The Secret Life of Arteries

What arteries are, what they do and how to keep them healthy.

So you want to learn about arteries? Well, you’ve come to the right place. I’m Heart Healthy Henry and I’m going to tell you what you want to know about your arteries.

An Overview of the Artery

Your arteries are the roads through which your heart can deliver oxygen and nutrients to the various parts of your body by carrying blood away from the heart to the other parts of the body. They are made up of three different layers. The first layer is made of tissue, the second layer of muscle and the third layer of epithelial cells.

The Dorsal Aorta

The dorsal aorta is the one main artery that your heart pumps blood through. This main artery divides and branches off into other arteries, allowing the different parts of your body to get the blood and oxygen they need in order to function and thrive.

Feel the Action

When your heart pumps, your arteries expand and contract, helping your heart to push your blood through your body. If you put your finger over an artery, you can actually feel it pulsing along with your heart.

Your Arteries and Blood Pressure

The pressure in your arteries is what determines your blood pressure. The systolic portion of your blood pressure reading is the reading of the pressure in your artery when your heart is contracting and the diastolic reading is the pressure in your artery when the heart is relaxing.

Coronary Arteries

The coronary arteries are the arteries which bring your blood back to your heart. It’s blockages of these arteries that are the number one cause of death in the United States.

Keeping Your Arteries Healthy

In order to keep your arteries clear and healthy, you need to moderate your intake of fats, cholesterol and sodium. All of these are bad for an artery and if your goal is cardiovascular health, stay away from those items.

On the other hand, a diet that is high in vegetables, fruits and fiber are great for your arteries. By eating healthy, each artery in your body should remain free of the cholesterol that often causes heart disease.

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