Are you concerned about your heart health? By making the following modifications to your diet you may be able to avoid clogged arteries and heart disease altogether:

1. Ditch the soda: Sugar laden beverages are linked with obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and increased cholesterol levels. This is bad for your heart because it leads to arterial inflammation, hardening and clogging. By cutting out soda and artificially-flavored beverages you will absolutely see a positive change in your health. Sometimes the best way to eliminate soda is to do it gradually. Begin by replacing one soda with a glass of water or herbal tea. Eventually work up to replacing all the soda with water or tea. You’ll feel so much better you’ll never want to go back to soda!

2. Drink tea: The flavonols and anthocyanins found in black, purple and oolong teas have been found by researchers to protect the heart and blood vessels. Tea can also lower blood pressure and prevent hardening and plaque buildup in the arteries.

3. Incorporate more vegetables and fruits into your diet: Eating organic produce have clinically proven benefits for the human body. Brightly colored fruits and vegetables are the main source of vitamins and antioxidants that the cells in our body use to protect itself. Vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins from asparagus and bell peppers, and Vitamin C from tomatoes and carrots contain nutrients that the body can use immediately. By eating 8 to 12 servings of vegetables a day you’ll cut your risk of suffering a brain or heart attack by 30%!

4. Eat leafy greens: Lettuce, parsley, cabbage, radishes, and collard greens impacts artery health by relaxing blood vessels and clearing plaque formations. Research shows that the nitrate in a bowl of these leafy greens makes your blood pressure drop for the rest of the day. Add leafy greens to everything –  sandwiches, soups, vegetable wraps, shakes and smoothies.

5. Herbs and spices: Italian seasoning, allspice, nutmeg, basil, cinnamon, granulated garlic, and most of the spices in the kitchen rack may be good for the cardiovascular system, including the arteries. A study conducted by researchers in Pennsylvania State University found that bad cholesterol in the blood decreased by as much as 30% just by adding 6 g of cinnamon to the subjects’ daily diet.

6. Consume Omega-3 rich fish: Omega-3’s are super healthy for your arteries! These are found in fatty fish like sardines, mackerel, anchovies, salmon and herring. Omega-3’s helps to eliminate arterial blocks and improve cardiovascular health. The American Heart Association recommends two servings of Omega-3 rich fish a week.