SCHOOL OPENS OWN BANK

Pupils save over £100 in new school bank!

 

Ws4g3Students at Walthamstow School for Girls have thrown open the doors of their very own bank.

11-14 year olds have been trained by MyBnk to get fellow pupils into good financial habits by offering accounts and loans of up to £40. Using real money, their MyBnk-in-a-Box scheme opens once a week at lunchtime and is also accessible online.

“I opened an account today with £2 and I think it’s important to save so you don’t have to worry about your parents spending all of their money on you! I would like to buy things for myself and be independent”. Amy 12, young saver.

Ws4g2Also opening accounts on launch day were the Mayor of Waltham Forest, Saima Mahmud and our patron, broadcaster and campaigner, June Sarpong. Scores of young people deposited over £100 in a single lunch break.

The young bankers now will also run incentivised saving and enterprise start-up drives for their fellow pupils. This is backed up with financial education workshops covering everything from tax and pensions to student finance, supported by Prudential.

“At WSFG we believe that our girls should understand how banks work and understand how to manage their personal finances. We try to build in transferable and lifelong skills that they will use in their everyday lives, as well as ensuring that they achieve the very best academic achievements they can”. Marianna Philippou, Maths teacher, Walthamstow School for Girls.

 

Ws4gSoon, Walthamstow will be joined by another London school bank, run by young people for young people. Savers bank on average £3.64 a week, 59% of their pocket money, an adult would bank £295 a week on an a £26,000 salary!

“The sooner young people are familiar with banking, the better they can develop sound financial habits like saving and navigate the system. We’re going all out for a generation that will have to make smarter financial decisions and create their own opportunities”. MyBnk CEO & Founder Lily Lapenna.

If you are interested in running the MyBnk-in-a-Box financial education programme in your school, get in touch via info@mybnk.org or 0207 377 8770!

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REBUILDING RELATIONSHIPS

Family gatherings stressful?

Sadly, according to a new study, many families the first argument starts just after 10.13 on Christmas morning – with four or five more before the day is over! This can happen in families who don’t see each other very often and are then all together at Christmas. Christmas is a big focus, but other times like Easter or weddings, funerals and other family get-togethers can bring about pressure points erupt into family arguments. And the little things that trigger rows can be simple perhaps even the preparation of lunch, when a cook is trying to prepare a delicious meal and resents doing all the work or the other family members interfering too much. Couples often get into arguments because one or both has had too much to drink. Its particularly difficult where there are stepchildren. A couple may have different ideas about how to bring them up, and big decisions of how much to spend on the Christmas presents can cause disagreements.Six ways to stay close when your children leave home

Blended Family Matters

Blended families with step children can be part of the challenges faced during a Christmas festivity. If you have children from a previous relationship and your partner does not, you might disagree over the children’s behaviour. Or, if your partner does have children who are with the other parent for a big occasion like Christmas or a holiday, the presence of your children can cause resentment. The disciplinary lifestyles can be different and each parent may be softer in dealing with own child. It is good to be self conscious and aware of a child’s needs to treat them equally well.

Repairing family relationships

In the cold light of January try to make up with the family members you have fallen out with, even if you think it’s not your fault or that they might not react well. Pluck up courage and talk to them, face to face if possible, or by telephone or letter. Here are a few tips.My secret to feeling great at 56? Just do it!

  • Don’t restart the argument, wait until the person you need to talk to is in a good mood and then tell them that it is so nice when you do get on together that you would like it to be like that more of the time.
  • Tell them how much you regret the argument, that you are sorry if you upset them and that you love or care about them. It takes courage to say you are sorry.
  • Tread sensitively, no angry voices or unkind words, and make the person feel listened to and hopefully they might respond in a similar manner.
  • Ask what they need from you and say what you need from them.
  • If they don’t feel the same way, avoid another row and say, ‘I just wanted you to know that I am sorry we argued.’
  • Don’t be afraid to go to counselling if things seem really bad, it could make you happier in the long run.
  • Finally, make it your January resolution to think about how you would like life to be different, whether that includes drinking or spending a little less, or to have better relationships with the ones you love.”
  • DIY hair care tips for when you’re starting to go grey
  • Share the work

    babyhk20/11/2016

    Some people like cooking but if all avalanche on you over Xmas I have had to be honest so.I keep Xmas day for my husband and children as I explain i can only cook and cope with so many .Boxing Day is a running buffet which I top up with mainly cold food or things I can cook in 20 mins that just need throwing in the oven. I get decorations together and others sort out the tree . If anyone wants special food or find them something missing ot can shop for it.

