Posts tagged: healthy diet

4 Silent Signs You May Have Clogged Arteries And The Best Foods To Eat To Prevent It

What are clogged arteries? The central portion of the arteries – also known as the intima media – can, through various causes, become inflamed and gradually clog up with arterial plaque. This plaque is essentially “sludge” comprised of oxidized fats, immune cells, and their debris). This leads gradually to blocked arteries – a potentially fatal condition.

There are some surprising ways to recognize this condition. The human body is a highly advanced system with various warning signs that indicate the stages of serious disease. However, some of those signs are less obvious than others. Learning to recognize them and take appropriate action could save your life, since clogged arteries are a principal form of cardiovascular disease, aka heart disease – which is regarded as the cause of around 30% of all deaths!

So pay close attention to this tutorial because it might keep you alive.

4 Silent Signs Of Clogged Arteries:

1. Leg Pain And Numbness:

Pain or numbness in the calves while you walk can mean clogged arteries. [1] A notable hallmark of this condition is that you get relief from said pain and numbness when you put your feet up to rest, also called intermittent claudication.

2. Erectile Dysfunction:

Numerous studies have demonstrated that erectile dysfunction in men can be an indicator of an impending cardiovascular disease. [2] If you can’t get it up when you normally could, it might be time to consider that there could be an underlying health reason – instead of pinning the whole thing on mood or anxiety and popping a blue pill.

3. Hair Loss:

Losing hair, which is typically attributed to aging, may also indicate high levels of triglycerides in the blood stream. [3] High triglycerides (aka bad fats) in the blood stream may be impeding proper circulation and this can be a cause of hair loss – in both men and women.

4. Diagonal Earlobe Crease:

Most people don’t know about this one. A diagonal earlobe crease (DEC) isn’t a definite sign of clogged arteries. You could be born with it. However, a 2018 population-based study with 3,359 participants found that diagonal earlobe crease in one or both ears was associated with coronary artery calcification and a higher overall cardiovascular risk profile.

Participants with DEC were also found to have more frequent diabetes (26% vs. 17%, p<0.0001).

Check your earlobes and especially take note of a developing diagonal crease, because the study concluded that DEC in one or both ears “may serve as an excellent clinical marker of cardiovascular risk”. [4]

Best Food Choices To Prevent Clogged Arteries:

Studies have found that clogged arteries may be preventable and even reversible through healthy lifestyle and dietary choices.

“Prevention is always better than cure”, as they say, and some modifications to your diet may help you avoid arterial plaque and heart disease. Looking through the science, here’s what we found:

1. Say Goodbye To Soda

Sugar-sweetened beverages have been linked by science with obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension (aka high blood pressure), and significantly elevated cholesterol deposits. [5] All these conditions lead to arterial inflammation, hardening, or clogging. So cut sugared beverages out of your daily diet altogether and you’ll no doubt see a positive change in your health.

Try swapping out sugary drinks for filtered or still mineral water. You can add a squeeze of fresh juice – but if the drink has added sugar, it has to go.

2. Green And Black Teas

Consider replacing unhealthy soda with healthy tea instead. Flavonols and anthocyanins found in black, purple and oolong teas have been found by researchers to protect the heart and blood vessels. [6]

Tea may also lower blood pressure and prevent hardening and plaque buildup in the arteries. Numerous studies have confirmed that a high intake of black and green teas are associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease: A 2014 meta-review of controlled trials that studied the effect of tea on blood pressure, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, determined that long term ingestion of tea could result in a significant reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure. [7]

The effects of tea on cardiovascular disease risk are regarded as long-term, with 2 or more cups per day over a prolonged period of time being suggested.

Note of course that for optimal health benefits tea should be taken without sugar!

3. Organic Vegetables And Fruits

Increasing both the quantity and variety of fruit and vegetables in your diet may have outstanding cardiovascular benefits. Dietary antioxidants – of the kind found in a variety of fruit and veg, have been strongly linked to a reduction in oxidative stress and hardening of the arteries. [8]

However the effect has been found to be enhanced for organic produce: A 2014 review of 343 peer-reviewed studies, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, found “overwhelming evidence” [9] that key antioxidants are up to 20–40 % (and in some cases over 60%) higher in organic produce than non-organic. This increase over conventional fruit and veg is equivalent to consuming an additional 1 to 2 daily servings – with 5 being generally recommended as the target. [10]

This increase may have excellent health benefits because the overall quantity of fruit and vegetable intake has been found more important to arterial health than variety: A large-scale study of over 100,000 participants, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that the highest quintile of overall fruit and veg intake, with over 7 servings per day, had a 17% lower risk of coronary heart disease. [11]

That’s a lot of lives saved – so get that organic fruit and veg in!

