Do you often experience high blood pressure or high cholesterol problems? Be careful, you may be at the greater risk of developing heart disease. So, if you want to improve your heart health, your primary focus should be on lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. In my last post, I’ve discussed foods to lower cholesterol level, today I’m going to share 20 healthiest foods that prevent heart disease. Add these foods to your diet and enjoy a healthy and hearty life!
Although deaths due to cardiac disease have dropped in some recent years, it is still the Number.1 killer of Americans. In US, a person dies from a cardiovascular disease every 60 seconds. The good news is that some changes in your eating habits can promote a healthy heart. It has been shown by various studies that healthy food can make a huge difference in your body and life. According to research published in Circulation, people who consume a healthy diet rich in vegetables, fruits and fish can lower their risk of dying from a heart disease by 35%. Another research reveals that people who eat a healthy diet have the lower chances of having a heart failure or stroke than those who consume unhealthy foods.
Healthy eating can do wonders. It can provide you with several health benefits, such as they can lower blood pressure, reduce ‘bad’ (LDL) cholesterol, and raise ‘good’ (HDL) cholesterol. Furthermore, it can prevent the unwanted clotting that triggers heart attacks and strokes, as well as improve the life expectancy. So, Add below-mentioned healthiest foods to your diet and enjoy a healthy life.
Here, I’ve rounded up a list of 20 healthiest foods that can help keep your heart at its best. Some of these foods may lower your blood pressure while others keep your cholesterol in line.
Oranges are heart-healthy fruit that can reduce the bad cholesterol level. They also can minimize the chances of heart failure because they are an excellent source of soluble fiber. The potassium found in oranges may also help keep blood pressure under control.
Some latest studies have shown that dark chocolate has some heart-healthy properties. The daily consumption of dark chocolate can prevent heart attack and stroke in people who are at higher risk for these problems. Dark chocolate is made up of at least 60-70% cocoa, and also contains polyphenols which can control hypertension, clotting, and inflammation.
Pomegranates are a great source of numerous antioxidants, including heart-healthy polyphenols and anthocyanins which can help fend off hardening of the blood vessels. According to a study, if heart patients take a daily dose of pomegranate juice for three months, they will experience some improvements in blood flow to the heart.
Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel are superstars of heart-healthy foods. The reason is that fatty fish contain the ample amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are potent in lowering the risk of arrhythmia (irregular heart beat) and atherosclerosis (plaque build-up in the blood vessels). The American Heart Association suggests consuming oily fish at least twice a week.
Oatmeal is perfect for those who are suffering from the heart disease. It is a great source of soluble fiber which can help lower cholesterol level and prevent heart attack & stroke. However, some studies suggest that you should avoid eating instant oatmeal because they contain sugar. Incorporate the whole grains such as pasta, bread, and grits into your diet; they are good for the heart.
Red wine or small amounts of any other kind of alcohol can fight against heart disease. Some studies show that a polyphenol found in red wine gives that beverage an added benefit. It can boost (HDL) ‘good’ cholesterol and reduce unwanted clotting.
Not just blueberries, but raspberries and strawberries as well. According to a recent study, when you eat more than three servings of blueberries and strawberries a week, you are at 32% lower risk of heart attack as compared to those who don’t eat these berries. They are loaded with flavonoids and anthocyanins which may decrease blood pressure and enlarge blood vessels.
Women who eat high amounts of flavonoids found in grapefruits are at 19% lower risk of ischemic stroke than who don’t get as much as of these compounds, the latest study revealed. Grapefruits and other citrus fruits also have vitamin C, which has been associated with a lower risk of developing heart disease.
Tofu, soymilk, and other soy products are a great addition to protein to your diet without unhealthy fats and cholesterol. Soy products have high levels of polyunsaturated fats, vitamins, minerals and fiber. Therefore, they may lower blood pressure in people who consume a diet high in refined carbohydrates.
You shouldn’t avoid potatoes because they are good for your heart. They are packed with potassium which may lower blood pressure, and they are a rich source of fiber that can make your heart healthy. Nevertheless, don’t eat them deep fried.
Tomatoes are also included in the list of foods that prevent heart disease. Like potatoes, tomatoes are full of heart-healthy potassium, as well as a rich source of antioxidant lycopene which can control bad cholesterol. It also keeps the arteries open, and protects you from heart attack & stroke.
Nuts including almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and peanuts, etc. are an excellent source of good-for-your-heart fiber. They also have vitamin E, which may help lower bad cholesterol and reduce the risk for heart diseases. And some, like walnuts, are packed with omega-3 fatty acids which can prevent you from heart diseases.
If you want to improve the life expectancy, then you should follow the Mediterranean diet complemented by nuts and at least four tablespoons of olive oil on daily basis. This dietary habit can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Extra virgin olive oil is a great source of monounsaturated fats that can maintain both the cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Green tea has grown popular all around the world because of its significant health benefits. One latest study finds that people who drink four or more cups of green tea each day have a 20% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. The reason is the powerful antioxidants found in green tea, such as catechins. They are responsible for reducing the death rates in people.
When it comes to your health, green veggies can play a crucial role in improving the overall health. Broccoli is high in carotenoids, powerful antioxidants which can free your body potentially from harmful compounds. Kale also contains some omega-3 fatty acids which may reduce the threads of heart diseases.
Another widely consumed drink, coffee, may also improve your heart health. One study reveals that a 10 to 15 percent lower risk of dying from heart disease in people who drink six or more cups of coffee per day.
Flax seeds and chia seeds are also high in omega-3 fatty acids which are good for your heart. They are also rich source of fiber content which can promote a healthy and hearty life. So, try them ground-up with other heart-healthy foods, like oatmeal, blueberries. You can even blend these seeds with soy milk and your favorite fruit to make a smoothie.
Garlic is a great addition to the list of heart-healthy foods. Research suggests that garlic not only helps fight hypertension but also has a significant impact on the build-up of plaque in the arteries.
This superfruit has established a reputation for offering the body and heart with healthy fats. Avocados are rich in the monounsaturated fats that may reduce heart disease risk factors, such as cholesterol. They also contain potassium and other antioxidants which can promote a healthy life.
Legumes such as lentils, beans and peas are full of protein without unhealthy fat. A recent study reveals that people who eat legumes at least four times a week have a 22% lower risk of heart disease than those who consume them less than once a week. They not only may help control blood sugar in people with diabetes, but also make their hearts healthy.
So, incorporate one or more of these healthiest foods into your daily diet and have a healthy heart. Also, share any other heart-healthy food in the comment box, if you know.
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