    Be Close to kids who left home

    Yes it’s the end of an era, but your children moving out can sometimes bring you closer than ever. Keep in touch with each other daily. It easy if you know how. Meet up regularly if possible and Skype, telephone, visit.

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COCONUT OIL SUPER FOOD?

CoconutsCoconut oil classified is considered a superfood according toCoconut oil is high in saturated fatSales of coconut oil are rocketing, propelled by celebrity endorsements and claims that drinking the stuff will cure everything from halitosis to digestive disorders. Actress Angelina Jolie-Pitt is said to have a tablespoon or so with breakfast most mornings, while model Miranda Kerr says she not only adds it to salads and smoothies, but she cooks with it and splashes it on her skin as well. The health claims that swirl around coconut oil are treated with a great deal of scepticism by scientists. Coconut oil is seen, in the scientific community, as an unhealthy fat. It is very high in saturated fat (86%), even more so than butter (51%) or lard (39%). The reason that foods rich in saturated fats are frowned on is because eating them causes a rise in blood levels of LDL (low density lipoprotein). LDL is known as “bad cholesterol” because high levels are linked with increased risk of heart disease. On the other hand, saturated fats – which are particularly bad for you – also tend to raise HDL, “good” cholesterol, which has the opposite effect. It is possible that a particular food can raise overall cholesterol levels, yet still be heart-friendly.

Cholesterol check

So is coconut oil a cholesterol-busting wonder food, as some claim, or is this all dangerous hype? Despite all the sound and fury that surrounds coconut oil there have been surprisingly few human studies carried out to test specific health claims. So for the current BBC2 series of Trust Me I’m a Doctor, we thought we should help organise a trial. The Trust Me team started by contacting Prof Kay-Tee Khaw and Prof Nita Forouhi, both eminent Cambridge academics. With their help we recruited 94 volunteers, aged 50-75 and with no history of diabetes or heart disease, and designed a study to assess what effect eating different types of fat would have on their cholesterol levels. We began by randomly allocating our volunteers to one of three groups. Every day for four weeks, the first was asked to eat 50g of extra virgin coconut oil – that’s about three tablespoons full.

Type of oil or fat Polyunsaturated (%) Monounsaturated (%) Saturated (%)
Coconut oil 2 6 86
Butter 3 21 51
Lard 11 45 39
Goose fat 11 56 27
Olive oil 10 76 14
Rapeseed oil 28 63 7
Sesame oil 41 40 14
Corn oil 54 27 12
Sunflower oil 65 20 10

The second group was asked to consume the same amount of extra virgin olive oil. Olive oil is a key element of the Mediterranean diet, which is widely seen as being extremely healthy. And the third was asked to eat 50g of unsalted butter a day. Again, that adds up to just over three tablespoons. The volunteers were told that they could consume these fats in whatever way they pleased, as long as they did so every day for the whole four weeks. On the other hand others think that Coconut oil ‘as unhealthy as beef fat and butter’ so the Diet debate: Is butter back and is sat fat good? They were also warned that, because they were consuming an extra 450 calories a day, they might well put on some weight. Before our volunteers started on their new high-fat regime we took blood samples to get baseline measurements, focusing mainly on their levels of LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) and HDL (the “good” cholesterol) The importance of these two measures is that your heart attack risk is best calculated, not by looking at your total cholesterol score, but your total cholesterol divided by your HDL score. NHS Choices suggests that this figure should be below four. So what happened? As expected the butter eaters saw an average rise in their LDL levels of about 10%, which was almost matched by a 5% rise in their HDL levels Those consuming olive oil saw a small reduction, albeit a non-significant drop, in LDL cholesterol, and a 5% rise in HDL. So olive oil lived up to its heart-friendly reputation.Olive oil

