Nutrition For Blood Vessels: Products To Strengthen Them

Leticia Celentano Author: Leticia Celentano Time for reading: ~13 minutes Last Updated: September 12, 2022
Nutrition For Blood Vessels: Products To Strengthen Them

The health of the cardiovascular system is an issue that usually begins to worry after overcoming a certain age limit.

 

The health of the cardiovascular system is an issue that usually begins to worry after overcoming a certain age limit. However, the anatomy and physiology of the structure and functioning of both small capillaries with narrow lumens, and the main ones, tirelessly expelling blood during cardiac output of the arteries and returning it back to the atria of the veins, requires timely support in the form of a correct, rational diet and the necessary dietary supplements. In addition, adequate physical activity is no less important: a sedentary lifestyle is the leading mechanism for the development of thrombosis of the vessels of the lower extremities.

The structure of the vessels

This is a fundamentally important issue, allowing not only to memorize mechanically, but also to understand and fully realize the need to use certain foods and nutraceuticals to maintain such an important body system. Let's delve a little into histology and consider especially significant points in the structure of the main types of vessels.

 

The wall of the arteries consists of three membranes: internal, represented by a layer of endothelium and connective tissue; middle, in which elastic fibers predominate, providing sufficient extensibility, as well as smooth muscle cells are concentrated and outer, rich in collagen.

Collagen is a connective tissue protein that plays a key role in the health and maintenance of adequate functioning of the cardiovascular system. There are many types of it - this number has long exceeded two dozen - each of which has a clear localization, and, therefore, mediates a certain biological effect, which must be taken into account when using preparations containing it and using collagen-based cosmetics. The synthesis of this organic compound is a rather complex multi-stage process of biochemical reactions occurring in our body, the main stages of which can be reduced to the following conclusions:

  1. For the formation of collagen and maintaining its normal structure, proper intake of the following amino acids is necessary:

    • Glycine - found in meat, dairy products, pumpkin seeds, buckwheat flour, and soybeans.

    • Proline - concentrated in seafood, beef, lamb, eggs, broccoli and onions.

    • Lysine - they are rich in chicken, mussels, cod with tuna, as well as cheeses and yogurts.

  2. The functioning of enzymes of the hydroxylase group - and this is inextricably linked with the complete provision of the body with vitamin C.

  3. The presence of copper, necessary for the hydroxylation reactions of proline and lysine.

  4. The absence of high levels of homocysteine, which inhibits the work of the enzyme involved in the synthesis of collagen - therefore, the presence of any folate cycle mutations that cause this kind of pathology should be compensated with the help of an individually formulated diet and a selected list of supplements in their most metabolically active forms.

The structure of elastin, another connective tissue protein, is somewhat different from the structure of collagen: in particular, the presence of an essential one - in other words, our body is not able to form it on its own, that is, the need for it must be covered by food - the amino acid valine. It is found in sunflower seeds, eggs, salmon, squid, beef and pistachios. It is noteworthy that the violation of this protein molecule - its "weakness" - leads to the development of such an aesthetic violation as cellulite.

 

The wall of the veins is quite different from the arteries. Nevertheless, it includes all the same components - only their ratio changes. In addition, there is one fundamentally important element that is absent in the type of vessels described above: the presence of valves in some of the veins. This is especially important in the context of the work of these accumulation vessels located in the lower extremities: after all, blood, moving towards the heart, flows against the laws of gravity. These formations are based on connective tissue, which means that all the previously listed cofactors for the formation of its main structural elements will be similar for valves.

As for the capillaries, the main shaping role in them is played by endotheliocytes, one of the varieties of epithelial cells. They are especially sensitive to the adverse, damaging effects of the notorious amino acid homocysteine, which, among other things, inhibits the final stages of collagen protein synthesis. Its excess is one of the most significant markers of heart and vascular disease.

Products for strengthening blood vessels

Based on the previously described biochemical reactions and the general structure of arteries, veins and capillaries, the desirability of using the following products will become clear:

  1. Bananas are an excellent source of pyridoxine, a vitamin B6 involved in the metabolic transformations of homocysteine ​​into cysteine, a sulfur-containing amino acid necessary for the formation of the main antioxidant protector, glutathione.

    They also contain resistant starch, which is not broken down into structural building blocks and is not fermented by resident bacteria in our intestines. This compound has multiple fiber-like beneficial effects on the digestive process: in particular, it lowers blood glucose levels and thus helps prevent the development or progression of type 2 diabetes, as well as reduces the risks of chronic diseases and bowel cancer.

    In addition, bananas help reduce cholesterol levels, thereby being powerful protective factors in the development of atherosclerotic disease.

    Study: Health Benefits of Green Banana Consumption: A Systematic Review

  2. Asparagus - due to the high content of folic acid (vitamin B9), which is actively involved in the process of neutralizing the amino acid homocysteine, perfectly helps to maintain vascular health. Since ancient times, this plant has been used as a medicinal substance - and all due to the diuretic properties known to our distant ancestors, which it possesses.

