“With a healthy heart…the beat goes on.”
How to keep your heart healthy? The key to a healthy heart lies in the kitchen. Researches around the world have been emphasising the importance of eating healthy, what you eat and drink can protect your body against myriad health woes and the majority of heart troubles can be prevented by the right choices you make about the food you eat.
The heart of the matter is to be mindful of what you eat
What is good for your heart is good for your brain and good for your body in general. And developing good food habits is not limited to the same few foods. Include various types of fish, whole grains, fish and when it comes to fruits and veggies- more matters.
With the wishes of keeping your heart healthy, here are listed 25 superfoods that are your heart’s best friends:
One can go nuts over the benefits of this wonderful dry fruit. Walnuts are super-rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, Vitamin E and folate, and each one of these are essential for a healthy heart. This nut is also packed with polyunsaturated fats. Walnuts are best eaten unsalted. It can also help you keep your memory sharp.
Almonds like walnuts are also super packed with omega-3s. Research shows that eating almonds can reduce the risk of heart diseases by keeping blood vessels healthy. They significantly increase the amount of antioxidants in the bloodstream, reduce blood pressure and ensure good flow of blood.
Salmon too is super rich in omega-3 fatty acids. It is effective in reducing blood pressure and prevents clotting. Two servings a week may reduce the risk of heart attack by up to one-third. Salmons can help improve the metabolic markers for the heart. Also, its richness in selenium gives that desired boost to your cardiovascular protection.
Don’t judge chia seeds by their size. Despite their small size, chia seeds are power-packed with so many important nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, iron, calcium and also provide the essential fiber. Omega-3 fatty acids help raise HDL cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol that protects against heart attack and stroke.
Oatmeal is celebrated as a wonderful meal for reducing cholesterol. Just avoid the processed, flavored oatmeal as they are usually rich in sugar. The beauty of oatmeal is its richness insoluble fiber, which reduces your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, the “bad cholesterol.” Soluble fibers reduce the absorption of cholesterol into your bloodstream.
Blueberries are the richest in antioxidants of all the popular fruits and vegetables and they taste so good. They are high in nutrients but low in calories. A bowl of blueberries every day boosts immunity, improves heart health and can reduce the risk of diabetes, obesity, and heart diseases. The antioxidants like resveratrol and flavonoids in blueberries reduce the risk of heart disease by preventing oxidative damage to “bad” LDL cholesterol.
I am sure this is the most delightful item on this list to most of you. Coffee is not only rich in antioxidants and fights against the risk of type-2 diabetes but also improves your cognition level and protects you from the risk of Alzheimer’s. Just be mindful about one thing- the addition of sugar to it which is capable of drowning all the health benefits of coffee. Use sugar with reserve.
How easy and reassuring it sounds to have a cup of tea for the wellbeing of your heart! Green tea has powerful antioxidants like epigallocatechin gallate, or ECGC that can help prevent atherosclerosis, the buildup of plaque in the arteries and there are flavonoids, which have multiple cardio benefits including reducing blood clots.
Yes, you read it right and no, I am not joking. Isn’t this list getting tastier and tastier? Who doesn’t like chocolate? But pick the one with at least 70% cocoa, which is hailed for its power to lower blood pressure, the flavonols in it relax arteries, and increase blood flow. Also make sure it doesn’t contain saturated fats from additives
A pocketful of raisins, while you are on the go, can help your heart go a long way. Raisins are rich in potassium, which helps lower hypertension and increases immune-boosting antioxidants.
11. Red Wine
Yes, this list is aimed to make you happy, and keep your heart healthy. Red wine is made of dark-skinned grapes which are loaded with resveratrol, a compound with antioxidant properties. Madison’s and Cabernets typically contain large amounts of procyanidins, an antioxidant that helps reduce cholesterol and increases arterial health.
12. Soy Milk
Since soy milk comes from a plant, it has no cholesterol and almost negligible amounts of saturated fats. Its richness in protein makes it great for a heart-healthy diet, its high levels of isoflavones help reduce cholesterol and the goodness of niacin in soy milk helps boost circulation.
Did you saw this coming, didn’t you? You might not be too happy seeing it on the list but your heart would thank you a ton. Broccoli not only reduces cholesterol but also aids in heart health by helping to keep blood vessels strong. Also, the sulforaphane in it is an anti-inflammatory that may prevent or reverse damage to blood vessels lining caused by chronic blood sugar problems.
This vegetable, though not strictly green, is bursting with antioxidants, is high in fiber, and contains allicin, a component renowned to help lower the risk of heart attacks and reduce cholesterol. And there are numerous tasty ways to include it in your diet. With this versatile veggie you can go sweet or savory.
Yams are full of nutrients that serve as your heart’s best friends. They contain potassium, fiber, and vitamin C, all known for reducing your risk of developing heart diseases. Potassium helps in the reduction of blood pressure, fibers bind to your circulating cholesterol and remove it from the body, and vitamin C strengthens your blood vessels, speeds up healing, and boosts your immune system.
16. Whole Grains
Whole grains can help reduce the risk of heart disease by up to 30%. They help you reduce and regulate cholesterol and blood pressure. Include gluten-free whole grains, including wheat, oat bran, and rice in your meals.
The most familiar, homely and humble fruit on the table is apple. It is not just the crunchy, sweet and satisfying fruit. The saying, “An apple a day keeps a doctor away” is a rightfully earned respect for this fruit as it can reduce LDL cholesterol by 40%. Apples are high in soluble fiber, which helps effectively in lowering cholesterol. They also have polyphenols that help lower blood pressure and stroke risk. Moreover, the pectin in apples blocks the absorption of cholesterol.
Like apples, oranges are another great source of pectin. Oranges are also rich in flavonoids that lower blood pressure and reduce artery inflammation This citrus fruit also contains hesperidin, a plant chemical that improves blood flow to the heart, and vitamin C, is your protector against the risk of heart strokes.
19. Olive Oil
It is important to consume extra virgin olive oil. The purer the olive oil, the higher the levels of “good” fats and antioxidants that help unclog arteries.
Avocados are super rich in monounsaturated fat and can help lower LDL levels while raising the amount of HDL cholesterol in your body. But go easy on them as they are high on calories. Taking care of your heart is not that tough and there is no dearth of food choices that can keep your heart healthy, up and kicking. There are plenty of food options and you can mix and match them to your heart’s content