Early Stages of Studies

But the big surprise was the coconut oil. Not only was there no rise in LDL levels, which was what we were expecting, but there was a particularly large rise in HDL, the “good” cholesterol, up by 15. On the face of it that would suggest that the people consuming the coconut oil had actually reduced their risk of developing heart disease or stroke. Olive oil is a key element of the Mediterranean diet, which is seen as particularly healthy. I asked Prof Khaw, who was clearly surprised by these results, why she thought it had happened. “I have no real idea,” she candidly replied. “Perhaps it is because the main saturated fat in coconut oil is lauric acid and lauric acid may have different biological impacts on blood lipids to other fatty acids. The evidence for that comes mainly from animals, so it was fascinating to see this effect in free-living humans.” So should we be hailing coconut oil as a health food? “I think decisions to eat particular oils depend on more than just the health effects” she said. “This is just one study and it would be irresponsible to suggest changing dietary advice based on one study, however well conducted.” This was a very short-term study and compared to olive oil, research on coconut oil is at an early stage. So the claims about coconut oil being a superfood are premature. But if, like me, you enjoy putting coconut in your curries, there seems no very good reason to stop.

The new series of Trust Me I’m a Doctorcontinues on BBC2 at 20:30 GMT on Wednesday 10 January and will be available on iPlayer afterwards.

AN AMAZING WEIGHT LOSS

Among many people’s priority resolution for the new year is the desire to lose weight. An amazing weight loss plan used by this man transformed his life to shed the extra pounds of weight in a short time. So there is hope for many more people to follow his example to lose weight too. The father-of-two lost 12 stones in under a year in remarkable weight loss effort attributed to low calorie diet. Lorry driver Adam Moffat, 44, sheds half his body mass after adjusting eating habits. The Independent Online shared this story of Adam Moffat with his wife Margaret and daughters Hannah, 13, and Holly, nine Katielee pictured here by Arrowsmith /SWNS. The father-of-two is now half the size of the man he used to be after shedding more than 12 stone in less than a year. Prior to shedding half his body weight Adam Moffat, 44, gorged on pies, cakes and daily double rolls crammed with sausages. He would scoff cakes with breakfast and lunch and would even sneak in a kingsize Mars bar before dinner.

DIVERSITY AND MARRIAGE

uk-scotland-42510187Congratulations on celebration of inter marriage between different groups of people often seen as source of blending families. In the past was not considered able to do so even within same nation a tribe saw other tribes in the draconian age as enemies unable to relate in long term marriage of family members. And many people missed potential marriage of choice thwarted by feuding families of past generations. Today it is good to see the acceptance and tolerance after many years people recognise humans come from one race. Although some people do not really fully understand the challenges involved it is nice to see a successful couple overcome diversity. It is equally challenging to be married in a common social background because all marriages are hardwork, tolerance and forgiveness of each other. No matter the issues faced its good to see marriage on top of the agenda once again. So nation of Britain prepares to celebrate Prince Harry’s marriage to Meghan as Queen Charlotte of Portugal married in UK’s past history of a royal mixed marriage. According to PBS, Charlotte “directly descended from Margarita de Castro y Sousa, a black branch of the Portuguese Royal HoHouse. That distinction goes way back to the 18th century to Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. So a black woman in the royal family in the 1700s history nerds say turns out that, while many Englanders were in denial at the time, the wife of King George III, who was Queen from 1761 until her death in 1818, was of mixed race. According to PBSMmmm, Charlotte was “directly descended from Margarita de Castro y Sousa, a black branch of the Portuguese Royal House.” So not of unsavoury mixed-race origins, but actual black royalty. Her race mostly went under the radar over the course of history until decades later art historians began to take a closer look at distinctly black features in her portraits. Her regal nose, those full lips; as a mixed girl myself who can often spot a person with even a small amount of Black ancestry from a mile away, it’s pretty blatant from looking at her painting.

