Want a “heart-attack proof ” body?

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

Lettuce and tomatoes may be healthy, but that barely counts if it’s all covered in hamburger grease!

Devouring donuts, chips, and soda might taste delicious, but just about everyone knows they’re harmful for your body. If a person regularly pigs out on junk food, they increase their chances of becoming obese (severely overweight) and suffering from a painful heart attack. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. According to Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr. – who’s published research on heart health – there’s a simple way to make your body “heart-attack proof.” Whoa, that sounds like a super power! What’s the secret?

Well, before I reveal it, you have to know what basic effects junk food has on the body! Popular American dishes like greasy cheeseburgers, salty french fries, and sugary milkshakes contain chemicals that cause the bloodstream to get sticky. Eventually, our system gets jammed, blood pressure skyrockets, and arteries – the thick tubes that transport blood in our bodies – clog right up. It’s kind of similar to how cars that are stuck in traffic can’t really get anywhere. Blood jammed in arteries has a difficult time moving around. This is bad because the heart needs to work extra hard to pump the blood throughout the body.

How can we get the blood flowing better? Clear the arteries of course! And here’s the secret: a special chemical found in plants known as “nitric oxide” does just that! It serves as a “vasodilator,” which means it expands the walls of arteries into open roads for the blood. “Nitric oxide is the strongest vasodilator in the body,” said Esselstyn. So, if you want to have the cleanest blood vessels around and be heart-attack proof, I suggest you eat as many leafy green veggies as you can! It’ll also help if you cut down on junk food, just saying…

Featured image courtesy of Elana’s Pantry on Flickr. Image of burgers courtesy of Marike79