Blood is sticky… What foods help ‘cleanse the blood’?

Effects of unsaturated fatty acids such as perilla oil, blue-backed fish, and mixed grains

It is necessary to make an effort to keep the blood clean through regular food control and exercise. [사진=게티이미지]

Blood becomes cloudy and fat builds up on the walls of blood vessels, starting in your 20s. These days, the intake of foods high in saturated fat is increasing, so even before middle age, there are cases in which blood vessels are damaged. Hyperlipidemia occurs when the total cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood increase, and when the good cholesterol (HDL) is low, dyslipidemia occurs. If blood and blood vessels are not ‘cleaned’ in time, various inflammations occur. Efforts are needed to clean blood vessels through diet control and exercise.

◆ What’s going on in my blood?

Dyslipidemia is a condition in which there is an abnormality in fat (lipid) metabolism in the blood. This can cause ‘atherosclerosis’, in which the concentration of fat in the blood rises abnormally and the blood becomes like porridge and hardens. It is the leading cause of cardiovascular disease. Hypercholesterolemia is when total cholesterol or LDL cholesterol, which is the main culprit of atherosclerosis, is high, and hypertriglyceridemia is when triglycerides are high. Combining these two is called hyperlipidemia. However, since the risk of coronary artery disease increases even when good cholesterol (HDL), which prevents atherosclerosis, decreases, the term dyslipidemia is medically more accurate than hyperlipidemia.

◆ Excessive intake of fat-carbohydrates, smoking, stress, lack of exercise…

Excessive intake of fat and carbohydrates, drinking, smoking, stress, and lack of exercise are causes of dyslipidemia. Diabetes is often accompanied by dyslipidemia. At this time, triglycerides are high and good cholesterol (HDL) is low, making atherosclerosis particularly easy. In addition, when obesity or some inflammatory reactions increase cholesterol synthesis by supplying more fatty acids from adipose tissue to the liver, dyslipidemia may occur. Cholesterol is synthesized in the body more than food intake, so constitutional and genetic influences are great. However, diet control and exercise management are still important.

◆ Heart disease-stroke risk increases after age 40

Atherosclerosis begins in the early 20s when fat accumulates on the walls of arterial vessels. Dyslipidemia is an important risk factor for atherosclerosis. In the 20s and 30s, cholesterol accumulated in blood vessels is transformed through processes such as oxidation, causing an inflammatory reaction. After age 40, narrowing of the arteries causes angina (chest pain) or peripheral arterial disease (leg pain when walking). If a blood clot (blood clot) completely blocks an artery, myocardial infarction, stroke (cerebral infarction-cerebral hemorrhage) may occur and death may occur. A stroke can leave serious aftereffects, such as paralysis of the body and language disorders.

Olive oil, perilla oil, and sesame oil are also high in calories, so you should avoid overeating. [사진=게티이미지]
◆ Meat fat-skin, processed food vs. perilla oil, blue-backed fish, mixed grains

In order to prevent and control dyslipidemia, it is recommended to reduce intake of saturated fatty acids such as meat fat, chicken skin, and butter, and frequently consume unsaturated fatty acids such as perilla oil, sesame oil, olive oil, and blue-backed fish (mackerel, saury). Avoid eating a lot of trans fatty acids in instant foods. For dietary fiber, eat enough vegetables, grains, brown rice, and seaweed so that the intake is more than 25g.

◆ Onion, garlic, ginger, shiitake mushroom, kidney bean, apple

Allicin is the pungent ingredient in garlic and onions. It reduces the risk of blood clots that block blood vessels due to the accumulation of cholesterol. The quercetin component of onions plays a role in preventing damage to blood vessel walls and lowering bad cholesterol (LDL) concentration. Ginger roll, a spicy component of ginger, helps to remove cholesterol and clears the blood by reducing neutral fat accumulated in blood vessels. Shiitake mushrooms contain ergosterol, which lowers blood cholesterol levels. The lecithin component of kidney beans purifies the blood and suppresses the accumulation of cholesterol and fat. The dietary fiber in apples also helps prevent stroke by clearing blood vessels.

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