Heart disease is among the leading cause of death among women and men in most parts of the world. We all know a healthy diet can help reduce your risk, especially when coupled with regular exercise and maintaining a reasonable weight. Here are 10 foods that are rich in heart-healthy nutrients.
Blueberries are not only delicious but are also rich in antioxidants. The antioxidants in blueberries work to reduce the buildup of “bad” LDL cholesterol in artery walls that helps to reduce cardiovascular disease and heart stroke..
This green vegetable is low in cholesterol, high in fibre, and contains a wealth of antioxidants. The carotenoid lutein slows down or prevents the thickening of arteries in the human body, thus fighting against heart disease and stroke. The Vitamin B6 and foliate in broccoli also reduces the risk of atherosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke.
Oily fish such as salmon contain Omega-3s. This fat is believed to reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease by lowering the levels of triglycerides and free radicles in the body. Omega-3 fatty acids prevent blood clots making the heart less vulnerable to life-threatening irregular heart rates.
Carrots are high in carotenoids are associated with a lower risk of heart disease. They have not only beta-carotene but also alpha-carotene and lutein. The regular consumption of carrots also reduces cholesterol levels because the soluble fibres in carrots bind with bile acids and lower cholesterol
Oats are loaded in dietary fibre and have a range of healthy properties. Oats are rich in a specific type of fibre called beta-glucan. This particular type of fibre is known to help lower levels of bad cholesterol. A half-cup daily serving of oatmeal contains only very low calories and keep body weight to a healthy level.
6. Green Tea
A steaming cup of green tea is chock-full of good-for-you catechins and flavonols. So people drinking two cups of green tea a day are likely to have a low risk in getting heart attacks.
7. Soy Protein
To help your heart stay healthy, Soy foods are low in saturated fat, are cholesterol-free, and contain high-quality protein, essential fatty acids, dietary fiber, and numerous other nutrients – Soy protein not only lowers blood cholesterol, but has been found to contribute to increasing good cholesterol (HDL) and lowering triglyceride levels.
A pigment called lutein that is found in spinach has been shown to reduce the occurrence of atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes. This is due to the fact that spinach proteins tend to reduce cholesterol and other fat deposits in the blood vessels. This dark green leafy vegetable is also high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
People who eat nuts as part of a heart-healthy diet can lower the low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) level in their blood. High LDL is one of the primary causes of heart disease. Eating a handful of nuts may reduce your risk of developing blood clots that can cause a heart attack. Nuts also appear to improve the health of the lining of your arteries. All nuts contain fibre, which helps lower your cholesterol. Unsalted nuts are beneficial.
10. Extra-virgin Olive Oil
Olive oil lowers the levels of total blood cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides. At the same time, it does not alter the levels of HDL-cholesterol, which plays a protective role and prevents the formation of fatty patches, thus stimulating the elimination of the low-density lipoproteins.
This is a guest post by Khyati Rupani, an accomplished dietitian and founder of Balance Nutrition.