Foods that cloud the blood:
- Foods containing trans fats: Consuming foods such as fried items, popcorn, donuts, and cakes that contain trans fats can pollute the blood. Trans fats are artificially solidified vegetable fats created by adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable fats. Excessive consumption of trans fats raises the levels of LDL cholesterol, commonly known as “bad” cholesterol, making the blood thick and increasing the risk of hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. It’s advisable for even healthy individuals to minimize trans fat intake.
- Processed meats: Processed meats, which often utilize fatty parts rather than lean meat, have high cholesterol content. Additionally, they are usually preserved using sodium, which can raise blood pressure. Elevated sodium levels in the blood lead to increased blood volume, resulting in elevated blood pressure. According to a study conducted by Oxford University, consuming 50g of processed meats such as bacon, ham, or sausages daily increases the risk of coronary artery disease by 18%. It’s recommended not to exceed 50g of processed meats per week.
- Refined grains: Refined grains refer to grains that have had their bran and germ removed, such as white rice and white flour. These refined grains consist of simple sugars that rapidly elevate blood sugar levels upon consumption. The rapid increase in blood sugar disrupts insulin secretion, leading to increased visceral fat. This, in turn, raises the risk of conditions like diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular diseases, negatively impacting blood vessel health and increasing the chances of cardiovascular disorders.
Foods that clear the blood:
- Seaweed: Seaweed, rich in components like fucoidan and alginic acid, aids in blood purification. Fucoidan, a dietary fiber found in seaweed, prevents blood clotting and keeps the blood clear. Furthermore, the soluble fiber alginate, found in seaweed, helps eliminate LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. By preventing hyperlipidemia and atherosclerosis, seaweed helps maintain a healthy cardiovascular system. However, it’s important to note that raw seaweed contains high levels of sodium, so it should be soaked in water before consumption to reduce its salty taste.
- Squid, octopus, and oysters: These seafood varieties contain taurine, a compound that cleanses the blood. Taurine inhibits the action of the sympathetic nervous system, which raises blood pressure, while also increasing the contractility of the heart and the amount of blood pumped. It proves effective in preventing arrhythmias and congestive heart failure. It’s safer to consume squid, octopus, and oysters cooked rather than raw.
- Sesame seeds: Sesame seeds contain sesamin and sesamol, which help maintain clean blood. Excess cholesterol in the bloodstream can accumulate and narrow the blood vessels, but sesamin inhibits this process, protecting the blood vessels. Sesamol suppresses cholesterol absorption in the intestines, preventing an increase in blood cholesterol levels. However, due to their high caloric content, it’s recommended to consume around 10g, equivalent to a large tablespoon, per day.
In conclusion, the food we consume significantly affects our blood health. Avoiding foods high in trans fats and processed meats, as well as opting for whole