The food you eat speak volumes about your health. A good diet helps you to be in top shape. Nowadays the buzz is so much about heart diseases that it becomes important to include heart healthy foods in our diet. This article talks about eight essential heart healthy foods.
Olive oil contains monounsaturated fatty acids which lower total cholesterol and low density lipoproteins. These fats help to normalize the clotting of blood. These healthy fats reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Studies have proved that unprocessed extra virgin olive oil contains phenolic compounds which are very good for heart health. These compounds have beneficial effects on cholesterol levels and oxidation. They also contain anti-inflammatory properties. The phenolic substances reduce blood pressure and inhibit blood clot formation.
The key phenols in olive oil hydroxytyrosol (HT) protect the cells that line our blood vessels from being damaged by oxygen molecules. Olive oil is very good for the heart as it contains vitamin E, beta carotene and unique molecules like HT which acts at the genetic level and strengthen the blood vessels of the heart.
It is rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. Now the important factor to discuss here is omega-3 fatty acid. It decreases the risk of heart attacks, stroke, arrhythmia, high blood pressure and high triglycerides in blood. Salmon decreases the risk of arrhythmia by increasing the heart rate visibility.
Salmon helps to repair heart damage and strengthens the muscles of the heart. It also prevents the hardening of arteries. Studies show that a minimum of 2g of omega-3 fatty acid is needed on a daily basis for protection of the heart. And for this you have to add approximately four ounces of cooked salmon to your diet.
Chicken is a very good source of protein provided it is skinned before cooking. Chicken breast contains the least amount of fat. Chicken is a very good source of vitamin B6. Now this vitamin is involved in a cellular process called methylation. When there are less amounts of vitamin B6 this process gets hindered and leads to accumulation of homocysteine which is a great risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
The fat content of Turkey is reduced when its skin is removed. It is a good source of vitamins B, B6, zinc and potassium. Turkey is also rich in folic acid. All these nutrients help to lower blood cholesterol, prevent birth defects, cancer and heart disease. These nutrients help to boost the immune system of the body.
Peanuts are rich sources of monounsaturated fatty acids which are considered to be very heart friendly. Peanuts are good sources of vitamin E, niacin, folate, protein and manganese and they contain resveratrol. They are rich in oleic acid and antioxidants.
Chickpeas are rich in fiber, antioxidants and polyunsaturated fatty acids all which are good for the heart. ¾ cups of chick peas help lower LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol and triglycerides within a short span of one month period.
Green peas have the antioxidant and inflammatory properties which are needed for the healthy functioning of blood vessels. Green peas prevent the formation of plaque along the blood vessels. Lentils are rich in fiber, folate and magnesium which improves heart health. A study which compiled 19 years of data found increased consumption of legumes and beans decreased the risk of heart disease. Black beans and navy beans are also good for your heart.
Fruits are good for your heart. Pomegranates are very good sources of antioxidants. It contains a heart protective antioxidant called punicalagins which reduces the inflammation of the arteries and oxidative stress. Pomegranates are rich in catechins, isoflavones and anthocyanins which are beneficial for the heart.
Photo Credit: Women30plus.at
Red and purple grapes contain resveratrol which helps to reduce the risk of clotting of blood, thinning of blood, lowering bad cholesterol, prevents damage to blood vessels in heart and maintains blood pressure. Blue berries are rich in antioxidants and they contain pterosilbene which have excellent heart healthy properties. Red grape fruit helps in lowering cholesterol levels.
Nitric oxide is produced in cells lining the surface of blood vessels. It is a gas which dilates arteries, aids in blood flow, reduces blood pressure and relieves oxidative stress and thus reduces the risk of heart disease. Long story cut short fruits and vegetables are rich in nitrate and they contain vitamin C which helps in the generation of nitric oxide from nitrite. The fruits which are rich in nitrite are grapes and strawberries.
Having at least three servings of whole grains per day reduces the risk of heart disease by 25-28%. Whole grains are rich in vitamin E, B vitamins, magnesium, iron and fiber. The consumption of whole grains result in better weight management and healthy carotid arteries.
According to Reuters whole grains like oatmeal, barley and brown rice lowers the risk of clogged arteries, heart attacks and strokes. The fiber and other nutrients present in whole grains help lower cholesterol, blood sugar and insulin levels and improve the functioning of the blood vessels and reduce inflammation in the circulatory system.
Low fat dairy
Cow’s milk is a very good source of vitamin B12 and riboflavin and they are essential for cardiovascular health. Cow’s which feed on grass has conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) in their milk. This beneficial fat helps lower cholesterol and prevents atherosclerosis. A recent study has found that eating low fat dairy products lowers blood pressure. The higher intake of milk results in reduced cardiovascular disease.
Dairy products are rich in calcium. The calcium reduces bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol in the blood. It also binds the fats in the gut from being absorbed into the blood stream and thus prevents their increased amounts in the blood.
Drink plenty of water it is good for your body. The adequate supply of water prevents heart disease and stroke. Water is needed because it helps to prevent clogging of arteries, the heart and brain. And it is also necessary to treat hypertension without using diuretics or medication.
If you do not like the taste of plain water you could squeeze a few drops of lime to it. Water and lemon together help the heart to function properly. Lemon contains magnesium which helps in the regulation of heart beat. Lemon also contains potassium and vitamin C which are good for a healthy heart. Nitrite is good for the heart and it comes naturally in drinking water.
Caution: Please use Home Remedies after Proper Research and Guidance. You accept that you are following any advice at your own risk and will properly research or consult healthcare professional.