Heart diseases are known to affect a lot of people; nearly 1 in 10 Americans are affected by them. In order to make sure that your heart is pumping adequately, you should always consume a heart-healthy diet.
A healthy diet will influence your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and inflammation which are common factors that affect the health of your heart.
There are certain foods that can lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as coronary artery disease, which causes strokes and heart attacks.
Here, we have made a list of 20 foods that will maximize your heart’s health. Explore your options and learn about the nutrition these foods can provide to your body.
Foods To Eat For Healthy-heart
Leafy green vegetables
Vegetables like spinach, kale, and collard greens are known to be rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These vegetables are a great source of vitamin K, which helps to protect your arteries and promote blood clotting. Leafy green vegetables are also abundant in dietary nitrates. This helps to reduce blood pressure, decrease arterial stiffness and improve the function of cells in the linings of blood vessels.
Salmon is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, which can decrease the risk of abnormal heartbeats and lower triglyceride levels. Apart from these, Salmon can also slow the growth of plaque in your arteries and lower blood pressure. Two servings of Omega 3 rich foods like Salman each week are recommended by the American heart association. It is a very versatile protein that can be added to pasta dishes or salads.
Ground flaxseed contains Omega 3 along with soluble and insoluble fibers. One of the most highly available sources of lignans, flaxseed has qualities like plant estrogen and antioxidants. It is easy to incorporate into your diet; you can sprinkle it on breakfast or combine it into your smoothies. Ground flaxseed is more effective than flaxseed oil. Using flaxseed oil, you can expect 15% of the Omega 3 is to be converted into its most useful forms. This might not be the ideal supplement for your heart.
Refined carbohydrates can increase the risk of coronary heart disease, this is why whole grains are suggested, which can decrease the risk by approximately 10% to 20%. Adopting a diet rich in plant-based foods, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains can be effective in preventing hypertension. It can also lower cholesterol levels and systole blood pressure.
Beans have a lot of soluble fiber, B complex vitamins, niacin, folate, magnesium, calcium, and Omega 3 fatty acids. It is one of the most resourceful food that can be included in soups, salads, or meals. It contains resistant starch, which resists digestion and is fermented by bacteria in your gut. This resistant starch exerts a healthy impact on the gut. Having beans can also reduce blood pressure and inflammation, which are the risk factors for heart disease.
Oatmeal makes a delicious, and nutritious breakfast. It is rich in fiber and a perfect source of Omega 3 fatty acids that provide your body with nutrients like magnesium, potassium, and iron. It is one of the filling breakfasts and versatile food that can be easily included in the diet. You can try making some fat-free oatmeal cookies or turn your whole rolled oats into a chicken burger meatloaf.
Avocados contain a lot of heart-healthy Monounsaturated fats, which can reduce the levels of cholesterol in your body. It has lipid-lowering qualities and can effectively protect your heart. These are rich in potassium which is an essential nutrient for the heart. Have an avocado with your toast or as a snack to reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome.
All kinds of tree nuts provide a lot of heart protection. Walnuts are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, Vitamin E, folate, fiber, favorable polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, and phytosterols. Even though it is perfect for the heart, it should be consumed in moderation. Nuts are high in fat and calories, so keep in mind the portions of walnuts and almonds.
Also Read: 9 Types of Diet That You Should Know About
Almonds are a heart-healthy food that can lower the blood cholesterol in your body. They contain plant Omega 3 fatty acids, magnesium, calcium, Vitamin E, fiber, and certain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are adequate for the heart. These are easy to eat, and you can use them as toppings or mix them in salads. For some additional cardiac protection, go for unsalted almonds and make sure it is raw dry roasted.
Dark chocolate is filled with antioxidants like flavonoids that boost your heart’s health. Consuming dark chocolate in moderate quantities can decrease the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Make sure to pick the dark chocolate with a cocoa content of 70% or more.
Also Read: Why It’s Good To Eat Dark Chocolate
Red wine consists of a type of flavonoids called catechins and the antioxidant resveratrol. These flavonoids help maintain the health of blood vessels and prevent blood clots. Red wine has tremendous heart-protecting benefits from being good for the skin to ideal for the heart.
Tuna is another protein-rich food that contains Omega 3 fatty acids. One serving of Tuna can provide you with the right amount of niacin. Niacin is a nutrient that improves the survival odds for people who have had a heart attack. Tuna salad is an effortless lunch snack that will keep you filled. Canned tuna is very easily available, but it is important to pick the right one. There are two types of tuna; one is white tuna made from albacore and light tuna made from smaller tuna types.
Tomatoes contain Lycopene, a natural plant pigment that consists of powerful antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help to neutralize harmful free radicals and prevent oxidative damage and inflammation. All of these factors contribute to heart disease. Low blood levels of lycopene can lead to an increased risk of a heart attack. By including tomato waste products in your diet, lycopene supplementation will be present in the body. This will positively affect the blood lipids, blood pressure, and endothelial function.
For centuries garlic has been used to treat a variety of ailments. There are many medicinal properties found in garlic that can help to improve the heart’s health. The presence of a compound called Allicin is believed to have multiple therapeutic effects on the body. Garlic acts as an effective food in reducing blood pressure. Garlic extracts can increase platelet build-up, which in turn reduces the risk of blood clots and stroke.
Tofu is a protein-rich vegetarian and vegan meat substitute that is full of healthy nutrients like niacin, folate, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. This popular plant-based meat can be called ‘Bean Curd’ because it is made from the curd of soybean. You can have tofu in your sandwiches or salads or turn it into a steak. Make sure to avoid ultra-processed foods as they can lead to obesity and cardiovascular health problems.
Brown rice is tasty and a complete diet for a heart-healthy person. It is rich in B complex vitamins, magnesium, and fiber. You can add brown rice to any dish along with some chopped vegetables to make an easy and quick lunch. The high levels of magnesium make you less vulnerable to heart diseases and strokes. It can also reduce the risk of cardiac disorders such as hypertension and vascular diseases. It contains selenium which is very beneficial for your heart.
Olive oil is filled with antioxidants which can relieve inflammation and decrease the risk of heart disease. It is also packed with monounsaturated fatty acids, which improve your heart’s health. Olive oil is high in Oleic acid, which prevents and treats hypertension. Take advantage of this food and add it to your sauces.
Green tea also has an association with your heart’s health. From fat-burning to improving insulin sensitivity, green tea offers a lot of benefits. It is rich in polyphenols and catechins, which are antioxidants that prevent cell damage, reduce inflammation and protect your heart. Green tea extract can effectively increase leptin and reduce LDL cholesterol in obese women. Take a green tea supplement or drink matcha to enjoy the benefits.
Soya milk contains a type of flavonoid called isoflavones and is highly nutritious. It has a lot of nutrients such as B complex vitamins, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and phytoestrogens. Unlike animal milk, soy milk has a lot of added benefits. The protein that is found in soya milk can help lower blood cholesterol levels and provide multiple cardiovascular benefits. You can use soya milk with your cereal breakfast or turn it into a smoothie.
All kinds of berries are nutritious for your heart. Blueberries are rich in nutrients that help to build a better body. It is packed with beta-carotene and lutein, which is a type of carotenoid. Apart from these, it also has anthocyanin, a flavonoid, and ellagic acid, a type of polyphenol. Blueberries are eaten as a healthy snack that provides your body with a lot of Vitamin C, calcium, potassium, and fiber.
These heart-healthy foods are easily available and can be consumed in multiple ways. A nutritious meal for your heart will benefit the mind and body.