Best Foods For Heart – I don’t mean to startle you, but did you know that heart attacks are becoming increasingly more common among young adults?
Although the number of heart attacks in the U.S. has decreased overall, 1 and 5 patients are 40 years or younger. While substance abuse and genetics are possible factors, none are as simple as the food we eat. Bad diets are responsible for more deaths around the world than smoking. Let’s discuss foods that can prevent heart attacks. From avocados to dark chocolate to simple leafy greens. We’re talking all that AND more.
10 Best Foods For Heart | Heart-Healthy Foods
1. Walnuts – Best Foods For Heart
Walnuts are among the most heart-friendly foods out there. Consider them a nutrient goldmine! Just a single cup of walnuts contains over 46% of your daily value of magnesium. Not to mention 93% copper and 200% manganese. It’s like hitting some kind of a health jackpot…. Walnuts work to lower bad cholesterol by as much as 16%. Have you ever heard of LDL before? “LDL” stands for low-density lipoproteins, which have come to be known as the “bad” cholesterol. In one particular study, a group of people supplemented their food with walnuts. This leads to a much lower level of LDL.
On top of lowering cholesterol, walnuts can also decrease your blood pressure and reduce inflammation. This all contributes to a healthier heart. So if you’re down to prowl around the aisles of your local supermarkets in search of these little lifesavers, it’s certainly worth it.
While it may be your favorite snack come summertime, watermelon has amazing heart benefits all-year-round! Do you know what citrulline can do for your health? Hang on, let me back up a second and explain what that is. Citrulline is a type of amino acid responsible for producing nitric oxide in your body. This in turn will help you lower your blood pressure. But this is not the only good thing watermelon has going for it when it comes to heart protection.
A single cup of diced watermelon contains around 17% Vitamin A and 21% Vitamin C. You also shouldn’t forget lycopene, an antioxidant that comes in the form of watermelon’s red pigment. A cup and a half of diced watermelon carry around 9 to 13 mg of lycopene. This works to lower both cholesterol and blood pressure. So if your brain is telling you it’s too cold outside for watermelon, listen to your heart.
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3. Beans – Best Foods For Heart
It’s always our least favourite foods from childhood that save the day when we’re adults. Beans are rich in magnesium, iron and potassium. It’s nutrients go to battle with LDL and decrease your blood level of both triglycerides and cholesterol. Beans such as pinto and kidney work wonders for your blood sugar as well as lowering your LDL. Navy beans are known to increase your HDL, which is referred to as the “good” cholesterol. During a study conducted on children with bad cholesterol, researchers gave kids a smoothie containing 17.5 grams of Navy Bean powder each day for an entire month. When the experiment was over, the children were shown to have higher HDL cholesterol. So even if you’ve been turned off from eating beans, it’s never too late to begin.
Your heart will surely thank you.
4. Dark Chocolate
For those of you just looking for that sweet sugar rush, find some milk chocolate. But if you want something that is packed full of antioxidants, dark chocolate is the one for you! Were you aware that eating dark chocolate in moderation can reduce your risk of heart disease? They never told us this when we were kids… A 2011 study concluded that people who eat dark chocolate at least five times per week had a 57% lower risk of suffering coronary heart disease.
This is huge for people looking to improve the health of their heart. There is one problem though. When choosing the right chocolate to consume, you want the one with the least amount of sugar and calories. This way it won’t cancel out the nutrients you’re consuming. A small bar of dark chocolate can be as little as 90 calories. If you are looking to take care of your heart, this may be where to begin.
5. Asparagus – Best Foods For Heart
Have you been eating your greens lately? While it may seem too extreme for some, asparagus is a great place to start. Asparagus’ concentration of quercetin prevents build-up by clearing your arteries. Just half a cup is equal to about 20 calories. Asparagus’ potassium content works to lower your blood pressure by expanding your blood vessels and removing salt through urination. In 2013, an experiment was done involving rats and the effects asparagus had on their blood pressure. It turns out that rats who were fed asparagus over the course of two and a half months showed a 17% decrease in their blood pressure level. So the next time you cringe walking past asparagus in the vegetable aisle, just remember there is more to this strange-looking plant than meets the eye.
6. Tomatoes – Best Foods For Heart
You may not think much of tomatoes, but they do serve a higher purpose than just being another topping on your burger. Tomatoes are rich in nutrients that can help you say goodbye to your heart problems. Remember lycopene from a moment ago? Like watermelon, tomato’s red coloring is actually an effective antioxidant that helps to lower your blood level. Eating two raw tomatoes at least four times a week will increase your level of HDL cholesterol. It’s also good not to forget about potassium, which tomatoes carry lots of. The potassium will help flush excess sodium out of your system, lowering your blood pressure. So the next time you’re eating a meal and think tomatoes might be a good fit, give it a try. Putting heart disease aside for a moment, are you concerned about other health conditions?
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7. Avocados – Best Foods For Heart
It seems as if avocados are becoming increasingly more popular by the day. Avocados lower your LDL level significantly. This can be achieved through eating just one avocado each day. With a handful of effective nutrients, avocados are the ideal combatant against obesity and heart disease. Their high rate of potassium ensures this. Did you know that just a single avocado provides 975 mg of potassium, which equals to almost 30% of your daily intake? Under 5 grams of potassium in one day can lower your blood pressure level. So if you’re going to eat nachos, skip out on the salsa and go for some avocado dip instead.
Let me tell you something about oats quickly. Not only are they delicious, they can also save lives! Oats contain overwhelming amounts of copper, magnesium and phosphorus. But it’s important not to overlook what is arguably its most important asset, fibre.
The level of beta-glucan fibre in oats can lower bad cholesterol and relieve your arteries. As you know by now, this is a big win for your heart. So if you want something new for breakfast, grab that box of oats in the back of your pantry. You forgot it was there, didn’t you?
9. Leafy Greens – Best Foods For Heart
For many of you, this is bound to turn you off. Just bare with me, leafy greens can be anything from spinach to kale. Don’t sell yourself short. When it comes to a healthy heart, there’s not much that’s better for you. A series of studies conducted in 2016 indicated that increasing your intake of leafy green vegetables was associated with a 16% drop in the risk of heart disease. Vitamin K, a nutrient which leafy greens carry lots of, encourages healthy blood clotting and relieves your arteries from plaque. So take my advice, don’t pass up that salad appetizer the next time you over for dinner at a friend’s. Think of all the benefits it has for your heart.
10. Fish – Best Foods For Heart
We get it, not everybody is the fish type. But if your heart is in desperate need of a natural pick-me-up, you’ll want to chow
down on some salmon from time to time. Having salmon three times a week for a couple of months can lower your blood pressure. When it comes to fish, it’s not just salmon that does your heart favors. Other fatty fish such as mackerel and tuna are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. This can level out your blood pressure and cholesterol. It can also reduce inflammation, giving your arteries a well-deserved break. So if you have some stored away at home, or you happen to live next to a lake, try to consume fish at least a couple of times a week. Your brain may be saying not to eat it, but what does your heart tell you?
Are you concerned about the wellness of your heart?
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