14 foods that everyone should have for a healthy heart
Are you worried about your waistline because you are gaining instead of losing weight? More importantly, are you worried about your cardiovascular health? You must’ve known that along with regular exercise and healthy lifestyle changes, you also have to practice eating the right diet in order to fill the needs of your body for nutrients. So, what are those foods that you should always have in your pantry? Here are 14 foods everyone should include on their daily menu, for a healthy heart.
Fish that are rich in omega 3 is good for your heart because it helps in lowering the risk of irregular heartbeat also known as arrhythmia as well as building up of plaque in your arteries or atherosclerosis. Eating salmon at least twice a week is highly advisable for a healthy heart. Not only that but you could also purchase dietary supplements that contains omega-3 fatty acids.
What could be your favourite breakfast also improves the condition of your heart! Oatmeal is one of the heart-healthy foods that contain soluble fibre. It can help you in lowering the level of bad cholesterol in your body because it serves as a sponge that sucks up all cholesterol so that it will directly go to waste instead of being absorbed in the bloodstream. However, you should avoid eating instant oatmeal because they already contain sugar. Therefore, you should look for old-fashioned oats and pair it with your favourite fruit for your breakfast.
Blueberries, strawberries and other berries should be also included in your healthy diet. This is highly advisable for those who had been diagnosed with cardiovascular diseases because eating these fruits will help in lowering your risk for heart attack. They contain antioxidants such as flavonoids and anthocyanin that decreases high blood pressure and dilate blood vessels as well.
4. Dark chocolate
Who says you can’t have any chocolate in your diet? Contrary to the belief of most people, dark chocolate can help in reducing the risks of non-fatal heart attacks as well as strokes. Dark chocolates that comprise of 70% cocoa contain flavonoids such as polyphenols that helps in lowering high blood pressure, reducing the risks of blood clotting and inflammation in your cardiovascular organs. However, milk chocolate and other candy bars are not included on the list.
5. Citrus fruits
Oranges, grapes and other citrus fruits contain high level of flavonoids that can help lower the risks of having ischemic stroke by about 19%. Not only that but these fruits are rich in vitamin C that helps in combating heart diseases. However, do not buy grapefruit products because they already contain sugar that renders the cholesterol-lowering drugs ineffective.
All soy products are highly advisable to eat because it contributes protein in your healthy diet without having to consume bad fats and cholesterol. Soy products are rich in polyunsaturated fats, fibre, minerals and vitamins that help in reducing high level of blood pressure. It is more effective in lowering bad cholesterol compared to milk products.
Contrary to the popular belief, potatoes are never been a bad starch. In fact, they are recommended because it can help you in improving your cardiovascular health. Potatoes are rich in fibre that lowers the risk of having a heart disease. For as long as it is not a deep-fried potatoes, you cannot label it as a junk food or refined carbohydrates.
As much as possible, always add tomatoes on your meal! It is rich in potassium that is good for the heart as well as antioxidant lycopene. Lycopene helps in reducing bad cholesterol in your body and keeping the blood vessels open in order to prevent the risks of a heart attack. It is low both in calories and sugar that’s why it is recommended to include in your heart-healthy foods to buy.
Nuts such as peanuts, walnuts, almonds, pistachios and macadamia nuts contribute positively on the health of your heart. They are rich in vitamin E that helps in lowering the level of bad cholesterol as well as omega-3 fatty acids. As much as possible, avoid consuming nuts with added salt.
Legumes that include beans, peas and lentils are rich in protein without having to contribute bad cholesterol in your body. Consuming legumes for at least four times in a week will help in lowering the risk of heart diseases by 22%. For people suffering with diabetes, it can help in controlling the level of blood sugar in order to avoid further complications that might lead to heart diseases.
11. Virgin olive oil
Consuming at least four tablespoon of virgin olive oil in a day can help you in lowering the risks of strokes and heart attack by about 30%. Olive oils are rich in monounsaturated fats that help in reducing both bad cholesterol and level of blood sugar. They contribute good fats into your body and helps in making your salad taste wonderful.
12. Red wine
Having wine included in your healthy diet definitely gives you a boost. This alcohol helps in lowering the risks of heart diseases. The more you consume, the lower the risks that you have. Red wine is rich in polyphenol that is good for the heart. However, this should not be the reason for you to consume too much alcohol.
13. Green tea
Green tea is not only delicious but it can be also beneficial for your heart. Drinking green tea for at least four cups will reduce your risks of cardiovascular diseases by about 20% as well as stroke. Green tea contains antioxidants known as catechins that are good for the heart.
Broccoli, kale and spinach should be all present in your salads. Green vegetables are known for having high level of carotenoids that helps your body to fight harmful compounds. Not only that but they are also rich in fibre, minerals and vitamins.
Now that you know the top heart-healthy foods, you should start listing it down and make sure that you include them the next time you go for shopping grocery. Being able to do so will assure you that you can start practicing the healthy diet that is required in order to maintain the health of your cardiovascular system. You could never go wrong with these foods!