Recipes & Nutrition,
A calcium heart score, or coronary calcium scan, is done with a specialized X-ray called Cat scan, that provides our cardiologists with images that measure calcium build up in plaque on your heart arteries. Such scans are used as a part of prevention to assess and detect early signs of coronary artery disease. After all, the plaque in your arteries can grow, resulting in lower blood flow to your heart. When you do have calcium build up in the plaque, there are ways we can reduce it. Today, we take a look at some of our favorite foods that naturally lower calcium heart score.
Foods For Treating Coronary Artery Disease
In case you needed any more reason to love the avocado, now you do! Avocados are an excellent food to help lower your calcium heart score and treat coronary artery disease. Avocados are full of potassium (even more than bananas). Research suggests that foods rich in potassium reduce vascular calcification. What is excellent about avocados is you can use them as a replacement for condiments such as mayonnaise. Squash them up and put them on sandwiches, salads, or even in smoothies. They can become an excellent substitute for anything creamy.
We all love nuts and understand they pack a powerful protein punch and are a good source of unsaturated fats and fiber. That is why we Coloradoans love packing them for hikes or ski trips. But, they are also high in magnesium and plant sterols that naturally help reduce plaque build-up in your arteries. They are genuinely a heart-healthy snack. The American Heart Association recommends three to five servings a week. Examples of these little superfoods are Walnuts, Almonds, Macadamias, Brazil nuts, Cashew nuts, Hazelnuts, Pistachios, Peanuts, and Pecans.
Whole grains are full of fiber that helps improve blood cholesterol levels and protect against heart disease. There have been further studies that have recently shown that fiber fights the hardening of artery walls. Thickening of artery walls can lead to more build up and increase your chances of a heart attack or stroke. It is recommended women get 25 grams and men get 34 grams daily by eating foods such as brown rice, whole-grain pasta, barley, oatmeal, or quinoa.
We have said this for years, but olive oil is heart-healthy and can be used to liven up dishes and salads. Monounsaturated oleic acid in olive oil can reduce the risks of strokes and cardiovascular disease. But, to get all the anti-inflammatory benefits of olive oil, you will need 100% pure extra virgin olive oil.
Who doesn’t need an excuse to drink coffee? Coffee can help keep arteries clean – who knew? One study (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29574458/) did find that drinking up to three cups a day can lower your risk for developing atherosclerosis, or clogged arteries. However, if you do indulge in coffee, stay away from adding too much cream and sugar.
Get a Calcium Heart Score Test
If you are wondering about your calcium heart score, we can help. We offer these scans at our South Denver Heart Center for $99. You can call 303-744-1065 or request an appointment online.
As with any health concerns, your specific treatment program should be discussed thoroughly with your primary care physician as well as any specialists who may need to be consulted – like a cardiologist.