    In addition, it is still used in Chinese medicine as an antipyretic, tonic, antitussive.

    Recent clinical studies in rat models have shown that its use was associated with a decrease in one of the main stress hormones - cortisol. In addition, there was a significant increase in the level of serotonin in the serum of animals - thus, according to scientists, it is considered an effective addition to the main therapy for various types of mental disorders. In addition, asparagus contains aspartic acid, which is involved in the production of hormones by the endocrine glands, the functioning of the nervous system, and in the fight against chronic fatigue.

    Study: Evaluation of Anxiolytic-Like Effect of Aqueous Extract of Asparagus Stem in Mice

  3. Rose hips are a real storehouse of vitamin C, which is necessary for the synthesis of the correct structure of collagen. However, the wide spectrum of their biological activity does not end there. This plant is traditionally used to prevent and treat colds, flu and even gastrointestinal disorders of various etiologies.

    In addition, it is widely used in the treatment of hemorrhoids and diabetes in Turkish folk medicine. Rosehip is rich not only in ascorbic acid: it contains tocopherols, carotenoids and essential fatty acids, which allows it to be classified as a superfood - and very affordable.

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    Phenolic compounds in its composition inhibit the activity of enzymes such as alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase, which break down long carbohydrate chains into simple monomer bricks represented by glucose. Thus, the use of rose hips contributes to a milder increase in the concentration of sugar in the blood - and, therefore, the response from the pancreas in the form of insulin secretion will not be so avalanche-like.

  4. Fatty fish are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, known for their anti-inflammatory effects. They inhibit the peroxidation of membrane lipids, thereby preventing structural and functional disorders in the cell - up to its death.

     

    In addition, these organic compounds have been shown to "thinn" the blood - that is, prevent clotting by inhibiting adhesion ("sticking") to each other and to the inner lining of the vessel of such formed cells as platelets. On the one hand, a decrease in blood viscosity in this way is fraught with various bleeding in the category of patients that has a genetic predisposition to it. On the other hand, it is a relatively inexpensive and effective way to prevent pathologies of the cardiovascular system.

  5. By-products are rich in many micro- and macroelements (in particular, iron, which is necessary for the functioning of detoxification enzymes in liver cells) and cyanocobalamin - vitamin B12, which plays a direct role both in the synthesis of the myelin sheath of nerves, which provides isolated propagation of impulses along nerve fibers, and directly involved in the folate cycle.

Nutrition advice

The diet for any kind of pathology is individual and is compiled by a nutritionist or a doctor working in a specific area related to this disease. It should take into account both the gender and age of the patient, as well as the characteristics of metabolism, including possible congenital or acquired fermentopathy (for example, as a result of prolonged hypo- and avitaminosis, malnutrition), concomitant disorders of the digestive system (gastritis, stomach ulcers). , malabsorption syndrome), which leads to a decrease or complete absence of the absorption of nutrients and nutrients.

 

Below we have tried to give general, average recommendations, however, the final decision remains with the experts advising you.

In general, there are some features in the preparation of the daily diet associated with genetically determined disorders of the folate cycle, which lead, as previously mentioned, to the accumulation of the amino acid homocysteine ​​and, as a result, damage to the vessel wall and disruption of its permeability.

Homocysteine ​​is formed from the amino acid methionine in the process of its biochemical transformations (ensuring the implementation of vital processes) - and the latter is most concentrated in animal products: milk, meat, offal - their consumption should be limited.

It is necessary to add to the diet a variety of sources of folic acid:

  • Spinach

  • Watercress

  • Broccoli

  • Asparagus

  • Beans, peas and chickpeas

  • Parsley

In addition, make sure you get enough vitamin C. Ascorbic acid, in addition to rose hips, is also rich in other vegetables and fruits, in particular:

  • Bell pepper

  • Currant and sea buckthorn

  • Citrus

  • A pineapple

  • Cherry and kiwi

  • Broccoli

  • Thyme

List of prohibited products

In the mechanisms of the development of vascular pathologies, glycation processes also play a significant role - that is, the “sugaring” of proteins: both blood plasma (an example is the indicator used to diagnose carbohydrate metabolism disorders - glycated hemoglobin), and tissue ones. Collagen is no exception. Formed with an excess amount of glucose circulating in the serum, peculiar cross-links in its molecule lead to a violation of the structure and, in the final case, to vascular fragility and, as a result, development of bleeding.

So, under the ban (especially if there are already various prerequisites - for example, a decrease in the sensitivity of cellular receptors to insulin) are the following sources of empty calories and papular pustules on the face:

  • Confectionery: marshmallows, marmalade, buns, sweets, waffles and other employees of the massive metabolic syndrome campaign.

  • Sweet juices - especially packaged ones. If you can’t read the composition, feel free to leave the product on the shelf. Your body is not a trash can: treat it with respect if you demand and expect the normal functioning of its organs and systems.

