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More people are living with this disease than ever before and numbers are steadily rising. The heart acts as a pump pushing blood round the body, which supplies oxygen and nutrients to all cells and removes waste products. The average adult has about eight pints of blood which the heart continuously circulates by beating around , times a day. The heart and the blood vessels arteries, veins and capillaries make up our circulatory system called the cardiovascular system. CVD such as heart disease and stroke occurs when there is a build up of fatty deposits plaques on the inside walls of the arteries. These plaques can clog up the arteries making them narrower and restricting the blood flow in the same way that sewerage pipes get blocked when people pour animal fat down the plughole! Reduced blood flow to the heart can then lead to chest pain and discomfort angina. A blood clot in the coronary artery may cut off the blood supply to the heart, which can then result in a heart attack and sudden death. Fatty deposits plaques build up in the lining of the arteries over time. As the artery narrows, the risk increases that a clot will form and completely block the blood flow. If this happens in the brain, an ischaemic stroke can be the result. If a small artery is blocked, the symptoms may be minor, but if a major artery is blocked the symptoms can be severe, often fatal.
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A plant-based diet is the only diet proven to prevent and reverse heart disease; no other diet can make that claim. In one study, participants who consumed a plant-based diet even showed a reversal of coronary artery disease. Plant-based diets also have been proven beneficial in reducing the risk of a second cardiac event in someone who has already had a heart attack. A plant-based diet focuses primarily on fruits, vegetables, potatoes, whole grains and legumes beans and peas and excludes animal proteins, including meat, dairy and eggs. In addition to lowering risks and improving symptoms for a number of health conditions, eating a plant-based diet can help you lose weight, lower your blood sugar and help you feel healthier and more energized. Switching to a plant-based diet is a lifestyle change that can be intimidating at first. There are several documentaries that you can watch to get more information about plant-based diets, including Forks Over Knives, which looks at the relationship between plant-based diets and managing disease. The Forks Over Knives website also contains many valuable resources related to plant-based diets. The speed with which you move to a plant-based diet depends on a number of things including your health and the support you get to help you make the change.