4. Pomegranate Juice

This gets a special mention owing to an astonishing human trial reported in Clinical Nutrition journal which found that just one 50ml shot of pomegranate juice per day for a year reversed arterial plaque, improved blood pressure, reduced oxidative stress, improved LDL cholesterol factors and reversed clogged arteries in patients aged 65-75. [12]

The researchers administered pomegranate juice over the course of a year and found that it reversed plaque accumulation in the carotid arteries of patients with severe, though symptomless, carotid artery stenosis (which is defined as a 70-90% blockage in the internal carotid arteries).

In the study, the intima media thickness of the left and right common carotid arteries “was reduced after 3, 6, 9 and 12 months of pomegranate juice consumption by 13%, 22%, 26% and 35%, respectively, in comparison to baseline values.”

This is an amazing result.

5. Herbs And Spices

Good news for herbalists: Scientific research is finding that many of the herbs and spices in the kitchen rack may be good for the cardiovascular system!

A 2014 human trial conducted by researchers in Pennsylvania State University found that the addition of spices and herbs to meals significantly decreased insulin (21%) and triglycerides (31%).

Make a note of the herbs and spices used in the study: Black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, garlic powder, ginger, oregano, paprika, rosemary and turmeric.

Of particular note was cinnamon. Cholesterol in the blood decreased by 7% to 30% just by adding 6g of cinnamon to the subjects’ daily diet. [13] That’s actually quite a lot of cinnamon.

Other studies have noted similar effects, as confirmed by a 2021 review [14] – however more research is still needed on long term benefits of increased spice consumption. However, work is being done: A clinical trial published in 2022 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that four weeks of a medium spice diet led to a reduction in inflammatory cytokines in adults at risk of cardiometabolic disease. [15]

6. Omega-3 Rich Fish

Regular consumption of fish and seafood has been consistently associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Studies have found that the omega-3 fatty acids found in abundance in fatty fish can lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. Omega-3s help eliminate arterial blocks and improve cardiovascular health. [16]

Fatty fish include: anchovies, herring, mackerel, black cod, salmon, sardines, bluefin tuna, whitefish, striped bass and cobia.

The American Heart Association recommends 2 servings of fatty fish per week, with a serving being designated as 3/4 of a cup of flaked fish. [16]

You can also obtain omega-3s supplements, typically in the form of fish oil capsules.

That’s it! Be good to your heart, take care of your health – and follow Herbs, Health & Happiness for more free tutorials!

4 Silent Signs You May Have Clogged Arteries And The Best Foods To Eat To Prevent ItImage (under license) – ©


[1] What is Peripheral Arterial Disease? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

[2] A Systematic Review of the Association Between Erectile Dysfunction and Cardiovascular Disease. European Urology.

[3] A Comparative Study of Dyslipidaemia in Men and Women with Androgenic Alopecia.

[4] Association of Diagonal Earlobe Crease With Traditional Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Coronary Artery Calcification in the General Population: Heinz Nixdorf Recall Study. Circulation, 2018.

[5] Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Cardiovascular Disease. Current Nutrition Reports.

[6] Flavanols and Anthocyanins in Cardiovascular Health: A Review of Current Evidence. International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

[7] Effects of tea intake on blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials (British Journal of Nutrition, 2014)

[8] Cardiovascular diseases: oxidative damage and antioxidant protection. European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences.

[9] Organic vs non-organic food. Newcastle University Press (2015).

[10] Higher antioxidant and lower cadmium concentrations and lower incidence of pesticide residues in organically grown crops. Br J Nutr (2014).

[11] Quantity and variety in fruit and vegetable intake and risk of coronary heart disease. American Society for Nutrition.

[12] Pomegranate juice consumption for 3 years by patients with carotid artery stenosis reduces common carotid intima-media thickness, blood pressure and LDL oxidation. Clinical Nutrition (2004).

[13] Spices and Herbs May Improve Cardiovascular Risk Factors. Nutrition Today.

[14] The effect of herbs and spices on risk factors for cardiometabolic diseases: a review of human clinical trials (Nutr. Rev. 2022).

