If you want to try and stay healthy it’s important that you keep your heart healthy because without a healthy heart not much else matters. So, this means it’s important that you eat the right foods that will ensure that your heart is going to remain healthy and working as it should. This means that you need to eat foods like veggies, fruits, fiber, fish and eating healthy fats and making sure to limit the unhealthy fats such as trans fats. Of course there is no food out there that’s a cure all for your body but there are some pretty good foods out there that is going to help you improve the health of your heart. Here are just a few of those foods that are considered heart healthy foods.
Yogurt is known to actually protect against gum disease which can actually increase your risk of heart disease if you have severe gum disease. It’s also good for the digestion and can boost your immunity which is also very important for a healthy heart.
There are plenty of antioxidants in raisins that are great for the overall health of your body but raisins can also fight the growth of some bacteria that causes inflammation of the gums and once again gum disease. So, because of this raisins seem to be able to help fight gum disease and in turn helps the health of your heart.
Those who eat a lot of whole grains do tend to be a lot leaner than those who don’t and this puts them at a lower risk for heart disease than those who don’t eat very many whole grains. This is more than likely due to the fact that whole grains also contain antioxidants, phytoestrogens as well as phytosterols all of which protect against coronary diseases.
We benefit from the fiber in the whole grains as well. Studies have shown that those who have a high fiber diet are also at a lower risk to develop heart disease than others who don’t have enough fiber in their diets.
It’s important then that you try to have enough foods that are very rich in soluble fiber which helps to lower your LDL or bad cholesterol. The soluble fiber we eat will bind with bile acid and this is the key component in digesting fat in our bodies that we make from cholesterol. Foods that are very high in soluble fiber would be oatmeal, barley, okra, any kind of beans, eggplant and citrus fruits like oranges or grapefruit.
Beans eaten on a regular basis are extremely good for your heart and you don’t even have to eat very much of them to reap the benefits they have to offer. For example, if you were to have just a half a cup of cooked pinto beans a day could lower your cholesterol immensely. Beans because they too are soluble fiber will help bind the cholesterol and keep it from being absorbed in the stomach producing bad cholesterol in our system. Beans also contain other heart protective agents such as flavonoids the same agents you can find in wine, all kinds of berries and chocolate. The flavonoids help to inhibit the adhesion of our blood platelets and this lowers the risk of heart attack as well as strokes.
If we eat two or more servings of fish each week it is said that we have a 30% chance of lowering the risk of getting coronary heart disease. This is especially true for salmon. Fish, especially salmon contain omega 3 fats and omega 3 fats lower our levels of triglycerides in our blood stream. It also tends to lower our blood pressure as well and this can help to prevent what is known as irregular heart rhythms. Salmon contains the most omega 3 fatty acids but all fish have them as well as flaxseed oil, canola oil as well as walnuts.
Nuts are just filled with vitamins, minerals and monounsaturated fats which are extremely heart healthy. Research has shown that those people who eat a lot of nuts like walnuts, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, pine nuts, peanuts as well as pistachios tend to have far less chance of developing heart disease as those people who rarely eat any kind of nuts.
Ah, my favorite comfort food. Who can say no to chocolate? I know I can’t and well quite frankly you shouldn’t say no because research has shown that by eating moderate amounts of chocolate especially dark chocolate there is a blood thinning effect from it and this can benefit our overall cardiovascular health. Chocolate can also boost our immune systems by reducing inflammation. Some research also points to chocolate being able to help lower our blood pressure and it boosts nitric oxide in our bodies which is a substance in our bodies that is vital to ensuring healthy blood vessels in our bodies.
Tomatoes are not just rich in vitamin C but they also contain vitamin A, potassium along with fiber and they are very high in what is known as lycopene. Lycopene is a compound that works with other vitamins and minerals helping to aid in preventing disease and that includes preventing cardiovascular disease. Research has shown that cooking tomatoes, even though this lowers the vitamin C in them, it makes the lycopene more available to help with the disease prevention process in our bodies.
By eating just under a cup of berries each day we can increase the levels of our HDL or “good” cholesterol and this can help to lower ones blood pressure. The berries that we can benefit from are strawberries, red raspberries, blueberries, black currants, chokeberries and lingonberries. Berries simply are health promoting plants that are filled with antioxidants and a variety of other heart healthy compounds.
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