The Very Best Foods for Heart Health
Best foods for heart health: Our increasingly sedentary lifestyles, unhealthy eating habits, and little or no exercise lead to health complications that are often an unpleasant surprise for us. Nearly one-third of deaths worldwide are due to heart diseases and ailments.
You never know when a heart ailment is silently gripping you and you are happily snacking on that big hamburger with melted cheese and bbq sauce.
Certain foods can increase cholesterol levels in the body and can negatively impact your blood pressure and other vital parameters. As such, it is important to follow a healthy friendly diet for better heart health.
Diet plays a significant role in ensuring a healthy heart. And a healthy heart will allow your to live to your full potential, happy and fit, and the best you can be for your family.
Here is a heart healthy foods list that you can include in your diet:
Green Leafy Vegetables
Green vegetables are full of essential vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants.
They are a rich source of Vitamin K, which is a very important vitamin that the body uses for healthy artery function and blood clotting in case of injury.
The high concentration of dietary nitrates in these green wonders helps in lowering blood pressure, decrease the stiffness of the arteries and improve cell function in your blood vessels.
Commonly available green leafy vegetables are:
- collard greens
- kale (you can also get “kalettes” which are a mixture between a brussel sprout and kale – yum!)
The three parts in a grain comprising of nutrients are the germ, bran, and endosperm.
Whole grains are grains containing all three parts.
Whole grains are rich in fiber that helps in the reduction of bad LDL cholesterol thereby reducing the risk of heart diseases.
Common whole grains that are easily available in the market are:
- whole wheat
- brown rice.
Check for the word “whole” for getting these whole-grain food items from the market.
Berries are fruits that are packed with nutrients extremely helpful for maintaining heart health.
They are a rich source of antioxidants that protects you from stress and inflammation that can lead to heart disease.
They are not only healthy for the heart, but they also form a delicious and satiating snack as well.
Example berries are:
Include them as an ingredient of your desserts, or on your oats for breakfast and keep your heart healthy.
They are a very good source of monounsaturated fatty acids which help in reducing cholesterol levels and reduce the risks of a heart ailment.
They are also rich in potassium which is very important for heart health (may reduce blood pressure and protect against stroke).
Regular intake of this fruit lowers your blood pressure, cholesterol, and any risks of metabolic syndrome.
As such it is quite safe to say that an avocado or two a day will keep heart diseases away.
Have them for a healthy heart and more.
Loaded with important omega-3 oil and fatty acids, some types of fish are extremely good for your heart health.
Regular consumption of an omega-3 oil-rich fish has proven to lower cholesterol, blood sugar, triglycerides, and blood pressure.
Fatty fish are omega-3 rich fishes that you can include in your diet:
If however, you don’t eat seafood that much, using omega-3 supplements or omega-3 rich oils will suffice.
The exhaustive health benefits of olive oil are very well known and documented.
Packed with antioxidants and monounsaturated fats, olive oil consumption has shown a massive improvement in heart health.
Higher intakes of olive oil reduce the chances of deaths due to heart disease and reduce diastolic and systolic blood pressure.
Drizzle it over your cooked dishes or use it for salad dressings, they complete the heart-healthy diet.
These wonder nuts are a great source of fiber and many essential micro-nutrients such as:
Including walnuts in the diet can help bring down the level of bad cholesterol which forms a major indication of bad heart health.
Other benefits of having walnuts include a reduction in oxidative stress and blood pressure.
Beans are a rich source of resistant starch which does not get digested easily and is thus fermented by your gut bacteria.
Resistant starch is known to decrease the levels of triglycerides and LDL Cholesterol thereby leading to an overall improvement in heart health.
Moreover, they help in the lowering of blood pressure thus reducing any risks of heart disease.
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, which is a natural pigment and has extremely powerful antioxidant properties.
These antioxidants neutralize the harmful effects of free radicals, thereby preventing any kind of oxidative damage and inflammation and reducing the risks of heart diseases.
If there is a decrease in the lycopene levels in the blood, the risk of a heart stroke or a heart attack rises.
As such include these red juicy vegetables in your diet.
Add them to your vegetables or cut them and serve them raw, they are tasty and beneficial either way.
Seeds are a healthy source of a lot of nutrients such as fiber and omega-3 oils and fatty acids that are good for the heart.
These seeds due to their rich nutrient content have a very good effect on your heart.
The Omega-3 keeps your heart condition by reducing all heart-related factors such as:
- blood pressure
Regular consumption of seeds such as:
- chia seeds
- hemp seeds
- flax seeds
have shown amazing results on heart health.
The Best Foods for Heart Health – Conclusion
The best foods for heart health are many and varied. There isn’t a silver bullet – it’s more about making good choices on what are good foods for heart health, and what are just for the immediate pleasure they give, and the problems they may cause later.
As per many studies and research by many organizations, your heart health, directly or indirectly depends on what you eat. Eating right is the key. And hence, it is imperative you eat what is right and in portions that won’t be detrimental to the healthy functioning of your heart.
The best foods for heart health may also no be on your top ten list, because they do not deliver the hit of whatever it is that you crave. Your taste buds will change as you make better choices – you may well find that you can taste more. That may mean that you enjoy the heart healthy food a lot more than you currently do. You just have to give it a little time. Your heart will thank you.
Many of these foods, aside from Fish are found in a plant based diet, which explains why it is such a healthy option. If you are concerned about your heart health, a plant based diet might we worthwhile considering – it is sure to bring you many health benefits.
Next time when you sit for your meal, make sure you watch what you are eating. Use this heart healthy food list as a guide to a heart-healthy diet, include some or all in your convenient combinations, and keep your beautiful heart, alive and pumping.