Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in US and accounts for approximately one third of all deaths worldwide. Extensive research has been carried out over the years to find out how to efficiently prevent and treat cardiovascular disease.
All the latest information and best evidence on heart functions and support can be found right here!
One of the things we know for sure is that diet plays a significant part in heart health and can definitely make a great difference to your overall health. In other words, certain foods can reduce triglycerides, cholesterol levels and inflammation and keep your heart healthy and thumping for many years to come.
That being said, let’s take a look at some of the best foods that make your heart strong and efficient and try to include them in your diet to maximize their heart health benefits.
- Leafy greens
When it comes to heart health, you can’t go wrong with leafy greens. Spinach, kale and the like are packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which reportedly can lower the risk of heart disease.
They are also known for their rich content of vitamin K, which can improve arterial function and blood clotting. In addition, leafy greens have a high content of carotenoids that act as antioxidants and eliminate detrimental compounds from the body.
- Whole grains
Whole grains consist of three parts that provide high amounts of nutrients and fiber and promote healthy arteries: bran, germ and endosperm. Studies show that including whole grains in your diet may also help in reducing LDL cholesterol levels and consequently the rick of heart disease.
More precisely, at least three servings of whole grains per day can decrease the risk of heart disease by 22%. Not bad for something that seems so plain!
Tiny and delicious, berries are extremely rich in antioxidants that protect against cellular damage and operate everywhere within the body, including the heart. Antioxidants such as anthocyanins fight against oxidative stress and inflammation, a main contributor to heart disease.
They have been found to reduce risk factors for heart disease and bad cholesterol by 11%. Don’t hesitate to mix strawberries, blueberries, raspberries into your diet to get maximum benefits from their phytonutrients and slightly different qualities.
Soft, tasty and versatile. This is avocado for you. It is packed with monosaturated fat which may help in lowering cholesterol, and very rich in potassium, an essential nutrient for a healthy heart.
One avocado provides around 975mg of potassium, which translates into around 28% of the recommended daily intake and 15% lower risks of stroke. Avocados ca be eaten on their own, turned into guacamole or mixed with various eggs for a heart-healthy breakfast.
- Fatty fish
Salmon, sardines, herring and tuna are all part of the fatty fish category. They include a host of omega-3 fatty acids, a type of unsaturated fatty acid which helps reduce inflammation in the body.
Omega-3 fatty acids may help reducing triglycerides, diastolic blood pressure, erratic heartbeats and may lower risks of heart failure and stroke. Consuming at least two servings of fatty fish per week has been shown to decrease the risk of heart disease, cardiac arrest in particular.
- Dark chocolate
Indulge your sweet tooth and keep your heart healthy? Sounds like the perfect deal, especially if you’re aa chocoholic. Your sweet dreams can come true with dark chocolate.
Chocolate made up of at least 60-70% is rich in antioxidants such as flavonoids, with the power to reduce blood pressure, help with blood clotting and protect you against heart attacks. Several studies have showed that consuming around 3.5 ounces of dark chocolate every day may lower risks of heart disease in middle-aged and older adults.
Red, juicy and loaded with antioxidants that fight against free radicals, tomatoes play a significant part in many heart-healthy recipes. They are low in calories and sugar and extremely rich in nutrients that are beneficial to your heart health, such as potassium.
Tomatoes contain a lycopene, a carotenoid that gives their red color and acts as a powerful antioxidant. Various studies link lycopene to lowered LDL, improved blood clotting and reduced heart attack risks. Juice yourself up or include tomatoes in salads and sauces to enjoy their numerous benefits.
Almonds, walnuts, pistachio, peanuts and the like, are all rich in healthy fibers, unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids with extensive benefits for heart health.
They are also a rich source of L-arginine, an amino acid that may improve the lining of arteries, making them more flexible and less likely to develop blood clots which may lead to heart attacks. Another way nuts are good for hearth health is that they help reduce bad cholesterol levels, thus preventing plaques in blood vessels. So, don’t be afraid to go nuts but avoid salty variations!
- Red wine
Red wine, when consumed in moderation, is widely considered good for the heart. The main ingredient that gives red wine an added benefit is resveratrol, a polyphenol with the capacity to lower the risk of heart disease. Resveratrol comes from the skin of grapes used to make the red wine.
In combination with antioxidants in red wine, it can prevent inflammation, blood clotting, cholesterol buildup and damage to blood vessels.