Most of the times you think about heart healthy foods only when you are suffering from a heart condition or for some reason you know for sure that your heart is going to give up some day. When it comes to the health of your heart you are most concerned as you know life can take a major twist in a matter of seconds.
Your heart is a muscle which contracts and relaxes around 70 times a minute (so what?). That’s 100,800 times per day and over 2.76 billion times during an average life span (OMG! Now that’s something). For the heart to keep on beating like that it’s a no brainer that it should be in a healthy condition, so that you can have an increased lifespan.
We often fail to pay attention as to what is good for the heart and how much care and attention should be given to the heart, until something really bad happens to it. Only after that we actually start looking for information which will help your heart bounce back to a healthy state. Life would be much easier and enjoyable if we start caring for our heart early on. It’s better late than never. If you have really got conscious of your heart lately, have a look at some heart healthy foods that can provide good maintenance to your heart.
Top 10 Heart Healthy Foods
1. Whole Grains
Whole grains contain lots of fiber which lowers the risk of heart diseases. Whole grains help people stay leaner thus lowering the risk of heart diseases than in people who are obese. People who have a high-fiber diet, have a 40 % lower risk of heart diseases than people who are low on fiber. High fiber foods help to eliminate LDL (bad cholesterol) which can give rise to atherosclerosis. Foods that are high in fiber include beans, barley, oatmeal, egg-plant and citrus fruits.
Fish, specifically like salmon and tuna contain omega 3 fatty acids which are really beneficial to your health. You know how dreadful the word ‘blood clotting’ sounds, the omega 3’s help in lowering the level of triglycerides in the blood which contributes to blood clotting. Omega 3’s also help in lowering the blood pressure. If you are a vegetarian then don’t worry, have foods like walnuts and flax seeds which also contain omega 3 fatty acids.
You may be making faces, but there is noting like garlic when it comes to lowering your blood pressure. Garlic also helps protect you against hardening up of the arteries. I know a couple of neighborhood men in their 60’s who have a couple of garlic beans raw after smashing them in the morning and they swear by it.
4. Beetroot Juice
Beetroot juice contain certain dietary fibers which causes the blood vessels to dilate. This dilation of the blood vessel helps to lower your blood pressure (if you are suffering from a high one). Drink at least 500 ml of beetroot juice that can significantly lower your blood pressure within a few hours after ingestion.
5. Green Leafy Vegetables
Green leafy vegetables like spinach, lettuce leaves, fenugreek, etc are very beneficial in lowering the risk of heart diseases. The main reason they are so good is that they are high in dietary fiber and very low on fat and calories. They contain magnesium, potassium, calcium and folic acid which is important for the overall functioning of your heart.
6. Olive Oil
Olive oil is one of the best oils available when it comes to the health of your heart. Using olive oil regularly in cooking helps to lower the LDL (bad cholesterol) in your body. It also helps in decreasing blood pressure by helping to prevent artery-narrowing plaque formation. Olive oil also contain mono-saturated fats that are good for the heart and contain antioxidant properties. Olive oil helps unwanted blood clots and boost blood flow through the coronary arteries.
Tomatoes are a great source of vitamin C and vitamin A and also acts as a blood purifier. Vitamin K present in tomatoes are known to prevent hemorrhages. Tomatoes are high in lycopene which in conjunction with other vitamins and minerals help in preventing diseases of the heart.
Apples are a rich source of antioxidant flavonoid compounds like quercetin, epicatechin, kaempferol which play an important role in preventing LDL which in turn can result in plaque formation in the arteries. Apples are also a rich source of pectin, a soluble fiber which helps in lowering cholesterol.
Almonds are known to lower the cholesterol levels and the heart diseases. They contain vitamin E, B17 and minerals like magnesium, zinc and mono-saturated fats which prevent cholesterol formation when eaten in moderation.
Pomegranate contains powerful polyphenols and tannins which helps to reduce the buildup of plaque in the arteries and lowers blood pressure. Among other berries pomegranates contain the highest level of antioxidants which does a lot of good for your heart.
Having these heart healthy foods on a regular basis can definitely improve your heart health. It’s never too late to start anything, especially good eating habits for a healthy heart. Embrace these heart healthy foods for a better healthy heart and a better lifestyle.