10 Foods that Are Friends of Your Heart

Heart disease has become quite common these days. Many studies are suggesting that the food that you eat can contribute to the health of your heart, allowing you to live an active, healthy life. Experts also say that what is good for your heart is also good for your entire body. Another important thing is to have variation in your diet. You should eat different types of food items, such as different types of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish and so on, every day. As much as possible, you should eat foods which are natural, and avoid canned foods or processed foods which contain a lot of chemicals. Check out these 10 foods which are friends of your hearts:

Oatmeal

Oatmeal has been proven to be beneficial for your heart, by many studies. It reduces cholesterol which is good for the heart. But only plain rolled or steel cut oats is good for the heart, as instant oatmeal may have a lot of sugar content.

Chia seeds

One spoonful of Chia seeds contains just 60 calories, which reduces LDL, the bad cholesterol and the buildup of plaque. Chia seeds are a very good source of omega 3 fatty acids, which is plant based.

Berries

Berries are full of soluble fiber and phytonutrients, which are beneficial for your heart. Dark berries, like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or cranberries contain flavonoids and resveratrol, which can prevent heart disease. You can enjoy berries with yogurt, oatmeal or smoothies.

Olive oil

Olive oil contains polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats which aids in the break down and prevention of arterial plaque. Olive oil, which is purest, i.e. extra virgin olive oil, is higher in antioxidants and is considered to be healthier for the heart. It is high in calories, so using it in moderation would be good for your heart, and keep your calorie count in balance.

Fish

Fish like salmon and sardines are packed with omega 3 acids that reduce cholesterol and have selenium which is an antioxidant which increases cardiovascular protection. Wild salmon is what experts suggest you eat, rather than farmed salmon. Sardines are rich in fish oil, which reduces risks of heart attacks and improves levels of good cholesterol. Fresh sardines are better than canned ones, as they have a high content of salt. You can eat fish in any form, grilled, broiled or baked.

Nuts

Nuts like walnuts and almonds are your heart’s friends too. Walnuts contain vitamin E, fiber, folate, omega 3 acids and also have high levels in polyunsaturated fats. Almonds too are good for the heart, as they too are full of the good fatty acids omega -3.  You must eat the unsalted variety to benefit from these nuts. Nuts should be consumed in moderation as they are high in calories.

Red Wine

Red wine is made from dark skinned grapes which contain reserveratrol, which reduces cholesterol and plaque in the arteries. It also has cancer prevention properties. Cabernets and Madirans contain a large amount of procyanidins, an antioxidant which improves the levels of HDL (good cholesterol).

Green tea

Green tea can lower your hypertension and has been used as a medicine in China for centuries. This beverage contains flavonoids and catachins, which are antioxidants with several cardio benefits. Green tea is said to reduce blood clots too. 

Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate is a favourite food of many people, probably yours too. Any dark chocolate which contains 70% cocoa is good for you. Dark chocolate has been found to reduce blood pressure, as its flavonols relaxes arteries and increases blood flow. Check the ingredients when you buy dark chocolate, as sometimes palm oil is added to it. The saturated fats from palm oil can destroy the benefits of dark chocolate.

Brussels sprouts

This vegetable looks like miniature cabbage, and is rich in vitamins. It reduces inflammation in your cardiovascular system and improves blood vessels’ health. This is one vegetable which you should make a part of your diet.

Broccoli, raisins, papaya, cantaloupes, oranges, asparagus, tomatoes, red peppers and sweet potatoes too are good friends of your heart. Including these heart healthy foods will reduce the risk of heart disease and help you live an active life.

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