Our heart is the most vital part of our body and its good health means entire body functions are running well. To achieve a healthy heart, one should take a heart healthy diet comprising the well-balanced food items that are low in saturated fat and rich in fiber.In the absence of heart healthy foods, the chances of heart problems or cardiovascular diseases increase. Generally, we don’t take diet keeping in mind the health of our heart, whereas the fact of the matter is that heart’s well-being is much more important than any other part of the body. A heart healthy diet has the capacity to reduce the risk of 80% heart problems like high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke.
Our first step towards the protection of heart starts with the intake of healthy diet. Some particular heart healthy foods include –
This fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Eating this fish twice a week can help you in lowering the risks of arrhythmia and atherosclerosis. It also reduces triglycerides. Apart from salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines are some other fish considered among the heart healthy foods.
Oatmeal can lower the cholesterol level because it is full of soluble fiber called beta-glucan. Other than oatmeal, barley, shiitake mushrooms and seaweed also contains beta-glucan that’s good for the health of the heart.
According to the research studies, women between the age of 25 and 42 who ate blueberries more than three servings a week have successfully reduced the risk of heart attacks by 32%. Not just blueberries, but strawberries and raspberries, rich in antioxidants, can also decrease the chances of blood pressure and stroke.
4. Dark Chocolate
Studies show that consuming dark chocolate daily can reduce the chances of nonfatal heart attacks and stroke, but this is applicable only for dark chocolates having 60 – 70% cocoa. Dark chocolate also contains polyphenols or flavonoids, which help in preventing blood pressure, inflammation and clotting.
5. Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits are rich in flavonoids that reduce the chances of stroke. The studies on these fruits reveal that women who consume flavonoids rich fruits like oranges and grape have reduced 19% chance of lower ischemic stroke. Citrus fruits also contain vitamin C which helps in reducing the chances of heart diseases.
Soy products are rich in protein as well as polyunsaturated fats, minerals, vitamins and fibers in high level to reduce the risk of blood pressure. So that, heart feels less pressure to pump the blood.
Potatoes have a good amount of potassium that helps in reducing blood pressure and heart diseases.
Tomatoes contains the high level of potassium, and they are a good source of antioxidant lycopene that resists the saturation of bad cholesterol and lowers the risk of heart attack.
Consuming just 5 ounces of nuts a week can prevent most of the heart diseases. Nuts like walnuts, almonds, peanuts, macadamia and pistachios all are good sources of fiber and also contain vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids which helps in lowering the bad cholesterol and heart problems.
Legumes like chickpeas, lentils and other types of bean are a wonderful source of protein. According to the research, people who eat legumes four times a week can lower the chances of heart diseases by 22%. It’s an inevitable part of heart healthy diet that can reduce the risk of blood pressure and diabetes complications.
11. Olive oil
Olive oil is a good source of monounsaturated fats which can help to decrease the risk of cholesterol and blood sugar level.
12. Red wine
Any type of alcohol consumption in excess amount is bad for health. Though a small amount of red wine is recommended to lower the risk of heart diseases.
13. Green tea
Taking green tea at least two times a day can reduce the chances of cardiovascular disease by 20%.
14. Green Vegetables
Green vegetables are always good for health as they are rich in carotenoids which act as an antioxidant and remove harmful compounds from the body. Green vegetables are rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals, making them heart healthy foods for the people of all ages.
Coffee also reduces the risk of heart diseases, 2-3 cups of coffee are enough to reduce the chances of some heart problems by 10-15%.
16. Flax seeds
Flax seeds have high fiber content that can prevent you from the cardiovascular diseases.
Avocados have plenty of monounsaturated fats that lower the risks of heart diseases. They are also a good source of antioxidants and potassium needed for physical development.
We have to take a well-balanced diet that contains fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Fiber rich food is always beneficial for treating cardiovascular diseases and high blood pressure. There are many options of edibles available that make a heart healthy diet and that will ultimately improve the quality of life.