5 Best Foods to Keep Your Heart Healthy
To have a healthy heart means that most of the heart threatening diseases will go away. Having a healthy lifestyle and keeping your heart healthy seems to be the most difficult thing in the modern world. Imagine if you were to follow simple steps such as regular exercise, healthy eating habits, getting rid of junk foods, no smoking and learning how to manage your life in stressful situations then you will have a healthy body and most important a healthy heart.
The best way to keep off heart diseases even when you are at a higher risk because of family history is to make sure that from breakfast to dinner without forgetting all your snack sessions you have foods that are heart healthy. To maintain a heart-healthy meal does not mean that you have a bland or an annoying menu, if you have no idea on what foods to include in your shopping basket, then this article guides you on the top 5 foods that will help keep your heart in a healthy state.
A diet with adequate whole grains is associated with a healthy and a lean body and also helps lower risk of heart diseases. Wholemeal diet adds antioxidants and phytosterols that keep coronary disease away. The fiber found in whole grains has been validated through scientific studies that have proven that they lower the risk of having a heart attack.
The best kind of fiber is the soluble type which helps reduce the amount of bad cholesterol in the body. Another important role that wholemeal fiber play is to bind bile acid helps the body converting cholesterol to bile, therefore, reducing the cholesterol levels. Examples of foods that contain soluble fiber are citrus fruits, beans, okra, barley, oatmeal, etc.
A regular diet that includes beans is good for your heart. The good thing about beans is that you do not need to eat a lot to enjoy its gains. If you have high cholesterol levels in your body taking half a cup of beans is said to lower cholesterol levels. Beans also have a soluble fiber that holds onto cholesterol to prevent further absorption into the bloodstream. This hold-up of cholesterol will lead to fermentation of the fiber, and the effect is the inhibition of cholesterol formation (you may have noticed that after eating beans the gas that we pass as a result of this fermentation).
Other benefits of having beans in your diet include the presence of a chemical known as flavonoids also found in berries and dark chocolate. This chemical acts as a heart protector as it prevents the coalescence of platelets in the blood, which if not checked can lead to heart attack or even strokes.
Fish / Salmon
The Omega-3 fatty acids will keep your blood flowing because of its anti-clotting effect on the blood. The presence of Omega 3 also reduces the production of triglyceride fat that is linked to heart diseases. The oily salmon is not only tasty but is available to most parts of the world. A recommended dose of twice a week is enough to equip your body’s defenses against heart problems. Salmon has the carotenoid astaxanthin that acts as an antioxidant which is good for your heart. Alternatives to salmon include mackerel, tuna, sardines, trout, and herring. Getting fish from a source free from chemicals is said to give the Omega 3 in the recommended levels.
Spinach tops the vegetable list of foods that are healthy for your heart. The vitamins, minerals. Iron, and phytochemicals found in spinach helps maintain the blood pressure. The good thing about this vegetable is that it gives you an option of cooking it or taking it raw mixed with fresh salads. Other benefits you get from spinach include fiber, potassium, lutein, and folate, which help reduce the rate of heart diseases by a wider margin compared to those who avoid vegetables.
The dark leafy green spinach has lots of nutrients that contribute to managing the glucose levels in the bloodstream. People already with blood pressure problems or diabetes can increase spinach in taking in their diet to help lower blood pressure because of the high levels of potassium which reduces the effects of sodium in the bloodstream.
Chocolate is sweet and tends to develop a sweet tooth even in adults. Eating it in moderation, especially the dark one helps in blood thinning. Dark chocolate also boosts the immunity by reducing inflammation. Something close to chocolate is cocoa that contains flavonoids that play a significant role preserving the health status of the blood vessels. Healthy blood vessels mean keeping away other heart-related diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and kidney diseases.
Some communities use cocoa to lower blood pressure because of the presence of epicatechin compound that boosts the production of nitric oxide that is known to protect the blood vessels and maintain the blood pressure in the veins at manageable levels.
You may choose to include the foods mentioned above in your diet to have a well-performing heart. One thing remains that has to be said, regular exercise and practicing a healthy lifestyle should complement the five best foods that will keep your heart-healthy. Generally speaking, eating healthy green vegetables is one of the best ways to give your heart the best treatment where you do not have to strain it by adding junk and fatty foods into the diet. The five foods we have listed does not necessarily mean that they are the only suitable foods for your heart, but they are some of the best. Your doctor is more than likely to give you the same recommendations that we have listed here for a better heart and a healthy you.
Sometimes food choices may be hampered by our societal and cultural beliefs at the expense of our health. When in such a situation the best person to talk to is your doctor who will give you proper advice that relates to your heart’s health.