Whether beside oatmeal or eggs, this breakfast favorite is sure to help keep your arteries squeaky clean: orange juice.
In a study of men, those with a high intake of vitamin C -- as well as berries and other fresh fruit -- experienced significantly less thickening of their carotid arteries compared with the low fruit-and-C group.
Clear arteries. They're super important because gunk-free can often mean problem-free. But carotid-artery thickness is important, too. It's a direct measure of atherosclerosis -- the hardening and narrowing of arteries that can lead to heart disease, heart attack, or stroke. To keep your arteries wide open and pliable for years to come, you need foods rich in both vitamin C and other pipe-friendly antioxidants.
Similar studies have found that vitamin C may help protect your cardiovascular system in numerous other ways as well, from improving the functioning of the cells lining your arteries; to thinning your blood, thereby reducing the risk of clots; to quelling bad-for-your-heart inflammation.