15 Incredibly Heart-Healthy Foods
Many deaths worldwide are caused by heart disease. With the drastic lifestyle changes that have occurred over the years, diet plays a key role in heart health and can influence disease risk.
The heart has become the main source of all deaths caused. A few years ago, this was a rare disease, but that has changed. Everyone else is diagnosed with one or the other heart disease. As new scientific evidence develops, the link between diet and heart disease becomes stronger.
What you are eating can affect almost every aspect of heart health. Some foods, in fact, can have an impact on blood pressure, triglycerides, cholesterol levels and inflammation; all of these are risk factors for disease. Here are a dozen foods you should eat to get the most out of your heart health.
1. Vegetables with green leaves
Some green vegetables like spinach, kale and kale are well known for their richness in vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. With their high content of vitamin K & nitrates, green leafy vegetables can help moderate blood pressure and improve arterial function. Research has shown that higher vegetable intake is complementary to a lower risk of heart disease.
Leafy greens, also called leafy greens, salad greens, marijuana herbs, greens, or simply greens, are plant leaves consumed as greens, sometimes accompanied by tender stalks and sprouts. They come from a wide variety of plants; most share a lot with other leafy vegetables in terms of nutrition and cooking methods.
Leafy vegetables generally come from short-lived herbaceous plants like lettuce and spinach.
The leaves of some fodder crops are also edible for humans but are generally consumed only in conditions of hunger. Examples include alfalfa, clover, most herbs, including wheat and barley. These plants are often far more prolific than traditional leafy vegetables, but harnessing their rich nutrition is difficult due to their high fibre content.
Leafy vegetables contain many typical plant nutrients, but because they are photosynthetic tissues, their vitamin K levels are particularly notable.
2. Whole grains
some of the common types of whole grains are whole wheat, oats, barley, rye, brown rice, buckwheat, and quinoa.
Studies have shown that the use of whole grains is related to systolic blood and lowering of cholesterol pressure, minimize the risk of heart disease.
The berries are also rich in antioxidants such as anthocyanins, which protect against oxidative stress and inflammation that distribute to the development of heart disease.
A great source of monounsaturated fat, avocados have been linked to lower cholesterol levels and heart disease risk.
Avocados are also high in potassium. This helps reduce cholesterol, blood pressure and the risk of metabolic syndrome.
5. Fatty fish and fish oil
some fishes such as salmon, mackerel, sardines and tuna are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been widely researched for their heart health benefits.
In a study of 324 people, eating salmon three times a week for eight weeks significantly reduced diastolic blood pressure. Another study showed that long-term fish consumption was related to lower levels of total cholesterol, blood triglycerides, fasting glucose and systolic blood pressure.
Fish oil is a good source for getting omega-3 fatty acids for the body.
Fish oil supplements have been shown to minimize blood triglycerides, improve arterial function, and lower blood pressure.
Nuts are an abundant source of fibre and micronutrients such as copper, magnesium and manganese.
Research suggests that walnuts can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
Beans are made from resistant starch that resists digestion and is fermented by beneficial bacteria in our intestines. Beans are rich in resistant starch and have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels, blood pressure, triglycerides and inflammation.
Beans contain resistant starch content, which resists digestion and is fermented by beneficial bacteria in the intestine.
According to some animal studies, resistant starch may improve heart health by lowering blood triglyceride and cholesterol levels.
In a study of 16 people, eating beans reduced blood triglyceride levels and "bad" LDL cholesterol.
Also, eating beans has been linked to lowering blood pressure and inflammation, risk factors for heart disease.
8. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate contains antioxidants like flavonoids, which can help improve heart health. Surprisingly, several studies have linked chocolate consumption with a lower risk of heart disease.
Dark chocolate contains antioxidants such as flavonoids, which can help improve heart health.
Interestingly, several studies have linked chocolate consumption to a lower risk of many heart diseases.
Studies showed that those who ate chocolate at least five times a week had a 57% lower risk of coronary heart disease as compared to those who did not eat chocolate (39Trusted).
According to another study eating chocolate at least twice a week was associated with a 32 per cent lower risk of calcified plaque in the arteries (40Trusted).
Also, chocolate can be high in sugar and calories, which can negate many of its healthful properties.
Always choose high-quality dark chocolate with plenty of cocoa content of at least 70-80% & moderate your intake to make the most of the heart health benefits.
Tomatoes are loaded with lycopene, a natural plant pigment with powerful antioxidant properties.
Antioxidants help counteract harmful free radicals, preventing oxidative damage and inflammation, which can contribute to heart disease and raise "good" HDL cholesterol.
Almonds are high in fibre and monounsaturated fat and have been linked to the reduction of cholesterol and abdominal fat.
They are incredibly nutritious, with a long list of vitamins and minerals that are vital for heart health.
Chia, flax, hemp & seeds are excellent sources of heart-healthy nutrients, including fibre and omega-3 fatty acids.
Various studies in humans and animals have found that eating seeds can improve several heart disease risk factors, including inflammation, blood pressure etc.
Garlic and its components help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. They can also help inhibit blood clot formation.
13. Olive oil
Olive oil contains antioxidants that relieve inflammation and reduce the risk of chronic disease.
It is high in monounsaturated fatty acids, and many studies have linked it to improvements in heart health.
"Edamame is an immature soybean that is often found in Asian cuisine."
Like other soy products, it is high in soy isoflavones, a type of flavonoid that helps lower cholesterol levels and improves heart health.
It also contains fibre and antioxidants, which can also help heart health.
15. Green tea
It is also rich in polyphenols and catechins, which can act as antioxidants to inhibit cell damage, reduce inflammation, and protect heart health.