You may be well aware that calcium is a mineral that is extremely important for our body. It builds and protects our bones and also helps our blood clot. One of the important functions of calcium in our body is to help our nerves send messages across. But there is one way calcium may actually harm your body – when it gets collected in your arteries. Recent studies have shown that the level of calcium in the arteries may predict risk of heart diseases and attacks. Patients who follow a diet that’s good for their heart and have no buildup of calcium in their coronary arteries have shown a lower risk of strokes even if they have other issues like diabetes and high blood pressure. On the other hand, those with calcium deposits in their arteries are at a great risk of heart diseases, attacks and strokes. Here are some details about calcium in arteries that you should be aware of.

Why does calcium build up in arteries?

Calcium accumulates in the arteries of the heart after plaque builds up and calcifies over time. This happens as a result of decline in estrogen, lack of exercise, stress, smoking, but mostly due to poor dietary habits. Deficiency of vitamins D3 and K2 also lead to accumulation of calcium in arteries. Cholesterol-heavy foods lead to the waxy cholesterol combining with calcium and fat to form the plaque. It has been observed that calcium accumulates in the arteries of men in their teenage while for women, it does not buildup until after menopause. The highest calcification in arteries though is found in older people who develop osteoporosis. DO SEE Top 5 extremely healthy seeds you should eat every day

Healthy diet is key to cardiovascular health

Healthy diet is key to cardiovascular health

How to reduce calcium in arteries?

As mentioned above, the main cause of the calcium buildup in your arteries are inadequate diet and lack of exercise. So, you can prevent calcium buildup in your arteries by choosing a diet rich in vitamin K2 and exercising regularly. Both these things will help circulation and prevent plaque that leads to calcification. The key is to avoid saturated fat (to be kept under 7 percent) and dietary cholesterol. Saturated fat is found in abundance in foods like whole milk, high-cut meats, high-fat cheese and packaged cookies and doughnuts. Dietary cholesterol in high amounts too is a problem so you should try to restrict your consumption of egg yolks and liver meat. Having healthy foods like green leafy vegetables, oats and berries are good for your cardiovascular health and they can help prevent the calcification in your arteries.