Cardiovascular diseases contribute to one-third of death worldwide every year. To stay healthy and keep cardiac diseases at bay, it is essential that the blood pumping machine of our body runs in its top form.
Diet and physical activity play an indispensable role in keeping our heart healthy. In addition, what we eat has a significant impact on our heart. Adding heart-healthy foods to our well-rounded diet routine checks the cholesterol and triglyceride levels, maintain normal blood pressure, reduces inflammation, and maximizes heart health.
Below Is The List of Top Foods For A Healthy Heart
1. Black Beans
Black Beans are rich in magnesium, folate and antioxidants that lower blood pressure. In addition, it is rich in fibre that controls the blood sugar and cholesterol level.
- If you are using canned black beans, rinse them well to remove the extra salt.
2. Red Wine
Red wine contains catechins and resveratrol. Both catechins and resveratrol are antioxidants that protect the walls of arteries and boost the level of HDL, the good cholesterol.
- Too much alcohol leads to addiction and is not suitable for the heart. It is recommended to drink only a glass of red wine for women and two glasses of red wine for men a day. Before adding red wine to your diet routine, consult your doctor as alcohol may interfere with medications such as aspirin.
Salmon is a superfood rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart rhythm disorders. It lowers the level of triglycerides and reduces inflammation. Salmon is also a good source of protein. Add at least two servings of salmon to your weekly diet routine.
Oatmeal is the powerhouse of nutrients. This nourishing whole grain is rich in beta-glucan. Beta-glucan is a soluble cholesterol-lowering fibre. In addition, oatmeal is a good source of protein. Eating oatmeal reduces the risk of atherosclerosis.
5. Edamame or Soyabean
Soy protein lowers the level of blood cholesterol. One cup of soybean contains about 8 grams of fibre. A diet rich in soy protein provides you with high levels of Heart-healthy fibre, vitamins, minerals, and polyunsaturated fats that lower triglycerides and prevent cardiovascular diseases.
Tuna is a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids. In comparison to salmon, it is cheap. It is rich in potassium thus, lowers blood pressure. In association with Omega 3 fatty acids, potassium prevents inflammation and reduces the risk of cardiac arrest and stroke.
- White tuna or albacore has more omega 3 fatty acids in comparison to other tuna varieties.
Other fatty fish such as herring, mackerel, sardines, and trout are also good omega 3 fatty acids sources. Research has shown that eating fatty fish at least once a week prevents cardiac arrest and other heart diseases.
7. Olive oil
Olive oil is rich in antioxidants that protect your blood vessels and lowers blood cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Studies have found adding a half-tablespoon olive oil to your everyday diet reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases up to 15%.
- Use cold-pressed olive oil.
Flaxseeds are also a good source of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) Omega-3 fatty acids. It contains both soluble and insoluble fibre. It is a rich source of lignans, which is a plant oestrogen and is an antioxidant. There is good evidence that ALA acts on blood cholesterol levels and reduces the risk of cardiac diseases and stroke.
- Considerable healthy amount of flaxseed is 1 to 2 tablespoons a day.
Again, almond is a rich source of Omega 3 fatty acid and contains other nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, vitamin E, polyunsaturated fats, monosaturated fats and fibre. Almonds contain plant sterol and help to lower the level of LDL or bad cholesterol.
Walnuts too is a good source of Omega 3, monosaturated fats, fiber and plant sterol. It maintains a healthy level of cholesterol and lowers blood pressure.
Folate prevents the build-up of homocysteine in our body. Studies have found a link between high homocysteine levels and coronary heart disease and stroke. Asparagus is a rich source of folate, thus prevents coronary artery diseases and stroke.
12. Chia seed
Just like flaxseeds, chia seeds contain plant-based omega-3 fatty acids that help to lower the level of LDL, cholesterol and triglycerides. In addition, regular intake of chia seeds lowers blood pressure and prevents the build-up of plaques in the arteries.
13. Dark chocolate
If eaten in moderation, dark chocolate has a protective action against atherosclerosis. Dark chocolate prevents the adhesion of white blood cells to the walls of blood vessels and prevents the stiffness of arteries. By implicating these two mechanisms, chocolate prevents stroke and heart attack. In addition, dark chocolate contains flavanol, which is an antioxidant.
Besides adding heart-healthy foods to your diet routine, exercise daily, Practice yoga and meditation to reduce the level of stress and quit smoking. Also, you can schedule an annual check-up to have a positive effect on your cardiac health.