What Foods Are Healthy for the Heart
Beauty and good health start with the foods you eat. With heart disease ranking as the number one killer in the US, health professionals, nutritionists, and informed individuals are beginning to focus on foods that can make a positive and preventative difference in the fight against heart disease. A diet rich in 0mega-3s, heart-healthy antioxidants, fiber, potassium, magnesium, folate, tea and cholesterol-fighting sterols and stanols has proven to contribute to a healthy heart, dramatically changing the odds in favor of committed followers of this type of eating regimen.
Heart Healthy Superstars
While there are many foods worth mentioning, some foods deserve more attention than others. Appearing on almost every list of foods mentioned for heart-health, these foods pack a wallop and offer many proven benefits. Incorporating some of these foods into your diet regularly is highly recommended.
Kale has earned its superstar status containing an impressive list of ingredients such as antioxidants, fiber, folate, omega-3 fatty acids, potassium and vitamin E. As if that is not enough to satisfy the superstar distinction, kale is also lutein-rich, which prevents premature atherosclerosis symptoms. Additionally, it contains the compound glucoraphanin which is known to activate a Nrf2 protein that forms a Teflon-like protective layer in your arteries to prevent plaque from sticking.
It is hard to argue with salmon as a necessity in the battle against heart disease. With its high level of omega-3 fats, this fish plays an impressive role in reducing triglycerides and slowing arterial plaque growth. Due to these amazing benefits, The American Heart Association recommends that people eat two servings a week for optimal results.
According to CNN in the article, Best and Worst Foods for Your Heart, committed nut eaters dramatically lessen the likelihood of dying from a heart attack. When you consider that eating nuts regularly makes you 25% less likely to die from heart disease when compared to individuals who do not indulge, it makes sense to work this tasty protein source into your diet. Unsaturated fats in tree nuts lower LDL cholesterol and increase HDL, or good cholesterol. Additionally, the arginine in nuts makes nitric oxide which is credited with relaxing blood vessels that increase blood flow.
Potassium and Magnesium Rich Foods
Potassium and magnesium play a key role in controlling blood pressure. Swiss chard is chalked full of both of these healthy minerals. Other foods on the list of recommended choices with one or both of these ingredients include black beans, orange juice, and low-fat yogurt. When choosing a yogurt, be sure to select a low-fat option with less sugar.
Tea and Flavonoids
According to Today’s Dietician, in one of the largest studies about the impact of tea drinking on heart health, more than 37,000 people in the Netherlands were followed for 13 years. The study results revealed that people who drink three to six cups of tea daily were 45% less likely to die from heart disease than those who drank less than one cup. Another impressive study statistic worth mentioning is that when participants indulged in six cups of tea or more daily, their tea habit resulted in a 36% lower risk of developing heart disease. As tea continues to show cardio benefits, there are many companies carrying specialty versions. Siberian Health Company’s Shanga Zurhen Cardio Balance Tea is touted as a tea that embraces the Tibetan principles of strengthening the cardiovascular system.
All the fuss over Omega-3s appears to be warranted. These healthy fats are believed to lower the risk of heart rhythm disorders and improve blood pressure numbers. As a bonus, they may also lower triglycerides and minimize inflammation. Two servings of salmon or other oily fish choices are recommended every week. Budget-minded consumers might try tuna as another fish loaded with omega-3s.
Heart disease is largely preventable. Diet is key for health-conscious individuals. By replacing unhealthy fried foods and saturated fats with healthy alternatives, the average person can enjoy improved heart health and the peace of mind that comes with knowing they are actively pursuing a healthy lifestyle.