  • Ready-made sauces - lots of sugar and flavor enhancers (trace the stimulating effect of glutamate supplements on young children: the cells of their nervous system are not fully differentiated, and therefore it is not as "stable" as in adults) and the benefit reduced to zero.

  • Freshly squeezed juices are a sugar bomb, or, more correctly, a real nuclear weapon in relation to the cells of the pancreas. Deprived of fiber, which normally slows down the development of hyperglycemia, they cause an instant increase in blood glucose.

  • Dates - Masquerading as alternative sweeteners, these oriental fruits have a whopping glycemic index of over 150. For comparison, glucose has a glycemic index of 100, which measures the rate at which sugar levels rise after eating a particular food. Impressive, isn't it? Now ask yourself a question: how many dates are in a raw-food dessert with the proud name of "healthy"? There is a direct road not only to damage to the vascular endothelium, but also to fatty liver - it literally turns into goose foie gras.

advanced glycation end products

In medicine, there is an interesting abbreviation: AGEs - advanced glycation end-products or glycation end products - and these three letters, in fact, display one of the leading theories of aging at the moment.

So, these substances are something other than proteins and fats ALREADY subjected to the process of “candied”. They play major roles in scenes like atherosclerosis, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases - including Alzheimer's.

But even knowing about such serious consequences, not everyone rushes with ardent confidence to the refrigerator for a total “cleansing”: these factors of inevitable aging and numerous pathologies appear too “tasty” to people. This is a crust on baked meat so beloved by many, sweet, golden brown caramel, ruddy bacon, generously fried with butter in a hot skillet.

 

Glycation end products, as noted by the results of studies, are capable, among other things, directly or indirectly (through the development and progression of diabetes mellitus) to contribute to the occurrence of coronary heart disease (CHD). Thus, two large-scale, independently carried out, scientific works have shown that an increase in the level of circulating AGEs in the serum is a significant herald of imminent and imminent myocardial pathology associated with the occurrence of congestive heart failure, arrhythmias, and coronary artery disease.

The oxidative stress that accompanies an increase in their content in the body leads to damage to mitochondrial DNA and disruption of the functioning of the electron transport chain located in our small, complex power plants.

Tobacco, inflammation and many of the heavy metals that surround us, along with old age, contribute to the accumulation of advanced glycation end products.

Research: The role of advanced glycation end-products in the development of coronary artery disease in patients with and without diabetes mellitus: a review

Dietary supplements for vascular health

  1. First of all, in the presence of "breakdowns" in the three main genes that ensure the operation of the folate cycle (MTR, MTRR. MTHFR), it is necessary to take methyl group donors:

    • SAMe - S-adenosylmethionine.

       

    • Trimethylglycine (betaine) - in the absence of lesions of the mucosa of the gastrointestinal tract.

  2. The active form of vitamin B6 is pyridoxal-5-phosphate.

  3. The active form of vitamin B12 is methylcobalamin:

     

     

  4. The active form of folic acid is methylfolate.

  5. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids - subject to a normal concentration of platelets in the blood plasma. It is also necessary to pay attention to the ratio of concentrations between their two main representatives - eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids (EPA and DHA, respectively). So, in childhood, it is DHA that should prevail: it is actively involved in the processes of differentiation of the nervous tissue. In adults, the opposite is true: a higher dosage of EPA is preferable.

     

  6. Liposomal vitamin C.

  7. Supplements containing collagen types 1-3 - it is advisable to choose those that already include ascorbic acid.

  8. Phospholipids: phosphatidylcholine, lecithin.

Nutrition menu for strengthening blood vessels

The classic, most suitable (with rare exceptions in the form of problems such as adrenal exhaustion, as well as with extremely severe physical exertion observed in professional athletes), suitable for the general population - this is precisely the 3-time diet.

The exclusion of snacks and the observance of “hungry” intervals between main meals is an excellent prevention of the development of insulin resistance, as well as a good way to correct existing problems associated with carbohydrate metabolism. We have combined all the recommendations in the article, making a rough three-day meal plan.

 
The first day

Breakfast

Avocado toast with poached egg, olives, a glass of fresh berries, a wedge of dark chocolate.

Dinner

Large bowl of green salad, baked tuna, mashed cauliflower.

Dinner

Quinoa with grilled vegetables.

Second day

Breakfast

GHI omelette with cherry tomatoes and a pinch of aged parmesan.

Dinner

Lamb and a bowl of fresh vegetables.

Dinner

Pumpkin cream soup.

Day three

Breakfast

Almond yogurt with fresh berries, pre-soaked nuts or homemade granules.

Dinner

Cod liver, lettuce and brown rice as a side dish.

Dinner

Turkey fillet with roasted vegetables.

The material is based on research:
  • Health Benefits of Green Banana Consumption: A Systematic Review

  • Evaluation of Anxiolytic-Like Effect of Aqueous Extract of Asparagus Stem in Mice

  • The role of advanced glycation end-products in the development of coronary artery disease in patients with and without diabetes mellitus: a review

 

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