Food for a healthy heart
Healthy food is necessary for your heart as well as for your overall health. There are certain foods which can help reduce the threat of developing cardiovascular disease. Fruits and vegetables are the primary foods that can make your heart healthy. According to some dieticians, foods in natural form and whole-foods diet are good for the heart. Here are some foods which are good for your heart.
- Leafy Green Vegetables
Spinach, kale and collard greens are some significant leafy green vegetables rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These are also a great source of vitamin K which helps save your arteries and improve appropriate blood clotting. Besides these, broccoli and asparagus contain vitamin C and E, potassium, folate, calcium, and fiber.
Additionally, the dietary nitrates present in leafy green vegetables help reduce blood pressure, arterial stiffness and advance the function of cells lining the blood vessels. According to some surveys, regular intake of leafy green vegetables lower the threat of heart disease.
Some studies reveal that resistant starch can improve heart health by reducing the amount of triglyceride and cholesterol in the blood. Beans contain resistant starch and you can eat beans to reduce the risk of heart diseases.
Fruits like oranges, papaya and cantaloupes are rich sources of beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium and fiber. Similarly, berries such as, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries contain phyto-nutrients and soluble fiber. Additionally, these are rich in antioxidants like anthocyanins that reduce oxidative stress and inflammation which cause heart diseases.
- Fatty Fish and Fish Oil
Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel, and tuna are some examples of fatty fishes that contain omega-3 fatty acids. Studies show that these are highly beneficial for heart-health. Long term use of these fishes can reduce the levels of total cholesterol, blood triglycerides, systolic blood pressure, and also fasting blood sugar. People who do not eat sea food can take regular doses of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Whole Grains
Whole grains such as whole wheat, oats, brown rice, rye, barley, buckwheat and quinoa are great sources of fiber. Fiber helps reduce ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol and lessen the risk of heart disease.
Walnuts are rich in fiber and micronutrients such as magnesium, copper and manganese etc. According to some researches, walnut can effectively lower ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol and also diastolic blood pressure. As a result, few servings of walnuts can improve heart health.
Avocados are high sources of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and potassium. These can reduce the levels of cholesterol, blood pressure and lower the risk of heart disease.
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a natural plant pigment that works like an antioxidant. Antioxidants neutralize harmful free radicals, reducing oxidative damage and inflammation that can give rise to heart ailments. Additionally, tomatoes increase the levels of ‘good’ HDL cholesterol.
Almonds are loaded with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and fiber, nutrients, vitamins and minerals that are vital for heart health. Researchers have found that regular intake of almonds can reduce LDL and total cholesterol also.