A healthy heart prolongs your life significantly as the risk of heart disease or stroke is reduced. If you are concerned about your cardiovascular health, it’s important to understand which foods are healthiest for your heart. Ahead of World Heart Day being celebrated on Sept. 29, here’s a range of foods that works best your heart.
A study by Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, California, U.S., has found that coffee drinkers are less likely to be hospitalized or worried about heart rhythm disturbances. They found that those who reported drinking four or more cups of coffee each day had an 18 percent lower risk.
One of the easiest ways to take care of your heart is to swap full-fat milk with low or non-fat option, which contains more calcium and protein.
Bid goodbye to butter which is high in saturated fats. Instead, replace it with olive oil that is full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Olive oil is not just a great dip but also flavorful and great for cooking.
Egg whites are a great source for protein whereas the yolks are high in cholesterol and extra fat. The next time you decide to gorge on some delicious egg recipes, simply include the whites for a wholesome experience.
Being a pescatarian has many benefits to your heart. For instance, salmon is filled with omega-3 fatty acids. It also helps regulate triglycerides, a fat that usually lead to heart disease. In fact, the American Heart Association suggests including two servings of oily fish every week. You may also have tuna, trout, sardines and mackerel.
Healthy snacking can go a long way in keeping your heart healthy. Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, vitamin E, folate and polyunsaturated fats.
If you do not enjoy the slightly bitter taste of walnuts, opt for almonds instead. They, too, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids along with plant sterols and fiber.
These omega-3 fatty acid- and calcium-rich seeds are perfect for sprinkling over a hummus-topped cracker. They also help in lowering cholesterol levels.
High in heart-healthy beta-glucan fiber and protein, include oats by sprinkling them over nuts or by adding them with fruits like bananas and berries. Better still, if you eat a bowlful of oatmeal for your breakfast.
Raspberries are one of the healthiest berries for a healthy heart. Rich in an antioxidant called polyphenols, they also are loaded with fiber and vitamin C that helps to lower stroke rates.
Rich in antioxidants, resveratrol and flavonoids, blueberries are another great heart-healthy fruits. You may eat them as it is, or add them in your oatmeal, yogurt or smoothie.
If you are someone who enjoys your drink, good news! Red wine is rich in the antioxidant procyanidins that lowers cholesterol level. In addition to it, wine is made from grapes and berries that are a great source for resveratrol. According to a study conducted by University of Leicester, resveratrol can also prevent cancer.
Cardiologist Stephen T. Sinatra, MD and author of “Lower Your Blood Pressure In Eight Weeks” states, “Avocados are awesome. They allow for the absorption of other carotenoids — especially beta-carotene and lycopene — which are essential for heart health.” Add some avocado paste in your sandwich or mix them with your salad.
Rich in fiber, phytochemicals called lignans, and omega-3 fatty acids, a slight sprinkling of flaxseeds on your cereal, smoothie, and salad can help protecting your heart from various ailments.
Containing flavonoids called polyphenols, daily consumption of dark chocolate is known to reduce non-fatal heart attacks and stroke in people who are a higher risk. Dark chocolate contains at least 60 – 70 per cent cocoa, which makes it a healthy sweet option.
As per the findings of the Physicians’ Health Study that examined more than 15,000 men without any history of heart disease for 12 years, the ones who ate at least two-and-a-half vegetable servings every day cut down the risk of heart disease by almost 25 per cent as compared to the ones who didn’t. Spinach is a great source of lutein, folate, potassium and fiber, which make it a super-food for the heart.
According to a 2012 study by the American College of Cardiology, raisins are rich in potassium. This helps in lowering blood pressure and hypertension. The potassium also packs in different immune-boosting antioxidants.
Apart from olive oil, avocado oil is also a healthy cooking oil. A study conducted by the National Institute of Cardiology in 2005 noted that avocado oil helps in keeping the arteries from hardening up, which often can result in heart ailments.
The citrus fruit is rich in pectin that blocks cholesterol absorption, flavonoid that lowers blood pressure and artery inflammation, and hesperidin that improves blood flow. The vitamin C present in them also aids in prevention of stroke and reduces cholesterol levels.
Just like oranges, the vitamin C-rich grapefruits also help in prevention of heart diseases. However, if you are already taking medicines for your heart condition, it’s best you stay away from it as it may worsen your condition.
Laced with multiple health benefits, it contains flavonoids and antioxidants that helps to reduce blood clots. Drinking this light aromatic tea is believed to lower bad cholesterol, thereby making the Harvard Health Publications to suggest that consumption of beverage may lower risk of death from heart disease and stroke.
Several studies including from Imperial College London and University of Connecticut suggest that adding broccoli in a daily diet could improve heart health. It is know to contain a compound called sulforaphane that may help to reduce inflammation in certain “high risk” arterial areas.
As long as they are not deep fried, this simple food, which is rich in potassium, can be really good for your heart. Since they are also high on fiber, potatoes are known to reduce the risk of heart disease.
The fruit is known to contain antioxidants and other heart friendly compounds like polyphenols and anthocyanins which prevent hardening of the arteries. According to a study published on National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), daily consumption of pomegranate juice by heart patients over three months showed improvements in blood flow to the heart.
A good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which is known to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and abnormal heart rhythm in people with or without heart disease — tofu, the rich soya food has demonstrated several health benefits including making blood less likely to clot inside arteries.
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