15 Heart-Healthy Foods To Maximize On For People Living With Heart Issues
If you are suffering from heart issues, we have some helpful tips for you to maximize on heart-healthy foods to improve the situation. What you need to know is that diet plays a major role in heart health and can impact your risk of heart disease. Read on…
CelebNHealth247.com wants you to know that there are certain foods can influence blood pressure, triglycerides, cholesterol levels and inflammation, all of which are risk factors for heart disease.
What does that mean for anyone dealing with chronic heart disease, Atrial Fibrillation (AFIB) or any type of heart condition?
It means, if you want to stay alive, you need to change your lifestyle a little bit, not much, you just have to change up the way you eat. We have some easy changes so you can improve your lifestyle and heart function.
Here are 15 Heart-Healthy Foods To Maximize On:
1. Leafy Green Vegetables:
Salads are one of our favorite meals so this is an easy one. When making salads start using leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale and collard greens. They are all well-known for their wealth of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
They’re a great source of vitamin K, which helps protect your arteries and promote proper blood clotting.
In addition, leafy green vegetables are high in dietary nitrates, which have been shown to reduce blood pressure, decrease arterial stiffness and improve the function of cells lining the blood vessels.
When you increase your intake of leafy green vegetables it will give you a lower risk of heart disease, according to studies.
2. Whole Grains:
Whole grains include all three nutrient-rich parts of the grain: germ, endosperm, and bran.
Common types of whole grains include whole wheat, brown rice, oats, rye, barley, buckwheat, and quinoa.
What you need to know is that whole grains are higher in fiber, which may help reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol and decrease the risk of heart disease. Multiple studies have found that including more whole grains in your diet can benefit your heart health.
Make sure to read the ingredients and look for phrases like “whole grain” or “whole wheat” indicate a whole-grain product, stay away from words like “wheat flour” or “multigrain”.
Start eating more strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries which are jam-packed with important nutrients that play a central role in heart health.
Berries are also rich in antioxidants like anthocyanins, which protect against the oxidative stress and inflammation that contribute to the development of heart disease.
Studies have found that eating blueberries daily improved the function of cells that line the blood vessels, which help control blood pressure and blood clotting.
In addition to blueberries, studies show that eating lots of berries can reduce several risk factors for heart disease.
Make berries a satisfying snack or delicious low-calorie dessert. Little changes like this make HUGE changes for living a heart-healthy lifestyle.
Avocados are an excellent source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, which have been linked to reduced levels of cholesterol and a lower risk of heart disease.
What you need to know about Avocados is that they are rich in potassium, a nutrient that’s essential to heart health. In fact, just one avocado supplies 975 milligrams of potassium or about 28% of the amount that you need in a day. Avocados are also cholesterol-lowering.
Note: Getting at least 4.7 grams of potassium per day can decrease blood pressure by an average of 8.0/4.1 mmHg, which is associated with a 15% lower risk of stroke.
5. Fatty Fish and Fish Oil:
Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, and tuna are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids that help to survive and live the heart-health benefits.
Another fish that improves your heart is eating salmon three times a week. A study proved that doing this for eight weeks significantly decreased diastolic blood pressure.
Eating fish over the long term was linked to lower levels of total cholesterol, blood triglycerides, fasting blood sugar and systolic blood pressure.
If you don’t eat much seafood, fish oil is another option for getting your daily dose of omega-3 fatty acids. Fish oil supplements have been shown to reduce blood triglycerides, improve arterial function and decrease blood pressure. Other omega-3 supplements like krill oil or algal oil are popular alternatives.
Walnuts are a great source of fiber and micronutrients like magnesium, copper, and manganese.
If you love and can eat nuts, then incorporating walnuts into your diet can help protect against heart disease.
NOTE: Eating walnuts can reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol by up to 16%, lower diastolic blood pressure by 2–3 mm Hg and decrease oxidative stress and inflammation
The next important vegetable is beans, they contain resistant starch, which resists digestion and is fermented by the beneficial bacteria in your gut.
NOTE: Resistant starch can improve heart health by decreasing blood levels of triglycerides and cholesterol. Eating beans have been linked to reduced blood pressure and inflammation, both of which are risk factors for heart disease.
8. Dark Chocolate:
Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants like flavonoids, which can help boost heart health.
