The human heart is the hardest working organ of all the organs pumping almost 2000 gallons of blood in a day. Such diligent and hard-working muscles need to be at the prime of health and conditions to undertake such strenuous activity every single day of our life.
A healthy lifestyle made up of a healthy diet, exercise and healthy habits are very important in keeping the whole body including our heart in the best conditions. Stress, frenzied lifestyle, poor dietary intakes, and heart weakening habits have taken a toll on our overall health and heart in today’s time.
Sheela Seharawat, expert and acclaimed dietician and a women’s health specialist with Diet Clinic mention, the human heart is a well-tuned and fine piece of machinery inside the human body. To make it stay the way it is, it should be fuelled with a heart-healthy diet.
Today 1 out of every 10 people is diagnosed with heart ailments. Getting ou diet enriched with heart-healthy foods can decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases, blood pressure, obesity, cholesterol, and other heart reacted issues and can prevent us from the dangers of heart attacks and strokes.
Mentioned below are the top ten heart-healthy foods that should be a part of our regular daily diets:
1. All foods with healthy fats
We all are advised to cut back on our fat intake to improve our heart health. But there is an exception. Not all fats are bad and these fats should be included in our regular diet.
Fats found in nuts and seeds salmon and avocado are mono and polyunsaturated fats and omega- 3 fatty acids. These are good fat that helps against cardiovascular diseases and prevents the negative effects of bad cholesterols. Salmon is one food that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and goes a long way in preventing high blood pressure and irregular heartbeats.
Oatmeal is an anytime favorite breakfast food, but it is also a storehouse of various nutrients that is good for the body and heart like quality fibers, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, iron, and potassium.
It is a type of grain that is high in a fiber called beta-glucan – known to improve our digestive health and prevents us from heart attacks and strokes. Healthy eating is the crux to better heart health and oats are one food that is often termed as a superfood for heart health.
3. Leafy greens
Collard, kale, and spinach are some leafy greens that are well recognized for their wealth of nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The vitamin K in these foods promotes blood clot and helps protect our arteries.
The nitrate in leafy greens prevents blood pressure problems and promotes arterial functionality. More the leafy green in your diet, the lower is the risk of heart diseases.
Walnuts are rich sources of several micronutrients like manganese, copper and magnesium and fiber. Eating walnuts reduce the ratio of bad cholesterol and help to decrease oxidative stress and inflammation. It also aids in reducing blood pressure and thereby protecting the heart against the negative effects of cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Tomatoes have one thing that it unique – lycopene, a plant pigment that gives it its color and is also a powerful antioxidant. It helps by neutralizing the effects of free radicals, reducing oxidative damages and reducing inflammation.
Regular intake of tomatoes in your diet will increase the levels of HDL, good cholesterols that help to remove the LDL, the bad ones and plaque from our arteries, thereby keeping our heat healthy and protected from heart attacks and strokes.
6. Olive Oil
It is packed with antioxidants, reduces inflammation and the risks of numerous chronic diseases including the ones of the heart. Studies confirm that including olive oil in our regular diet will aid in lowering the risk of heart diseases and deaths due to many heart problems. It has also been associated with lower blood pressure and other chronic health risks. It is always a great choice when you need to limit bad fats –saturated and trans fats found in meats, butter, whole milk, and processed foods.
7. Dark Chocolate
If you have a sweet tooth and want good care of your heart, you have a great option with dark chocolates. Rich in flavonoids promotes heart health. The cacao helps lowering blood pressure and prevents blood clots. As an antioxidant, flavonoids keep bad cholesterol away from sticking on to the walls of the arteries.
Normal chocolates are high in empty calories and sugars, choose dark chocolates over them as it has almost 70% more cacao and protects against coronary heart diseases.
8. Kidney or Black Beans
Beans have a lot of soluble fibers, vitamins, folate, calcium, magnesium, and omega- 3 fatty acids. The versatility of the grain makes it a great addition to our regular diet as you can have them as soups, curries and even raw. A delicious meal option, beans make for one of the best foods for heart health.
Tofu is vegetarian and a great source of quality protein along with being filled with heart-healthy nutrients like potassium, calcium, magnesium, folate, and niacin.
Make it a regular addition to your daily diet and enjoy its goodness in any form. It makes for a great meal apart from providing heart-healthy benefits for the long term.
Berries, particularly blueberry and strawberries have been linked with heart health. Both have a compound called anthocyanin, proven to lower blood pressure and protect the blood vessels.
Although it is recommended to have them direct and not flavored foods available off the shelves. Either eat them fresh or make dishes or dessert out of them for the maximum heart health benefits. These berries are also a rich source of several heart-healthy antioxidants that helps reducing multiple risks of heart diseases.
Built-up of cholesterol and fats in our arteries is the major factor for all sorts of heart diseases including heart failure and strokes. This build-up is called plaque and once the built-up reaches a certain level that is causes clots and disruption of blood flow in and out of the heart. Complete blockage in the artery can stop blood flowing in and out of the heart and resulting in heart failure and death.
Incorporate the above-mentioned foods into your diet and let your heart breathe free and flawless.