The fact that her black physical traits were visible in those paintings was, in itself noteworthy because as customary at the time for artists air brushed to “play down soften or even obliterate undesirable features in a subjects’ face,” also according to PBS. Even more controversial is the fact that the artist who depicted Queen Charlotte in all of her portraits was Sir Allan Ramsay, an anti-slavery advocate who went on to marry a black woman himself. All that being said, many historians believe the mere existence of Queen Charlotte and these portraits could have played a major role in the slavery abolition movement of the time. And that makes total sense. I mean, think about it: As we saw on The Crown, Queen Elizabeth II wouldn’t even allow her sister to marry a man who had once been divorced. And that was in the 1950s. Can you imagine the existence of a black queen back in the 18th century. Another major plot twis is Queen Charlotte, the actual first black and bi-racial member of royalty, happens to be Prince Harry’s great-great-great-great-great-grandmother. She’s Queen Victoria’s grandmother, which makes them relatives, several generations removed. So not only is it possible that Prince Harry’s 14th great-uncle may have beheaded one of Markle’s ancestors, but now, it’s looking like Prince Harry himself has some interracial genes. It   turns out Queen Charlotte might not be the lone mixed royal and potentially not the first, either. Philippa of Hainault, a fourteenth-century Queen of England, was also rumoured to have African ancestry. And in 2004, former sheep sheerer and builder Gary Lewis became the first Maori or aboriginal New Zealander to join the extended royal family by marrying Lady Davina Lewis, daughter of the Duke of Glouchester and 28th in line to the British throne. (I know, I know. Let me know if y’all need me to draw a family tree for all of this.)
Regardless, I think it’s long overdue (like, seven generations long) for Queen Charlotte to get some credit for being an early trailblazer among the royals. And even though the official title of the first black member of royalty technically taken a long time ago. Meghan Markle’s recent engagement reminds people that love heart matters for pure happiness.

A FAMILY FEELS NO PAIN?

Letizia MarsiliA family does not feel pain according to the story recently reported in the news. Letizia Marsili and five other members rarely feel pain  Letizia Marsili, 52, first realised she was different when she was very young. She has high threshold for pain meaning she did not feel burns or notice broken bones. Five other family members are also affected by condition which means they are insensitive to pain. Letizia told the BBC: “From day to day we live a very normal life, perhaps better than the rest of the population, because we very rarely get unwell and we hardly feel any pain. “However, in truth we do feel pain perception of pain, but this only lasts for a few seconds.” Scientists believe the condition could be down to some nerves not reacting properly. Researchers who studied the family hope their discovery of a gene mutation in family members could help chronic-pain sufferers in future. “We have opened up a whole new route to drug discovery for pain relief,” said Prof Anna Maria Aloisi from the University of Siena in Italy.

How is family affected?

Letizia’s mother, two sons, sister and niece all show signs of being affected by syndrome that is named after the family Marsili pain syndrome. She said pain was an important alarm signal because they feel it fleetingly, the family often have fractures go undetected and this leads to inflammation in their bones. They also experience burns and other injuries without knowing. Letizia said her 24-year-old son Ludovico, who plays football, has encountered problems. “He rarely stays on the ground, even when he is knocked down. However, he has fragility at the ankles and he suffers distortions, which are micro fractures. “In fact, recently X-rays have shown that he has lots of micro fractures in both ankles.” She said her younger son Bernardo, 21, had a calcification of the elbow without realising he had broken it after falling off his bike. He continued cycling another nine miles. Fractures, broken bones and burns are often not noticed and don’t heal properly.Fractures are often missed because the family doesn't feel the pain

Letizia says when she fractured right shoulder skiing she continued to ski all afternoon, only going to the hospital the next morning because her fingers were tingling. So same thing happened when she broke a bone in her elbow playing tennis. “Because of a lack of pain, it got so stressed that it ended up breaking,” she says. But the worst thing, she says, was problems in her mouth because of a tooth implant went wrong. Letizia’s mother, Maria Domenica, 78, has had a number of fractures which have never healed properly and have hardened naturally. She suffers burns because she doesn’t feel any pain. Her sister Maria Elena often damages the top of her mouth because she burns herself with hot drinks, and her daughter Virginia once left her hand in ice for about 20 minutes without feeling pain. Despite all this, Letizia says she has never seen  condition “as a negative for our lives.”

