It is incredibly important to look after your heart so here is a list of foods you should be eating to benefit your hearts well-being!
These fruits are full of monounsaturated fatty acids, which help lower cholesterol levels and prevent blood clotting. They also contain potassium, which helps to control blood pressure, and magnesium, which has been associated with a lower risk of heart disease in men. Adding some avocado to your meal can also help to increase satiety and satisfaction, helping with weight management – another way to keep your heart healthy.
- Dark chocolate
Because of the flavanoids – antioxidants that can help suppress LDL, or “bad” cholesterol – present in dark chocolate, a square or two may decrease your risk of stroke. It can also keep your heart strong by preventing atherosclerosis, the hardening of arteries that can lead to heart attack or stroke. Just remember to stick to dark, one with a cacao content of at least 70 percent.
- Oily fish
Foods containing omega-3 fatty acids have a reputation for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. The polyunsaturated fatty acids found in fatty fish lower blood pressure and resting heart rate, and may also improve vascular function and lower inflammation. Add oily fish like salmon, mackerel and tuna to your plate at least once a week.
Not only does garlic add flavour, it also reduces cholesterol and blood pressure and improves blood flow.
Among its many health benefits, kale is especially good for heart health. The leafy green is a great source of alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid that’s known to improve heart health. It’s also got inflammation-fighting phytonutrients that can help prevent plaque formation on your arteries. Kale is also rich in lutein, a nutrient that’s been shown to protect against the hardening of the arteries that can lead to heart attack or stroke.
Eating nuts every day decreases the risk of dying from heart disease. They contain unsaturated fats, which lowers “bad” cholesterol and increases the good kind. Walnuts, in particular, contain those all-important omega-3 fatty acids.
- Olive oil
Olive oil, a staple in Mediterranean cuisine, also contains monounsaturated fatty acids, helping to lower cholesterol levels and prevent blood clotting. It’s also loaded with vitamin E, a free radical-fighting vitamin.
- Oranges and grapefruits
These citrus fruits are highly beneficial for your heart, thanks to pectin and potassium. Pectin, a soluble fibre, blocks cholesterol absorption and helps prevent the scarring of heart tissue, while potassium can help keep blood pressure in check.
- Red wine
While alcohol in general has been shown to increase “good” HDL cholesterol, red wine in particular – due to its polyphenol content – is a heart-healthy drink that may help prevent cardiovascular disease. If you don’t like wine, dark beer like Guinness contains many of the same good-for-you polyphenols.
- Whole grains
Whole grains (such as whole-grain bread and pasta, popcorn, and brown rice) contain fibre, which is associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. Whole grains high in soluble fibre, such as porridge, also decrease LDL cholesterol and blood pressure, while whole grains high in insoluble fibre, like whole-wheat bread, also lower blood pressure.
As long as they’re not deep-fried, potatoes are good for your heart. They’re rich in potassium, which can help lower blood pressure, and high in fibre, which can lower the risk for heart disease.
Tomatoes are an excellent source of the antioxidant lycopene, a carotenoid that may help get rid of “bad” LDL cholesterol, keep blood vessels open and lower the risk of heart attack.
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