[15] Four weeks of spice consumption lowers plasma proinflammatory cytokines and alters the function of monocytes in adults at risk of cardiometabolic disease. Am J Clin Nutr. (2022)

[16] Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids. American Heart Association.

How To Make Amazing Naturally Flavored Water

How To Make Amazing Naturally Flavored Water
How To Make Amazing Naturally Flavored Water. Photo – (with permission)

Finally – a way to drink something that has tons of flavor as well as super health qualities! Although I say “finally” – aficionados of the natural way will not be surprised that these “ancient recipes” beat all comers. Because as they say, “There’s nothing new under the sun”! We think this is infinitely better than some trademarked artificial-additive drink in a plastic bottle. The link to the full recipe is at the foot of the article, after our commentary (as usual).

Part of the problem people often have with staying hydrated is, quite simply, that chugging water throughout the day seems boring. But that’s how they get you – with artificial beverages that excite your taste buds, but might even harm you in the long run. Making your own fruit water gives you some delicious flavor and nutritional qualities while also being super-hydrating!

These easy-to-make natural waters are made with just water, fruit (organic please!), ice and herbs. They are full of nutrition, healthful qualities, delicious flavor and look fantastic as you can see! Imagine the reaction you are going to get from your guests! These drinks could also be amazingly perfect if you are detoxing or simply if you are seeking something that is refreshing and delicious without containing any artificial sugars or other chemical additives.

Another great benefit of this refreshing “DIY” fruit water, in addition to the amazing nutritional content: You are completely eliminating the use of evil plastic bottles and other disposable packaging.

Plastic bottles are reported to leach toxic chemicals such as BPA (and possibly phthalates, which you really don’t need) into their contents. Also, plastic garbage is spreading far and wide across the world… slowly breaking down and entering the food chain. [1] This is horrendous and needs to stop! I think it’s time to start thinking seriously about banning plastic and using natural alternatives. “Detox” and “plastic” don’t really sit very well together…

If you’re truly committed to caring about life and future generations, you will be doing all that you can to limit your use of single-use plastic bottles. Use (and re-use!) high quality food-grade glass containers. They don’t leach anything into your food, don’t contribute to the hideous mountain of discarded plastic.. .and they look cool as well. Speaking of which, did you know that you can get Ball Mason Jars on Amazon?

Here, then, is the link to the Five Amazing Recipes For Healthy Naturally Flavored Water

Note – it’s mentioned in the recipes at the link but we think it expedient to say it again – be sure to wash fruit thoroughly, especially if you are planning on leaving the drinks overnight before drinking them. You don’t want bad bacteria or even pesticides messing up your drinks.

How To Make Amazing Naturally Flavored Water
How To Make Amazing Naturally Flavored Water. Photo – (with permission)


[1] Great Pacific garbage patch.

CDC Sounds Alarm Over Exploding Diabetes Epidemic Impacting 100 Million In USA Alone While Food Companies Keep Selling Junk Food

CDC Sounds Alarm Over Exploding Diabetes Epidemic Impacting 100 Million In USA Alone While Food Companies Keep Selling Junk Food
Image © (under license)

All over the world, diabetes affects over 400 million people of various ages, young and old. According to the World Health Organization, the numbers rose from 108 million in 1980 to over 422 million in 2014. That is a fourfold increase in global prevalence for diabetes; these numbers continue to rise each year especially in middle- and low-income countries where access to healthcare and healthy food choices is quite limited. [1]

A publication by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2017 was alarming to say the least. The numbers were practically catastrophic; out of the projected 321 million population in the US in 2015, more than 100 million Americans were living with diabetes or prediabetes. The CDC estimated over 30.2 million people of all ages in the US had diabetes in 2015, with 23 million being diagnosed diabetics and the remaining 7.2 percent being undiagnosed diabetics. [2]

The scariest part is the number of prediabetics, which came up to a whopping 84.1 million people. The statistics also showed that nearly half of the adult population in the US 65 years and older were likely to be prediabetic. Prediabetics are people with high fasting blood glucose or HbA1C levels, indicative of the body being unable to absorb the excess glucose circulating in the blood. [2]

How Do You Get Diabetes

Getting diagnosed with diabetes isn’t as easy as blaming one thing, like an unhealthy diet (though that may be the case for some). A person becomes diabetic because of various risk factors. While genes may indeed play a role in increasing your risk for diabetes, modifiable risk factors such as a person’s lifestyle choices play an even bigger part.