Do they feel little pain?

Lead study author Dr James Cox, from University College London said Marsili family members had all their nerves present, but “they’re just not working how they should be.” He said: “We’re working to gain a better understanding of exactly why they don’t feel much pain, to see if could help us find new pain relief treatments.” The research team, whose findings are published in the journal Brain, worked with family to find out nature of their phenotype the observable characteristics caused by their genetics. The Marsili syndrome, named after them, means the affected individuals are less than normally sensitive (or hyposensitive) to extreme heat, capsaicin in chilli peppers, have experienced pain-free bone fractures.

Scientists discover genes

The researchers mapped out protein-coding genes in each family member’s genome and found a mutation in the ZFHX2 gene. They then conducted two studies in mice which had been bred without this gene and found their pain thresholds had been altered. When they bred a new line of mice with relevant mutation they found they were notably insensitive to high temperatures. Prof Aloisi said: “With more research to understand exactly how the mutation impacts pain sensitivity, and to see what other genes might be involved, we could identify novel targets for drug development.” The family is believed to be the one in the world to be affected by this faulty gene.

Additional reporting by Mauro Galluzzo

21 FOODS UNCLOG ARTERIES

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If your goal is to restore or maintain a healthy heart, there are a variety of foods that can help to unclog arteries of plaque build-up, lower your blood pressure, and reduce inflammation – the main culprits of cardiovascular illness. Many of the foods on this list contain healthy fats, antioxidants, and soluble fiber which are great not only for your heart, but also to promote healthy skin, hair, hormone production, and nutrient absorption.  You can feel better, have more energy, and improve your heart health without the use of toxic chemicals.

1. Asparagus

One of the best vegetables for clearing arteries, asparagus is full of fiber and minerals, as well as a long list of vitamins including K, B1, B2, C, and E.  Asparagus can help to lower blood pressure and prevent blood clots that can cause serious cardiovascular illness.  Try steaming raw asparagus for maximum vitamin potential!

2. Avocado

avocado2avocado-pesto-pasta-with-hot-smoked-salmon-105302-1The next time you make a sandwich or salad, consider adding a few slices of avocado in lieu of mayonnaise or heavy salad dressing. Studies have shown that the daily consumption of avocado result in improved blood cholesterol with a decrease in triglycerides and LDL of around 22% and an 11% increase in HDL – the “good” cholesterol that helps to keep arteries clear of obstructions.  Not only can this delicious fruit help to keep your blood flowing smoothly, the average avocado also contains around 4 grams protein and 11 grams of fiber, not to mention an impressive list of vitamins and antioxidants. For an even more potent dose of avocado, why not try adding avocado oil for your diet. Read our recent article here revealing ten reasons you should add avocado oil to your diet.420970_1280x720

3. Broccoli

Broccoli is another vegetable that is loaded with vitamin K which helps to prevent calcification or hardening of arteries. Eating vitamins, antioxidant packed broccoli can also help to prevent oxidation of LDL cholesterol which can lead to serious heart conditions.  This super healthy veggie also offers a heart-healthy dose of fiber which helps to normalize blood-pressure and reduce stress that cause tears and eventually plaque build-up) in arterial walls.

4. Chia Seeds

11750070877199195178When included daily as part of a heart-healthy diet, fiber and alpha-linolenic acid contained in just two ounces of Chia seeds can help to keep arteries clear by regulating blood pressure, reducing LDL cholesterol, lowering triglycerides, and increasing HDL cholesterol.  Daily cardiovascular exercise is another excellent way to improve heart health and keep arteries clear, Chia seeds are doubly effective.  The boost of protein and nutrients offered by this tiny superfood can help to make any workout feel just a little bit easier. If you want to try Chia seeds then you can get some from this page on Amazon.

