Best Heart-Healthy Food to Start Eating Now
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and can be prevented by choosing to eat nutritious foods that help keep your arteries clear. You may be asking what causes congestive heart failure? Some common causes are alcohol abuse, high blood pressure, and unhealthy eating habits. Research has found that eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and healthy fats will help your overall cardiovascular health.
Certain foods can influence blood pressure, cholesterol, and inflammation which are all factors of heart disease. Picking the right healthy foods can lower your risk of different forms of heart disease, including coronary artery disease which can lead to heart attack and stroke.
According to a leading cardiologist in Dubai, what we eat affects nearly every organ within our body. From the liver to the heart, food intake can be both a source of health and strength along with being the reason for illnesses, diseases and other maladies.
With that in mind, here are 6 foods you should be eating to maximize your heart health...
Extra-virgin Olive OilCompared to other oils, olive oil is a good source of monounsaturated fat, which can help reduce both blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels. Extra-virgin olive oil is the least processed as it’s made by mechanically pressing olives, which lets it retain its natural antioxidants and vitamins. Whenever you can, try substituting extra-virgin olive oil with unhealthy saturated fats such as butter. Drizzle it over a salad or saute some veggies in it - either way it will be beneficial for your heart health.
NutsNuts such as almonds, cashews, peanuts, and walnuts are nutrient-dense and rich in fiber, protein, and polyunsaturated fats which keeps you full. Nuts are a great, healthy alternative to processed snacks. Try choosing a bag of trail mix or mixed nuts to get the advantage of all the nutrients in different types of nuts.
SalmonAnother healthy fat to add to your diet is salmon. Salmon contains a lot of omega-3 fatty acids, which can improve risk factors for heart disease. Omega 3s can cause a reduction in triglycerides, reduce blood pressure levels, and raise “good” cholesterol levels. It is recommended to eat salmon or other fatty fish such as tuna or mackerel at least twice a week. Or, you can opt to take omega-3 dietary supplements to help.
OatmealSteel cut or slow cooked oats is full of fiber and helps your heart by reducing “bad” cholesterol (LDL) levels. Not only does oatmeal fill you up for hours, it also helps keep blood sugar levels stable and fights snack attacks. However, try to avoid instant oatmeal as it often contains unnecessary amounts of sugar.
Quick tip: If you’re baking muffins, pancakes, breads or other baked goods, swap out ⅓ of the portion of flour for oats instead.
BerriesStrawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are all amazing foods for your heart health. Berries are rich in antioxidants which reduce inflammation and help decrease your “bad” cholesterol levels. They are also low in calories but high in nutrients such as fiber, vitamin C and more. Berries are a satisfying snack, so try eating a variety of them to get all the health benefits.
CoffeeCoffee is rich in antioxidants and has been linked to a reduced risk of many diseases including heart failure, stroke, and coronary artery disease. Coffee is also rich in many nutrients such as manganese, potassium, folate, phosphorus and many more. Try adding a cup of joe into your morning routine. Want to enjoy a better cup? Consider switching to bulk coffee! It tastes better and costs less.
The link between what we consume and heart health is clear. It’s important to eat a well balanced diet to promote heart health and keep our bodies happy. Our heart is the hardest working organ in our body, so it’s important to keep it healthy. Include these foods in your daily diet to help minimize your risk for heart disease.