“You are what you eat” is a common saying and the results of this proverb can be seen by the functioning of our organ systems. Modern day food choices impose a great impact on the health of our cardiac system. An increased percentage of heart related health problems are nowadays seen in the adults, that too, from a much younger age. Studies prove that healthy food choices can reduce the risk of heart diseases by 70%. A healthy diet rich in protein, fruits and vegetables and scarce in unhealthy fats should be promoted with regular exercise
Following Is A List Of The 10 Superfoods For A Healthy Heart:
Berries in the form of blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, pomegranates, etc., contains an antioxidant namely Anthocyanin which is responsible for reducing the fat buildup of LDL cholesterol, also called as bad cholesterol ion the arterial walls thereby preventing the onset of heart diseases. It is also responsible for neutralizing the harmful metabolic byproducts such as free radicals. These free radicals are responsible for causing age related diseases..Berries can be taken fresh or frozen. A cup of berries is recommended daily.
Salmon fish such as herring, sardines or mackerel, is helpful in preventing the heart diseases. It is easily available and affordable. It contains a greater percentage of omega-3 fatty acids and lesser harmful triglycerides. Omega3 fatty acids help control cardiac disorders by dilating the blood vessels and reducing the plaque accumulation in the arterial walls. Lesser triglycerides helps in preventing inflammation. This keeps the blood pressure under control. Plaque accumulation gets prevented by avoiding the platelets to form a clump together and stick to the arterial walls.The American Heart Association recommends two servings (3Oz to 6Oz) of sardines in a week.
Oatmeal which contains a higher percentage of omega-3 fatty acids in them reduces the levels of LDL cholesterol in the body. They are helpful in preventing the plaque to get deposited in the arterial walls. This way it keeps the arteries clear. A bowl of oatmeal further pack taken in the breakfast keeps you full till the lunch time so that you don’t yourselves with unhealthy foods. It further reduces the risk of diabetes, which in turn is a major health concern for various heart diseases. Whole grains are more preferred over the processed ones. The American Health Association recommends a daily intake of 20-30 grams of oatmeal.
4. Red Wine
Red wine has been known for its health improving properties. If taken within the limits, it can help reduce the inflammation of the arterial walls since it contains antioxidants like Catechins. It also contains ‘good’ HDL cholesterol which keeps your heart functioning healthy. However, red wine should not be consumed in excess. People kept on aspirin medication should not consume red wine.
5. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil offers great health benefits since it contains antioxidants, called polyphenols and unsaturated fats, which helps reduce the buildup of cholesterol levels in the body. It helps reduce the blood pressure and protects the arteries from getting inflamed. It should be used as cooking oil in place of other vegetable oils.
6. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is a rich source of cocoa. Cocoa contains Flavonoids, which helps in reducing the blood pressure, improves the blood flow in the arteries and helps in preventing the free radical build up of the body.
Orange contains heart nutrients like carotenoids, Flavonoids, Carotene, Cryptoxanthin. All theses help reduce the risk of cardiac disorders by improving the blood flow in the vessel walls. Oranges also help to reduce the risk of blood pressure and trims off the arterial inflammation. Oranges can be taken as a fruit or can be consumed as a health drink.
Walnuts are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, fat soluble vitamins and fiber. All these promote a healthy heart. A handful of walnuts everyday reduces the risk of life-threatening cardiac diseases by reducing the levels of harmful cholesterol and arterial inflammation. Walnuts also help prevent the onset of diabetes. Walnuts can be taken everyday between the meals or can be added to the snacks and breakfast.
9. Soya Protein
Soya protein present in soya beans, soya-flour, tofu and soya-milk, etc. is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids help building the levels of HDL cholesterol, which is the good cholesterol in the body. It also reduces the unhealthy fatty triglycerides of the body. Good cholesterol does not deposit around the walls of the arteries and its levels in the body does not lead to the development of blood pressure, stroke or heart attack. It is recommended to take soya protein in the quantity of 1 Oz a day.
Green leafy vegetables like spinach, broccoli, collard green are a rich source of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins such as folate which reduces the blood levels of homocysteine. This helps in preventing the onset of several cardiac diseases. It is also a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. Green leafy vegetables have proven to reduce the development and the onset of various cardiac disorders.