(Further reading: 10 Emphatic Reasons Why You Should Add Chia Seeds To Your Diet Today)

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5. Cinnamon

You’ve probably heard that a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.  But did you know that a spoonful of cinnamon makes your risk of heart disease go down?  Just one tablespoon of ground cinnamon per day can work to reduce cholesterol levels while at the same time clearing and preventing plaque build-up.  Cinnamon is also full of antioxidants which further improve cardiovascular health by protecting blood from damaging oxidation.  So put down the sugar and start enjoying cinnamon.  Try this fragrant spice in a cup of tea or sprinkled on top of coffee.  Or check out the recipes on EatingWell with cinnamon.

6. Coconut Oil

21 Foods That Naturally Unclog ArteriesDisregard the old myth all saturated fats bad and leading cause of cardiovascular diseases like atherosclerosis.  Regular consumption of coconut oil – about 2 or 3 tablespoons per day – can help to reduce plaque build-up in the arteries by aiding the conversion of cholesterol in the blood stream into a form that our bodies can use.  High concentration of medium chain triglyceride, lauric acid present in coconut oil is also thought to improve blood coagulation as well as to perform antioxidant functions in the blood stream, further diminishing the risk of heart disease.

Want to try coconut oil? You can get a jar from this page on Amazon.

Further Reading: 23 Reasons You Should Have A Spoonful Of Coconut Oil Every Morning

7. Coffee

Also contrary to popular belief, coffee is not bad for your healthStudies have found that drinking between 8 and 16 oz of coffee per day can reduce your risk of heart disease by around 20%.  Just remember to take all things in moderation, including caffeine.  Over-consumption of any stimulant has the potential to increase your blood pressure and heart rate, which can lead to some serious health problems. There are some ways you can make your coffee extra healthy. Here are seven things you can do.

Further Reading: 14 Genius Ways To Recycle Used Coffee Grounds

8. Cranberries

health-benefits-of-cranberriesCranberries are another antioxidant-rich food which can help to improve cardiovascular health by reducing LDL and raising HDL cholesterol levels. In fact, cranberry juice has more antioxidant power than all but one other fruit juice (100% red or black grape being the exception.)  Enjoy two servings of 100% pure organic cranberry juice daily to protect your heart and improve your health.

9. Cold-water ‘Fatty Fish’

Also rich in healthy fats, cold-water fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, and tuna can help to clear arteries.  Try to eat fish twice per week to reduce plaque build-up and inflammation that can lead to heart disease.  Also, eating cold-water fish can help to improve your overall cholesterol lowering triglyceride levels and increasing HDL cholesterol in the blood-stream.

10. Flax/seeds

150506112204-fruits-nuts-vegetables-grains-stockOne of the best sources of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), flaxseeds are known for their ability to reduce blood-pressure and inflammation, helping to keep arteries clear of obstructions and improve overall heart health.  Enjoy a serving of 100% organic golden flaxseed added to a delicious smoothie or in one of these heart-healthy recipes by EatingWell!

11. Green Tea

21 Foods That Naturally Unclog Arteries

Green tea –especially nutrient-rich Matcha green tea  contains high levels of catechins, antioxidant plant phenols which hinder the absorption of cholesterol during digestion.  Enjoy a cup or two of green tea every day to improve your blood-lipid levels and help reduce arterial blockage.  Green tea also provides a natural boost to the metabolism which can help you to lose weight, further bolstering your cardiovascular health.

(Further reading: 10 Amazing Benefits Of Matcha Green Tea)

12. Nuts

raw-postA heart healthy snack alternative to prepackaged and processed foods, raw nuts are a delicious way to clear arteries with many auxiliary benefits, to boot!  Almonds are by far the best option, being high in monounsaturated fats, vitamin E, fiber, and protein.  Walnuts are another great choice.  As an excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) the same EFA that gives flaxseeds their favorable reputation – eating a serving of walnuts every day can help to improve blood-pressure, reduce inflammation, and keep arteries clear of obstructions.

