Heart health is, quite literally, the key to a long life. You can remain agile and active only so long as your heart remains healthy. Exercise and a good diet are key elements in this regard. Opting for a heart-healthy diet can help your heart remain in good health for years at a stretch. Let’s take a look at some of the best foods for a healthy heart that you can incorporate into your everyday diet.
Here is a list of 10 highly nutritious foods that are good for your 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 leafy green vegetables are one of the best foods for a heart-healthy diet as they lowered the incidence of heart disease by 16%.
When it comes to foods for a healthy heart, avocados are a great choice as they are high in potassium. In addition to that, they are also rich in mono-unsaturated fats, which are 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. As avocados are becoming increasingly popular, you can find them in your nearby supermarket or online grocery stores.
Different types of berries such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries are all loaded with antioxidants. These antioxidants protect your body against oxidative stress and reduce the chances of you developing heart disease. Multiple studies have shown that eating berries reduces bad LDL cholesterol and lowered Body Mass Index. Moreover, berries are highly nutritious and contain a host of micronutrients, vitamins and minerals.
Tomatoes are a highly popular staple food used in the everyday Indian diet. Tomatoes are used in a wide variety of Indian dishes such as salads, curries, sabzi, etc. Rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant, tomatoes neutralise 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 great food for heart health. 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 been scientifically proven to improve heart health. A study has also shown that over the long term, eating fish lowered total cholesterol and blood sugar.
If you’re looking for food that’s good for the heart but also delicious, dark chocolate fits the bill perfectly. One research study showed 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 such as flavonoids present in dark chocolate.
Almonds come loaded with a variety of nutrients and vitamins that are all essential for heart health. They’re good sources of fibre 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. Almonds are one of the best dry fruits that are good for the heart.
Olive oil is a rich source of antioxidants that reduce chronic inflammation and disease in the body. No wonder why 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%.
While not exactly a food group, green tea is 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. However, in order to get the most benefit out of your green tea, you should consume it without any sugar or added sweeteners.
Seeds such as flax seeds and chia seeds are also healthy foods for the heart. Like almonds, they’re also rich in fibre and nutrients. They also contain omega-3 fatty acids that improve heart health significantly. You can eat these seeds directly, or you could add them to other foods such as bread, or vegetables to make them a part of your diet.
The human heart is one of the most important organs of the body. From the moment you are born till you take your last breath, the heart keeps pumping. Taking care of your heart means eating the best foods for heart health and providing enough cardio exercises to keep your heart in good shape. However, you should not just stop at taking care of yourself through diet and exercise. A health insurance policy is an excellent way to keep your family protected against a wide variety of unexpected medical expenses. You can take a look at the various health insurance plans available at Finserv MARKETS and choose one that suits your needs.
The following foods are good for heart health:
Fruits and vegetables
Plant-based oils such as olive oil
The following foods should be avoided if you have heart disease:
Processed meats like bacon, sausage
Fried snacks like chips
High sugar foods such as doughnuts or pastries
You can improve your heart health by:
Eating food good for the heart
Any cardiac exercise that elevates your heart rate such as running, jogging, swimming, etc are good for your heart.
Here are some symptoms of an unhealthy heart:
Tightness in chest
Shortness of breath
Numbness, weakness or a cold feeling in your limbs