Incredibly Heart-Healthy Foods to Include in Your Diet
You may have heard that a balanced diet is vital to maintaining heart health. After all, we depend on our hearts for everyday tasks and activities.
Sadly, one-third of all deaths worldwide are attributed to cardiovascular disease. However, did you know that your diet can affect the risk of developing heart disease? In fact, certain meals can have a significant effect on cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to improve your diet to protect your heart and improve your overall health.
Despite their taste, fruits are actually packed with beneficial nutrients for the heart. These seven heart-healthy fruits are packed with healthy fats, including monounsaturated fat, which reduces risk factors for heart disease.
Furthermore, avocados are packed with potassium and antioxidants. You can enjoy them plain or blend them into guacamole for a healthy snack. These fruits can also help prevent high blood pressure.
Another fruit packed with heart-healthy nutrients is cantaloupe. It has high levels of alpha and beta-carotene, B-complex vitamins, lutein, fibre, and folate. It can also be consumed for breakfast or as part of a healthy smoothie.
You can even enjoy it straight from the vine. You can store it for up to two weeks. Its small, springy shape makes it ideal for eating in the summertime.
In addition to being full of antioxidants, oranges are also packed with fibre and potassium. These fruits contain high amounts of flavonoids, which have anti-inflammatory properties and may help improve blood pressure and reduce the risk of atherosclerosis.
Also, if you choose oranges, make sure to eat them whole – the peel will give you more nutrients. A healthy heart is a result of eating a heart-healthy diet, but the amount of fat and calories is equally important.
The American Heart Association suggests a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and poultry.
You may not think of vegetables as being heart-healthy, but there are many health benefits associated with them. For example, green vegetables are full of vitamin K, which helps lower blood pressure and improve arterial function.
Whole grains contain both bran and germ, which add valuable nutrition to your diet. A good source of whole grains is brown rice, which is high in fiber.
You can also eat nuts, such as walnuts, pecans, almonds, and pistachios. Regardless of the variety, they all contain nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
Leafy green vegetables are a great source of dietary nitrates, which have been proven to lower blood pressure and improve the function of cells lining the blood vessels.
Some studies have also linked high consumption of leafy green vegetables to reduced risk of heart disease.
One analysis of eight studies showed an association between a high leafy green vegetable consumption and a lower risk of developing coronary heart disease.
Another study involving 29689 women found a significant relationship between high vegetable intake and a lower risk of coronary heart disease.
If you want to lower your cholesterol, eating more legumes is the way to go. Legumes are packed with protein and fiber, and lower levels of LDL (the bad kind) cholesterol, a key factor in the development of heart disease.
They also help lower blood pressure. Listed below are five amazing heart-healthy foods to incorporate into your diet. You can also find them in many popular foods, such as trail mix, yogurt, and oatmeal.
Topping the list of incredible heart-healthy foods are berries, which are high in antioxidants and soluble fiber. Flax seeds, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and fiber, are also heart-healthy. You can also include chia seeds in your diet.
Oats are another nutrient powerhouse. You can add them to yogurt or trail mix for a snack. And legumes are packed with B vitamins, fiber, and minerals.
In addition to helping lower cholesterol levels, avocados are loaded with antioxidants, powerful molecules that neutralize the harmful effects of free radicals, which can cause damage to the body and the brain. Avocados also help in maintaining and losing weight, as they contain high fiber content and a creamy texture.
Avocados can also help reduce your risk of colon cancer and improve the way your body excretes toxins. In addition, avocados are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are necessary for the brain.
In addition to being rich in healthy fats, avocados contain plenty of fiber, which is important for a healthy digestive system. Insoluble fiber helps you maintain a regular bowel movement, and insoluble fiber helps you avoid constipation. T
hey are also an excellent source of potassium, which levels blood pressure and eases tension in blood vessel walls.
Avocados also contain monounsaturated fatty acids, such as oleic acid, which lowers cardiovascular inflammation and may lower your risk of heart disease.