Further reading: 500 Healthy All-Natural Snack Recipes

13. Olive Oil

Rich in monounsaturated oleic acid – an essential fatty acid (EFA) known for its positive effects on cholesterol levels and oxidative stress in the blood stream – olive oil is widely considered to be one of the healthiest oils for cooking and dressing food.  According to a recent study, use of olive oil for these purposes can actually reduce the risk of serious cardiovascular illnesses by up to 41%. A word of caution: When shopping for olive oil, avoid buying the lowest-priced option on the shelf.  These products are inexpensive for a good reason. Low-cost olive oils are often cut with cheaper, less-healthy oils or have been damaged by heat during the extraction process.  Instead, go with certified 100% organic virgin olive oil.

14. Orange Fruits/Juice

anitoxidants-foodsDrinking just two cups of 100% orange juice (no sugar added) every day can help to improve blood pressure and reduce inflammation of arteries.  Also, orange juice is full of antioxidant vitamin C which helps to keep arteries clear by preventing oxidative damage in blood stream.  For more information about how orange juice improves circulatory function, read this article by the Bastyr Center for Natural Health.

15. Persimmon

A-simple-Persimmon-Smoothie-recipe-perfect-for-using-this-delicious-winter-fruit-uprootfromoregon.com_-1024x681DOxWroOVAAAqNM9Persimmons are loaded with antioxidants and polyphenols, both of which work to decrease LDL and triglycerides in the blood-stream.  Persimmons are also a great source of fiber which helps to regulate blood pressure, keep your heart healthy, and your arteries clear.

16. Pomegranate

Antioxidant phytochemicals naturally present in pomegranates do an excellent job of protecting circulatory system from damaging oxidation which cause plaque build-up and dangerous blood clots.  Pomegranate also naturally stimulates production of nitric oxide in the blood which helps to open arteries and regulate blood pressure. Try eating fresh pomegranate or enjoy the organic pomegranate juice!

17. Spinach

One of the famed dark leafy greens, spinach is loaded with fiber, potassium, and folate all of which help to lower blood pressure and keep arteries clear.  According to recent studies, just one serving per day of folate-rich greens like spinach can lower homocysteine levels as risk factor for cardiovascular diseases like atherosclerosis.  Why not mix it up a little?  Enjoy your spinach sautéed, in a salad, or as part of a heart-smart smoothie!

18. Spirulina

Spirulina is a cytobacteria (or blue-green algaeas they are often called) which not only helps to regulate lipid levels in the blood, it is also a complete protein.  Unlike other plant sources of protein, Spirulina contains all of the essential amino acids needed by the human body to maintain optimum health.  Spirulina is also packed with EFAs, including alpha-linolenic acid the essential omega-3 fatty acid found in chia and flaxseeds that has been researched extensively for its ability to reduce arterial inflammation, improves cardiovascular health.  Take Spirulina daily as supplement or try it in powder form in some of these delicious recipes.

Further Reading: 10 Wonderful Benefits Of Spirulina

19. Turmeric

21 Foods That Naturally Unclog ArteriesCurcumin, the main component of Turmeric, is a powerful anti-inflammatory.  Adding turmeric to your diet can seriously reduce inflammation and damage to arterial walls which are leading causes of plaque build-up and blood clots.  Furthermore, studies have shown us the high levels of curcumin in Turmeric aid reduction of fatty deposits in the arteries by up to 26%.  Try some of these excellent recipes using all-natural organic turmeric.

20. Watermelon

Not only is it delicious, watermelon is another fruit that is great for your heart.  As an excellent natural source of the amino acid L-citrulline, watermelon can help to keep arteries clear by lowering blood pressure and decreasing inflammation.  In much the same way as pomegranate, watermelon naturally stimulates production of nitric oxide, which further improves artery health and blood pressure. Try some of these Best Watermelon Recipes by Southern Living!

21. Whole Grains

1019 Trade out your bleached carbohydrates for theirwhole grain alternatives to give your heart health a boost.  Foods like whole grain beans, breads, whole wheat pastas, brown rice, quinoa, barley, and oatmeal have long been celebrated for the role in improving blood cholesterol levels, keeping arteries clear, and reducing the risk of serious heart disease. Need a little help finding foods that fit the bill?  Check out this great guide to whole grain groceries.