Heart is one of the most important organs in the human body. Millions of people are succumbing to heart related diseases all over the world. Cardio Vascular Disease (CVD) is the number one cause of death in America. Health of a person’s heart depends to a large extent on his/her dietary habits.
Heart Friendly Foods:
Here is a list of foods which are good for the heart:
Apple: Apple contains vitamins and fibers which are good for the heart. It prevents blood clots. Apple contains antioxidants and flavonoid compounds which prevent inflammation and possible damage from bad (LDL) cholesterol. Many studies conducted all over the world have proved that people eating apple have less chances of suffering from, stroke, high blood pressure, obesity, cardio-vascular disease and coronary heart disease. An apple a day will definitely keep the cardiologist away!
Green leafy vegetables: Green leafy vegetables like cabbage, spinach, broccoli, etc are ideal for preventing obesity as they are low in calories. Obesity is one of the main causes of heart related ailments. Green leafy vegetables are high in potassium, magnesium, phytochemicals, fibers, vitamin C and folic acid. All these promote a healthy heart. Also green leafy vegetables are rich in chlorophyll. Chlorophyll’s ability to help build red blood cells is proven. So start having your salads more frequently!
Soy: Soy milk helps in reducing bad (LDL) cholesterol, there by preventing coronary heart disease.
Oats: Beta glucan, a soluble fiber in oats, help in reducing bad cholesterol. Oats also contain manganese, selenium and magnesium, which are good for the heart.
Garlic: Garlic has allicin which reacts with red blood cells there by producing hydrogen sulphide. This hydrogen sulphide relaxes blood vessels, facilitating healthy blood circulation. This prevents high blood pressure thereby reducing the risk of heart related diseases. Garlic also prevents platelet aggregation and thrombosis (formation of plaques in the blood). But you should avoid garlic supplements as their health benefits are questionable.
Walnut: Walnut is rich in antioxidants and Omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for the heart.
Blueberries: Blue berries are rich in antioxidants and flavonoid compounds. These are proved to be good for the heart.
Almonds: Almonds are high in monosaturated fats which reduce the risk of heart diseases. Almonds are also rich in potassium, magnesium and vitamin E which are good for the heart.
Ginger: Ginger has anti inflammatory properties. Gingerol in ginger relaxes muscles surrounding blood vessels thereby improving blood circulation. This has a huge positive impact on the heart. Ginger helps in reduction of triglycerides which are harmful to the heart. Ginger reduces absorption of cholesterol in the blood, there by preventing the risk of heart diseases. Ginger prevents clotting of blood. It also stimulates central nervous system which controls the functioning of the heart.
Olive oil: Studies have proved that olive oil reduces the risk of coronary artery disease by reducing bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and increasing good (HDL) cholesterol levels. It also contains antioxidants which are good for the heart.
Whole grains: Whole grains are rich in dietary fiber, which reduce bad cholesterol thereby preventing the risk of heart disease. They are also found to prevent high blood pressure and decrease blood coagulation.
Tomatoes: Tomatoes prevent blood platelets from sticking together. Lycopene in tomatoes are found to be good for the heart due to its antioxidant properties. Tomatoes also contain potassium (prevents high blood pressure), vitamin B6, vitamin C, folate, beta-carotene, carotenoids, and niacin (reduces bad cholesterol) which are all proved to be beneficial for the heart.
Green tea: Polyphenols in green tea are good for the heart due to their antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties. Green tea reduces bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels and prevents blood clots. It protects blood vessels by keeping them flexible and relaxed, there by promoting healthy blood circulation. Healthy blood circulation prevents blood pressure and heart diseases.
Legumes: Legumes like peas, beans, lentils are rich in proteins, folate and soluble fiber which promote a healthy heart.
Yogurt: Yogurt increases good cholesterol levels there by preventing the risk of developing heart disease. Fruit enriched yogurt controls high blood pressure there by reducing the risk of heart disease.
A healthy heart is necessary for general well being. Consuming above mentioned foods will help you in keeping your heart healthy.