Heart disease is one of the biggest chronic illnesses around the world and affects millions of people. Eating a healthy diet goes a long way in preventing heart problems. According to a research, people who eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and fish, lower their risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke by 35%.
If you’re looking to make changes to your diet, make sure to include these 7 superfoods for a healthy heart:
Almonds are packed with monounsaturated fat, magnesium, calcium, potassium and fiber. This helps cut LDL (bad) cholesterol and boosts HDL (good) cholesterol. It also contains 10 percent of your daily calcium requirement and 25 percent of magnesium requirement. It is rich in vitamin 3, which is an artery protecting antioxidant. However, eat in limited quantities as almonds are calorie-dense.
Apples are one of the foods that are richest in antioxidants. They have large quantities of flavonoid quercetin, natural chemicals in plants that remove free radical molecules in your bloodstream, fight inflammation and impede cancer. They’re also rich in the soluble fiber called pectin. People who eat two apples a day have fewer chances of oxidized, artery –attacking LDLs than those who don’t.
Research has suggested that garlic helps in reducing blood pressure and plaque. It brings down an enzyme called angiotensin which constricts blood vessels. Garlic has been widely recognized as both a preventive agent and for treatment of many cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, including atherosclerosis, hyperlipidemia, thrombosis, hypertension and diabetes.
Carrots are a good source of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that guards against artery-clogging oxidized LDL cholesterol. Cooked carrots have twice the antioxidant power of raw carrots because heat breaks down tough cell walls so that your body can use what’s inside. Carrots are also rich in fiber, provide blood pressure-lowering potassium, homocysteine-lowering folate and vitamin B6.
5. Kidney Beans
Including kidney beans in your diet four times a week can lower your risk of coronary heart disease. They’re rich in LDL-lowering soluble fiber, folate, potassium and magnesium. They also give you steady energy and not a sudden rise and fall of blood sugar that raises your risk of metabolic syndrome and weight gain.
Walnuts contain more omega-3 fatty acids than any other nut. One serving of walnuts contains 2.6g of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid that helps prevent blood clots and promote a healthy heartbeat. They’re also rich in vitamin B6, amino acid arginine which helps your body to produce nitric acid, a molecule that relaxes constricted blood vessels.
Watermelon is a rich source of potassium and lycopene. One 200g slice has about 275 mg of blood pressure-lowering potassium and lycopene which is a potent antioxidant. So try to include as much watermelon in your diet as you can. Try Vista Nutrition’s Lycopene with Calcium to supplement your heart health.
These heart-healthy foods will help you stay fit and active for a long time and prevent cardiovascular diseases. You can also supplement your diet with some of our heart-healthy products at Vista Nutrition.