inside that can erupt at any time. The reason: Atherosclerosis develops over a very long period of around 20 to 30 years and initially causes no symptoms.

 

Risk factors for atherosclerosis

What risk factors lead to calcification of the blood vessels in particular? These are:

Arteriosclerosis is a multifactorial process: the interaction of different behaviours and risk factors, mainly when they occur together and reinforce each other, causes vascular damage. The main factors mentioned here are little exercise, the wrong diet and genetic predispositions.

Once the process has been set in motion and no countermeasures are taken, it is only a matter of time before the vessels “seal”.

What makes vascular damage so dangerous?

In principle, any vessel in the body can be affected by arteriosclerosis. However, the coronary arteries, aorta and cerebral arteries – i.e. vital vessels – are most frequently affected.

Another danger of arteriosclerotic vessels: Parts of a calcified vessel wall can detach, are transported further with the bloodstream and can then wholly block smaller vessels.

Vascular calcification can have various consequences, including, for example:

 

What happens when the vessels are narrowed?

Healthy arteries are free of deposits (plaques), flexible and elastic. Fat deposits on the endothelium – the innermost vessel wall of the vessels – make them narrower and more demanding, and the vessel wall thickens. Then, one speaks of arteriosclerosis. The arteries gradually lose their elasticity and can no longer optimally regulate the flow of blood.

The heart has to pump harder so that the blood flow can reach and supply all body cells despite narrowing the roadway. The “pressure” increases – the damage to the vessel wall takes on more and more massive forms.

Strengthen vascular walls – how it works!

The good news is: You can do something about it – with a healthier lifestyle, i.e. more exercise and an adequate supply of bioactive, i.e. health-promoting, nutrients. In the early stages, the “one-way street” of the arteriosclerotic process can often be reversed. But what is suitable for the vessels?

The ways to keep the heart and blood vessels fit are very simple and form the basics of a healthy lifestyle. The most important measures are:

  1. smoking cessation
  2. watch your blood pressure
  3. regular exercise
  4. healthy eating
  5. Quitting smoking for healthy blood vessels

Today, there can no longer be any doubt about the harmful effects of tobacco smoking. Alongside high blood pressure and high cholesterol, cigarette smoking is one of the most critical risk factors for heart and circulatory diseases. Cigarette smoking increases the risk of dying from a heart attack several times over, as well as the risk of suffering a stroke and circulatory problems in the legs.

The higher the cigarette consumption, the greater the risk. But smoking “only” three to five cigarettes a day increases the risk of heart attack considerably – more significantly in women than in men, according to the result of a Danish study.

 

  1. Check blood pressure

You don’t usually feel high blood pressure, so you don’t feel sick. On the contrary, people with high blood pressure often feel particularly well.

However, it should not be overlooked that high blood pressure is a dangerous disease that destroys the vessels in the long term and significantly increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. An additional problem: On the one hand, high blood pressure can contribute to the development of arteriosclerosis by damaging the vessel wall, and on the other hand, it can exacerbate existing high blood pressure because the vessels lose their elasticity.

For this reason, checking your blood pressure regularly is essential because the earlier high blood pressure is detected and treated, the greater the chance that long-term damage can be avoided. Those who suffer from high blood pressure usually have to take pills for the rest of their lives. It is also advisable to purchase a blood pressure monitor for regular checks.

  1. Regular physical activities

Physical activity is also an important measure. The following applies here: half an hour 3 times a week is better than 3 hours once a week.

Another advantage: regular exercise prevents excess pounds. Obesity, in turn, can lead to several other complications: high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus or high cholesterol levels are the result. Even slight physical exertion significantly reduces the risk of later vascular or heart disease.

Good endurance sports include cycling, swimming or running. Older people who have not previously been active should start with daily light exercise, such as walking and cycling.

  1. A healthy diet prevents vascular diseases.

In the Mediterranean countries, where a lot of vegetable oil is used, fish is eaten more often, and the daily glass of red wine is an integral part of the eating culture, arteriosclerosis occurs less frequently than here. A diet with:

  • lots of fruit, vegetables and salad
  • less than 300 mg of total cholesterol per day
  • as much dietary fibre as possible (> 30 g per day)
  • little sugar

 It is better to use herbs or spices instead of salt and vegetable fats instead of animal fats.

Polyunsaturated fatty acids positively affect blood lipid levels and lower the “bad” LDL cholesterol. Omega-3 fatty acids also help to improve the flow properties of the blood so that the arteries remain elastic and have an anti-inflammatory effect. Plant-based omega-3 fatty acids and red wine phenols have long been proven individually as protective factors for healthy blood vessels.

Both, in combination, are also available as a supplementary balanced diet for the dietary treatment of arteriosclerosis (for example, as capsules such as TUIM® arteria from the pharmacy).

 

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