Do you know what is the most important thing you should take care of in this modern world? It’s your heart. In order to keep up with the life, you must take care of your heart or keep it healthy.
Switching to the healthy food is one of the best ways to keep your heart healthy, and here we are to guide you.
Here in this article, I am going to tell you about foods that will surely help you to reduce your blood pressure, inflammation, and cholesterol. Just have a look and thanks me later:
- Barley & Oats
- Although barley is not so popular like other whole grains including wheat and oats, it has some really impressive health benefits that can surprise you as it provides a range of important vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin B, fiber, selenium, phosphorus, copper, chromium, niacin, magnesium and etc.
- The study shows that the cell walls of barley and oats contain a special type fiber which is soluble named beta-glucan that has multiple benefits for human health.
- It boosts the immunity and blunts the body’s insulin response.
- Beta-glucan could be protective during chemotherapy and radiation.
- It also plays a role in cholesterol reduction which counts as heart health benefit.
Lisa Drayer, CNN contributor and registered dietitian said, “Beta-glucans bind to bile acids and cholesterol in the intestines and prevent their absorption into the body.” She added, “So, if you have high cholesterol, it would be a good idea to incorporate oats or oatmeal for breakfast on a regular basis.”
2. Salmon & Other Fatty Fish
- Fish oils, especially omega-3 fatty acids counts for heart health.
- Fatty fish like: salmon, sardines, lake trout, mackerel, herring, and albacore tuna and crustaceans like: squid, oysters, lobster are recognized as the protein staples of a healthy diet for hear.
- They all contain omega-3 fatty acid which is health-protective as it contains α-linolenic acid (ALA) found in plants, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) both are commonly found in marine oils.
- Omega-3 prevents heart attacks as it helps the heart maintaining its rhythm.
Drayer said, “The plant-based omega-3s in foods like flaxseed, walnuts and canola oil don’t contain DHA and EPA.” She continued, “And while there are benefits to the plant ones as well, you can’t count on them as a source for their longer-chain cousins, because they are not necessarily converted into them once they are in the body.”
A spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Rahaf Al Bochi who is a registered dietitian, said, “There are some foods fortified with EPA and DHA omega-3s.” Bochi added, “Some of them are eggs, milk, juices, peanut butter and margarine spreads.”
3. Dark Green Leafy Veggies
- Dark leafy greens such as Spinach, salad greens, collard, mustard greens, kale, and swiss chard are rich in Vitamin A, C, E, and K.
- They also contain antioxidants that are helpful getting rid of toxins from the body.
- Green leafy veggies’ abundance of calcium, potassium, and magnesium add them to the 10 best foods for healthy hearts.
- Green veggies also contain lots of fiber that help reducing cholesterol levels, prevents constipation, and helps in controlling weight. And maintaining a healthy weight is a key to healthy heart too.
Boch said, “Potassium, magnesium, and calcium are known to play a role in blood pressure regulation.”
“Potassium is known to help with limiting the effects of sodium on blood pressure,” she went on to explain. “And it, along with magnesium and calcium, help the walls of the blood vessels relax, which increases blood flow and reduces blood pressure.”
4. Nuts & Seeds
- Nuts and seeds (unsalted) are high in magnesium, potassium, and other important minerals which help lower blood pressure.
- Nuts can lower blood vessel tightening which is called peripheral vascular resistance in medical terms.
- Nuts also reduce cholesterol, blood pressure, and heart rate.
- Walnuts are good for the heart as they are high in omega-3s.
Drayer said, “Though to a lesser extent than long-chain omega-3s.” She added, “alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) — a short-chain omega-3 found in walnuts and flaxseed and canola oil — has been associated with protection against high blood pressure and heart disease.”
- Adding avocados once a day will make your diet healthier.
- Avacado helps reducing blood pressure.
- Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, which lower both cholesterol and your “bad” cholesterol (LDL). In addition, it also maintains your “good” cholesterol (HDL) levels.
- Beneficial for insulin control, which could be very helpful for people having prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes.
- Beets contain lots of nitric oxide, which can lower your blood pressure as it can help open blood vessels.
- Beets and their juice is the only sources of betalain, which is a powerful antioxidant containing high anti-inflammatory qualities.
- It can be used to treat diseases such as arthritis, heart failure, and cancer caused by inflammation.
7. Olive Oil
- Monounsaturated fatty acids are part of the Mediterranean diet, which improves brain health and heart health, it also reduces the risk of breast cancer and increases longevity.
- Olive oil is popularly known as a key component of the Mediterranean diet, olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and lower blood pressure.
- It also reduces both bad cholesterol and triglycerides and increases good cholesterol.
- Olive oil is used as a replacement for many unhealthy fats in the diet as it is extremely high in calories.
8. Low-Fat Dairy Products
- It may be surprising for you to see dairy product in this list of 10 best healthy heart foods but milk, yogurt, and cheese can help lower blood pressure.
Al Bochi said, “Dairy products contain calcium, potassium and magnesium, which are important minerals to help with blood pressure control.”
“Dairy products can contain a high amount of saturated fat, so be sure to choose low-fat products,” she added. “Saturated fat has been known to increase LDL cholesterol, the bad cholesterol that can cause heart disease.”
- The heart-healthy food list is incomplete without legumes, it includes all kinds of beans, chickpeas, black-eyed peas, and lentils.
- Legumes are good for the heart as they contain high levels of soluble fiber, which reduce both triglyceride and cholesterol levels in the bloodstream.
“Soluble fiber binds to extra LDL cholesterol in the body and disposes it in the form of waste,” Bochi said. “You can think of it as a type of sponge.”
“Make sure that you rinse the excess salt and water before consuming,” she continued. “And it’s not just beans and lentils. Whether it’s canned corn, canned peas, carrots, any type of canned food, it’s important to remove the salt.”
10. A Low-Sodium, Balanced Diet
- It may seem odd but it’s really good for the heart.
- Salt intake is a contributing factor in a heart-healthy diet.
Drayed said, “If you feel like there is a ‘superfood’ that you want to incorporate on a daily basis, say oats or salmon, that’s OK.” She continued, “but I really feel that eating a variety of healthy foods is best because you’re getting a different nutrient package with each.”
“The other thing I worry about is when people focus on one food, they may think that is their key to good health and eat more unhealthy foods,” Drayer said. “For example, some people say, ‘I eat a lot of kale, so I’m healthy,’ and they don’t pay attention to the rest of their diet. No one food can undo damage from an unhealthy diet.”