The following are risk factors among diabetics in the US aged 18 years and older. [2]

1. Smoking, 15.9 percent of diagnosed diabetics were current smokers while 34.5 percent were past smokers who had had at least 100 cigarettes in their entire life.

2. Being overweight or obese, 87.5 percent of diagnosed diabetics were either overweight or obese, meaning they had a body mass index of 25 or higher. To breakdown the percentage further, 26.1 percent were overweight with a BMI of 25 to less than 30, 43.5 percent were obese with a BMI of 30 to less than 40, and 17.8 percent were severely obese with a BMI of 40 and higher.

3. Sedentary lifestyle or physical inactivity was a risk factor in 40.8 percent of diagnosed diabetics in the US. A sedentary lifestyle was characterized by less than 10 minutes a week of moderate or vigorous physical activity (either in work, leisure time, or transportation).

4. Hypertension was present in 73.6 percent of diagnosed diabetics, making diabetes and hypertension likely coexisting morbidities in one person. Hypertension was characterized by systolic blood pressure of 140 or higher or diastolic blood pressure of 90 or higher.

5. Hyperlipidemia or high cholesterol was seen in 58.2 percent of diagnosed diabetics aged 21 years and older who did not report a cardiovascular comorbidity and 66.9 percent of diagnosed diabetics aged 21 and older who self-reported a cardiovascular comorbidity.

6. Hyperglycemia is the golden standard among these risk factors, meaning an HbA1C value higher than 9 percent was seen in 15.6 percent of diagnosed diabetics in the US in 2015.

Other statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that diabetes was seventh on a top 15 list of leading causes of mortalities in the US, based on data from 2016. Diabetes was estimated to have caused 80, 058 deaths in 2016, which was 2.9 percent of the population during that year. [3]

Despite these harrowing numbers, diabetes remains largely a preventable disease that could be managed efficiently with the right lifestyle changes and choices. While most diabetics will need to be managed with medications and even insulin injections, a healthy lifestyle is still needed in conjunction with any sort of medical treatment for any effect to take place.

Diabetes Risk Reduction By Lifestyle Choices

1. Regular exercise: The American Heart Association recommends that you undertake 150+ minutes per week of of moderate aerobic activity (that’s about 30 minutes each day for five out of the week) or 75 minutes weekly of vigorous aerobic exercise. [4]

Examples of moderate intensity activities include brisk walking, water aerobics, dancing, gardening, doubles tennis, or biking slower than 10 miles per hour. Vigorous intensity activities include hiking uphill or with weights, running, swimming laps, aerobics, yardwork like digging, singles tennis, cycling fasted than 10 miles per hour, or jumping rope. [4]

2. Changing your diet: A healthy diet free from processed and junk food is probably your best weapon in lowering your blood sugar and fighting diabetes, or if you already have been diagnosed with diabetes, a healthy diet will make sure your blood sugar levels are kept in check. Avoid fast food, canned sodas and instant fruit juices, and processed snacks and canned meats. While these unhealthy food choices may be cheaper and less time consuming that preparing your own meal from scratch, they will help keep you healthier in the long run, preventing trips to the doctor and being prescribed medications that will hamper not only your budget but your lifestyle as well.

In 2016, the conclusion of a study published in the Canadian Journal of Diabetes was that a diet high in processed foods was related to an increased risk for type 2 diabetes. Contrarily, the researchers concluded that reducing consumption of processed food items and eating fresh local produce could potentially reduce your risk for diabetes. [5] Similarly, a study published in 2015 concluded that consuming sugar sweetened beverages, artificially sweetened beverages, and fruit juice increased your risk for diabetes as well. [6]

While the marketing for junk food and fast food restaurants is quite appealing and would likely convince you to purchase them on your next grocery run or day out, better think again and make better choices for yourself and your family. Companies who want you to buy their products don’t care about your health, they only care about that money you will spend on their products. Keep that in mind.


[1] World Health Organization. Diabetes key facts.

[2] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2017.

[3] National Vital Statistics Reports. Deaths: Final Data for 2016.

[4] American Heart Association. American Heart Association Recommendation for Physical Activity in Adults and Kids.

[5] Reeds, J., et. al. Dietary Patterns and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in a First Nations Community.

[6] Imamura, F., et. al. (2015). Consumption of sugar sweetened beverages, artificially sweetened beverages, and fruit juice and incidence of type 2 diabetes: systematic review, meta-analysis, and estimation of population attributable fraction.