Believe it or not, but eating chocolate at least five times per week had a 57% lower risk of coronary heart disease than non-chocolate eaters
Interestingly, several studies have associated eating chocolate with a lower risk of heart disease. Also, realize eating chocolate at least twice per week was associated with a 32% lower risk of having calcified plaque in the arteries.
NOTE: Make sure to pick high-quality dark chocolate with a cocoa content of at least 70%, and moderate your intake to make the most of its heart-healthy benefits.
Tomatoes are loaded with lycopene, a natural plant pigment with powerful antioxidant properties.
By eating Tomatoes they are natural antioxidants that help neutralize harmful free radicals, preventing oxidative damage and inflammation, both of which can contribute to heart disease.
Higher levels of HDL cholesterol can help remove excess cholesterol and plaque from the arteries to keep your heart healthy and protect against heart disease and stroke.
We recommend that eating two raw tomatoes four times per week increased levels of “good” HDL cholesterol.
Almonds are incredibly nutrient-dense, boasting a long list of vitamins and minerals that are crucial to heart health.
They’re also a good source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and fiber, two important nutrients that can help protect against heart disease.
NOT: Research studies report that eating almonds for four weeks resulted in significant decreases in both LDL and total cholesterol. It is suggested that eating almonds can have a powerful effect on your cholesterol levels, too.
Chia seeds, flaxseeds, and hemp seeds are all great sources of heart-healthy nutrients, including fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.
Numerous studies have found that adding these types of seeds to your diet can improve many heart disease risk factors, including inflammation, blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides.
For example, hemp seeds are high in arginine, an amino acid that has been associated with reduced blood levels of certain inflammatory markers. As for, flaxseed may help keep blood pressure and cholesterol levels under control. Flaxseed, if eaten every day, is a great way to every day for half a year decreased systolic blood pressure.
One of our favorite things to use in cooking is garlic. Did you know that garlic has been a natural remedy to treat a variety of ailments?
It’s a proven fact that garlic can even help improve heart health. It is also a great way to stay healthy and NOT to catch colds or viruses from people. Garlic helps to keep your immune system up. This a great thing for people who have compromised immune systems (HIV+, TB, or any type of immune disorder).
This is thanks to the presence of a compound called allicin, which is believed to have a multitude of therapeutic effects.
Studies and found that garlic can reduce total cholesterol by an average. Eating garlic on the regular may reduce the risk of blood clots and stroke.
Helpful Tip: Be sure to consume garlic raw, or crush it and let it sit for a few minutes before cooking. This allows for the formation of allicin, maximizing its potential health benefits. Try eating a raw chunk of garlic daily, just once, it is extremely helpful for your immune system. If you can’t eat it alone, then chop it up and add it to your salad (mix in with olive oil and vinegar dressing that you make yourself…do no by premade dressings anymore.)
13. Olive Oil:
A staple in the Mediterranean diet, the heart-healthy benefits of olive oil are well documented.
Olive oil is packed with antioxidants, which can relieve inflammation and decrease the risk of chronic disease. It’s also rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, and many studies have associated it with improvements in heart health.
Studies have shown that people who consume olive oil regularly in their daily diet had a 35% lower risk of developing heart disease. It also translates to this, people who have a higher intake of olive oil was associated with a 48% lower risk of dying from heart disease.
Another large study also showed that a higher intake of olive oil was associated with lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure (64Trusted Source).
Take advantage of the many benefits of olive oil by drizzling it over cooked dishes or adding it to vinaigrettes and sauces.
Edamame is an immature soybean frequently found in Asian cuisine.
In fact, edamame is a good source of other heart-healthy nutrients, including dietary fiber and antioxidants
Like other soy products, edamame is rich in soy isoflavones, a type of flavonoid that may help lower cholesterol levels and improve heart health. If combined with other changes to diet and lifestyle, even slightly reducing your cholesterol levels can have a big impact on your risk of heart disease.
NOTE: By decreasing, total cholesterol levels by just 10% was associated with a 15% lower risk of dying from coronary heart disease
15. Green Tea:
Green tea has been associated with a number of health benefits, from increased fat burning to improved insulin sensitivity.
It’s also brimming with polyphenols and catechins, which can act as antioxidants to prevent cell damage, reduce inflammation and protect the health of your heart.
NOTE: Taking a green tea supplement or drinking matcha, a beverage that is similar to green tea but made with the whole tea leaf may also benefit heart health.