Heart health is the most important and can be taken good care of by simply understanding and controlling cholesterol and blood pressure. Furthermore, following some diet plans that include foods like those mentioned below would work wonders.
Dark leafy green vegetables
Being rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, leafy green vegetables are a booster for heart health. Moreover, they are high in nitrates, a substance that helps open blood vessels to make the circulation of oxygen-rich blood easy and fast. The abundance of Vitamin K takes care of proper and timely blood clotting.
Whole grains such as whole wheat, barley, oats, brown rice, etc. are beneficial for the heart. They tend to lower cholesterol levels. Barley can replace rice or can be simmered in soups or stews.
Being rich in resistant starch, beans are beneficial at reducing cholesterol levels and triglycerides. Moreover, full of folates, antioxidants, and magnesium they also lower blood pressure as well as reduce inflammation.
A rich source of antioxidants such as anthocyanins, berries protect us against oxidative stress as well as inflammation. Full of nutrients they have umpteen benefits regarding heart health. They not only reduce bad cholesterol and body mass but also enhance the improved functioning of cells lining the blood vessels. Available in all varieties be it strawberry, raspberry, blueberries, or blackberries, they always make up for a delicious low-calorie dessert.
Pectin in oranges is known as a cholesterol-fighting fiber. Besides pectin, potassium helps control blood pressure.
They are excellent for heart health for all the reasons mentioned here. Being a good source of monosaturated fats, they tend to reduce cholesterol levels. They are rich in potassium which is an essential nutrient for a healthy heart. Furthermore, they have special effects like lipid-lowering and are thus cardioprotective. They help keep a check on blood pressure and also might lower the risk of metabolic syndrome.
They are packed with antioxidants called anthocyanins and are believed to protect the blood vessels.
Being rich in lycopene (a natural plant pigment with powerful antioxidant properties) tomatoes are known to increase the levels of good cholesterol that work in removing excess cholesterol and plaque from the arteries. Hence, they add to lower the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Rich in fiber, Vitamin A, and lycopene, sweet potatoes can be a good option for heart health. Moreover, their lower glycerine index as compared to white potatoes prevents the spiking up of blood sugar levels.
Dark chocolates are antioxidant-rich. Antioxidants like flavonoids are good for the heart. They tend to lower the risk of developing calcified plaque in the arteries thus decreasing the risk of coronary heart disease or even stroke. However, they are rich in sugar and calories that might contradict their beneficial properties.
They have plant sterols and are packed with heart-healthy fats as well as fiber. No doubt they help maintain good cholesterol levels and reduce the scope of plaque build-up in arteries. Hence, they are crucial for a healthy heart.
Besides being a good source of micronutrients like magnesium, copper, and manganese, walnuts are fiber-rich too. Thus, they are good for heart health as they can help reduce cholesterol and blood pressure a major risk for heart disease.
Seeds such as chia and flaxseeds are fiber-rich and include phytochemicals called lignans. These omega-3 fatty acid-rich tiny eateries are well known for managing blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Furthermore, they help reduce inflammation and are thus considered heart-healthy.
Oats are fiber-rich and their fiber can help the heart by lowering the bad cholesterol (LDL).
Soy protein helps lower cholesterol levels and thus soybeans are considered good for the heart. Tofu is another good option.
Fishes like salmon, sardines, and tuna are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and are good for the heart. Their consumption tends to lower cholesterol levels, fasting blood sugar as well as blood pressure. Apart from lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease they also lower the chances of depression and mortality. For those who cannot compromise with eating fish, fish oil supplements are a good option to keep a check on blood pressure or reduce blood triglycerides. Overall, they are known to improve arterial function.
Garlic contains a compound called allicin, known for its multitude of therapeutic effects. It not only tends to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure but also inhibits platelet build-up thus reducing the risk of a blood clot and stroke.
Olive oil is monosaturated fatty-acid rich and is packed with antioxidants. Besides tending to lower blood pressure levels it helps prevent as well as treat issues such as hypertension. Opting for olive oil in place of saturated fats such as butter can cut down on cholesterol levels. No doubt it is counted upon as heart-healthy.
Adding spices and fresh herbs instead of salt or fats not only adds flavor to the food but also prevents it from some bad stuff.
Green tea is brimming with polyphenols and catechins that act as antioxidants. No wonder it is associated with lower cholesterol triglycerides and blood pressure.
Though alcohol has never been considered healthy or heart-friendly red wine is an exception and that too if taken occasionally and within limits. Resveratrol and catechins (two antioxidants in red wine) may protect the artery walls.