Superfoods for the Heart
Eating healthy is great for your heart and it can help to keep your heart at its best. Researchers suggest that what you eat and drink can protect your body against innumerable health issues. Studies have revealed that 70% of heart diseases are preventable with the right food choices. Eating whole foods such as fish, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits make for a healthy heart. A simple swap can make a big difference for your heart health.
Nuts are packed with vitamins, minerals, good fats (omega 3 fatty acids) and low levels of saturated fats. Research suggests that people who eat a handful of nuts -walnuts, pistachios, peanuts, and almonds daily or at least four days per week have a lower incidence of heart diseases. Nuts raise the good cholesterol (HDL) and lower the bad cholesterol (LDL). Munching on a handful of nuts daily slashes the risk of heart disease by half.
A diet filled up with whole grains are cardio protective as it contains antioxidants, phytoestrogens, and phytosterols. Foods high in soluble fibre such as oatmeal, barley, beans, okra, eggplant, and citrus fruits binds bile acids, a key factor in fat digestion and helps to ease out cholesterol as waste, lowering cholesterol levels.
Salmon and other fatty fish such as sardines and mackerel are the best of heart-healthy foods. Fish contains ample amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, that lower the risk of arrhythmia, atherosclerosis, decreasing triglycerides. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish and preferably fatty fish at least twice a week.
Tomatoes a commonly used veggie is an excellent source of lycopene, Vitamin C & A, potassium and fibre. This combination of nutrients prevents cardiovascular diseases.
An apple a day lowers the risk of heart disease. Powerful antioxidant flavonoid compounds found in apples-quercetin, epicatechin, epigallocatechin, kaempferol prevents LDL cholesterol from oxidizing and inhibiting inflammation.
Eating less than a cup of mixed berries daily for 8 weeks improves the heart health. It increases levels of good cholesterol and lowers blood pressure, as per the study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The wide range of polyphenols, anthocyanins, and ellagic acid in the berries increases the nitric oxide levels, thus promoting heart-healthy effects.
Bananas, filled with potassium, keep up normal heart function and maintain the electrolyte balance in the body. Potassium also helps the kidneys in excreting excess sodium and maintain healthy blood pressure.
People with gum diseases are likely to suffer from heart problems, so treating one may revert the other. Research reveals that antioxidants in raisins can fight inflammation and gum disease. Raisins are great to protect both your gums and heart health.
Treat yourself with a few pieces of dark chocolate! The flavanol, rich in dark chocolate, has a blood-thinning effect that eases cardiovascular health and boosts the immune system by reducing inflammation. Some studies suggest that cocoa may lower blood pressure, epicatechin in cocoa boost nitric oxide - a substance crucial to keep blood vessels healthy. Always opt for dark chocolates with 70% cocoa solids, as milk chocolates lack epicatechin.
10. Green Tea
Green tea remarkably lowers the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. The antioxidants, catechins, in green tea play a vital role in minimizing inflammation, promoting endothelial function, and also in improving the cholesterol levels.
Eat wisely to safeguard your heart health, healthy food choices are the best weapons to protect your heart health.