We all know the importance of the heart, and what needs to be done to take care of it. Maintaining your weight, eating healthily and exercising regularly are some of the general pointers we are given. When it comes to eating, there are certain foods that have a positive impact on reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Here is a list of some of these foods:-
Almonds, pistachios, walnuts, avocados
These are full of monounsaturated fat, which aids reduction of LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, while increasing HDL (good) cholesterol. The less LDL, the less congested the arteries. This will keep blood pressure low and lower the risk to heart disease.
Berries are high in antioxidants such as beta-carotene and ellagic acid which play a role in reducing heart disease. Berries also contain soluble fibre which reduces LDL cholesterol by binding to the bad cholesterol and flushing it out of the body.
Examples are spinach, broccoli, and kale – these are a high in vitamins (C, A, K) and high in fibre which provide huge benefits for the heart
Beans, Quinoa, Lentils
These are high in fibre, vitamins and minerals which all contribute to heart health. Beware – dark beans are not as easily digestible as white beans, which leads to intestinal gas!
Beetroot, peppers, carrots
Vegetables that are red, orange and yellow are high in antioxidants like carotene.
A glass (4 oz) can boost good cholesterol levels. Be aware of excessive drinking and the associated health issues.
This wonder grain is very high in soluble fibre, which leads to a reduction in LDL (bad) cholesterol
Tuna, salmon, mackerel, trout
Oily fish is always suggested for those wanting to take care of their cardiovascular system. This is because fish oil is high in omega-3, which has evidence of reducing risk to heart attacks and strokes.
These foods are crucial, but others steps should be taken to really get optimal benefits.
- Reduce saturated fats – fatty cuts of meat ( red meat mostly), cheeses and cream
- Cut out smoking
- Maintain good blood-sugar levels (a lot of the foods above are really helpful for this)
- Manage anger and stress levels.