There are many benefits of chia seeds, including their ability to lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Omega-3 fatty acids, present in the seed, may help prevent coronary heart disease. Monounsaturated fats, found in chia seeds, also lower cholesterol levels.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and West Virginia University both recommend incorporating chia seeds into your daily diet. Eating them in moderation is a good idea, as they may cause digestive side effects.
Studies have shown that chia seeds reduce cholesterol levels and help regulate blood sugar levels. Other benefits of chia seeds include reduced appetite and weight loss. In addition, chia seeds can decrease belly fat. These benefits may make chia seeds an essential part of a heart-healthy diet.
However, further research is needed to confirm these results. If you’re considering eating chia seeds, here are a few ways you can incorporate them into your diet:
A healthy diet includes lots of fiber, and chia seeds are high in this essential nutrient. They contain seven grams of fiber per serving, which is near twice the recommended daily amount for an adult.
Studies show that high-fiber foods help you curb your appetite and reduce your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. You can even make your own chia seed pudding with chia seeds to add even more fiber to your daily diet.
Flaxseeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which may help prevent cardiovascular disease. In one study, flaxseed enriched diets lowered levels of LDL cholesterol and helped the body eliminate fat.
Although the effect of flaxseed intake on cholesterol levels may be related to other factors, it does seem that a flaxseed-rich diet may help prevent the development of type 2 diabetes.
The seeds of the flax plant are used in many cooking processes, including making bread, pasta, and clothing. The seeds of the flax plant are used in the manufacturing of linseed oil.
The oil from the flax plant is also used in carpentry and woodworking.
Flax seeds were first cultivated 30,000 years ago in Egypt, China, and Switzerland. Their high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, lignans, and other compounds make them a healthy addition to many recipes.
Although studies examining flaxseed and heart disease have not been conclusive, they show that the omega-3 fatty acid ALA may have a positive impact on cardiovascular health.
In addition, studies on the effect of flaxseed on heart disease risk factors have shown positive effects.
Flaxseed consumption may help prevent atherosclerosis, a precursor to heart disease. The dietary fat found in flaxseeds is highly digestible.
A dark green veggie rich in antioxidants, Swiss chard is an incredible heart-healthy food. Its unique colored stalks and veins are a testament to its antioxidant power.
Some of its many benefits include a decreased risk of cancer, cardiovascular health, bone health, and even helping manage blood pressure.
However, more research is needed to know exactly how Swiss chard can benefit your heart and your health.
Among the many benefits of swiss chard, its low calories and low-fat content make it a favorite with home cooks and professional chefs alike.
The vegetable has a slightly bitter taste that pairs well with sweet salad dressings. Chard also has a high content of vitamin K and vitamin A, and is rich in fiber and a range of B vitamins.
It also has a low-calorie content of 35 calories per cup, making it a perfect choice for a light lunch or dinner.
Besides its heart-healthy properties, Swiss chard contains a variety of antioxidants, including vitamin E and vitamin C. Vitamin C and E have been shown to reduce the risk of free radical damage in the body. Furthermore, chard contains high amounts of fibre, which supports the digestive process and lowers cholesterol levels.
Other heart-healthy benefits of chard include magnesium, which keeps nerves functioning properly and potassium, which helps prevent migraines.
Tofu is an incredible source of protein and is full of nutrients that help protect the heart from disease. It is also a vegetarian food that is easy to prepare and can be added to just about any dish.
Tofu is made from pressed soybean curd and can be marinated for several hours before eating.
It is also an excellent addition to stir-fries and salads. Its high isoflavone content is thought to help lower cholesterol levels in the blood, a key factor in heart disease.
Tofu is low in calories and contains plenty of protein and fat. In addition, it contains several important vitamins and minerals.
However, it contains antinutrients, substances naturally found in plant foods that inhibit the absorption of nutrients. Some antinutrients found in tofu, including phytates, can prevent the absorption of minerals.
These substances can also cause indigestion and abdominal pain and may reduce the absorption of certain vitamins and minerals.