Heart health is, quite literally, the key to a long life. You can remain agile and active only so long as your heart has the well-being needed to keep pumping good blood to your organs round the clock. And unlike almost the rest of your body, which gets to relax and recharge when you sleep each night, your heart’s work never stops.
It’s no wonder then, that taking care of your heart health is important. Exercise and a good diet are key elements in this regard. Eating a heart healthy diet can help your heart remain in good health for years at a stretch. But first, you need to know what healthy food for the heart is, so you can include those foods in your heart healthy diet.
10 healthy foods for the heart
Here are 10 superfoods that top the list of foods good for the heart.
Green leafy vegetables
Green leafy vegetables are low in calories and high in nutrients. More specifically, greens like spinach and kale contain high levels of vitamin K, which is good for the heart and promotes proper clotting of blood. An analysis of eight studies found that eating more leafy green vegetables as part of your heart healthy diet lowered the incidence of heart disease by 16%.
When it comes to food good for the heart, avocados are always on the menu. These fruits are also high in potassium. In addition to that, they are also rich in mono-unsaturated fats, which are basically healthy fats that help lower low density cholesterol in your body. This keeps your arteries from getting clogged, thereby keeping your heart in good health.
Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries are all loaded with antioxidants. These antioxidants protect your body against the oxidative stress and reduce the chances of you developing heart disease. As an analysis of 22 studies showed, eating berries reduced bad, LDL cholesterol and lowered Body Mass Index.
Yes, those same tomatoes that you add to every curry or gravy-based dish can keep your heart healthy. Rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant, tomatoes neutralize harmful free radicals that cause heart disease. As a study with 50 overweight women showed, eating two raw tomatoes four times a week resulted in an increase in good HDL cholesterol.
Fish is another healthy food for the heart. If you follow a meat-based diet, be sure to include fatty fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel in your meals, because they are packed with omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids have widely been proven to improve heart health. A study showed that over the long term, eating fish lowered total cholesterol and blood sugar.
If you’re looking for food good for the heart that’s also delicious, dark chocolate fits the bill perfectly. The data also gives good news. One research study revealed a 57% lower risk of heart disease in people who ate chocolate at least 5 times each week than in people who did not eat dark chocolate. The secret lies in antioxidants like flavonoids present in the food.
Almonds come loaded with a variety of nutrients and vitamins that are all essential for heart health. They’re good sources of fiber and monounsaturated fats, both of which are important elements in the fight against heart disease. Studies have shown that eating around 43 grams of almonds every day for 6 weeks lowered LDL cholesterol and belly fat.
Olive oil is a rich source of antioxidants that reduce chronic inflammation and disease in the body. It’s no wonder then, that olive oil is a key ingredient in the Mediterranean diet, which is one of the most heart healthy diets available. Studies have shown that consuming olive oil can lower the risk of dying from heart disease by around 48%.
Green tea is often a staple in most heart healthy diets. From burning fat to improving the body’s sensitivity to insulin, green tea’s health benefits are endless. It also has antioxidants like catechins, which have been found to reduce LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol. Keep in mind though, that it’s best had with little to no sugar if you wish to maximize the benefits.
Flax seeds and chia seeds are also healthy food for the heart. Like almonds, they’re also rich in fiber. And in addition to that, they also contain omega-3 fatty acids. As we’ve seen before, both these nutrients are important in keeping heart disease at bay. You can eat these seeds directly, or you could eat other foods such as bread, which contain these seeds.
How does having a good BMI help the heart?
BMI gives a fair idea of the level of fat in the body. And by knowing if your BMI is in the healthy range or not, you can get a good assessment of how healthy your heart may be. For people in the overweight or obese range, the likelihood of developing heart disease later may be higher. A good BMI implies that you’re of healthy weight, meaning that there’s less pressure on your heart. This keeps your heart healthy. An online BMI calculator can come in handy to calculate your Body Mass Index instantly within a few seconds.
Developing a heart condition later in life could mean lakhs of rupees spent in treating the illness. The best way to prevent that from happening is to switch to a heart healthy diet sooner than later. Additionally, to also prevent steep medical costs from cutting into your finances, health insurance is a good product to add to your portfolio.
Health insurance plans available on Finserv MARKETS can help you secure your health. With plans from Health Insurance at Finserv MARKETS, you get to experience a host of benefits like swift claim settlements, tailor-made insurance plans and extensive health coverage.
Finserv MARKETS, a subsidiary of Bajaj Finserv, is a one-stop digital marketplace that has been created for consumers on the go. It offers 500+ financial and lifestyle products, all at one place. At Finserv MARKETS, we understand that every individual is different. And that’s why we have invested in creating a proposition – Offers You Value. A value proposition that ensures you get offers which are tailor made for you. We also offer an amazing product range and unique set of online offers across Loans, Insurance, Investment, Payments and an exclusive EMI store. Be it in helping you achieve your financial life goals or offering you the latest gadgets, we strive to offer what you are looking for. From simple and fast loan application processes to seamless and hassle-free claim-settlements, from no cost EMIs to 4 hours product delivery, we work towards fulfilling all your personal and financial needs. What’s more! Now enjoy the same benefits in just one click with our Finserv MARKETS App.