Eating the proper variety of foods is imperative to a healthy heart.
Ryan Bradley, ND, an assistant professor at the Bastyr University School of Naturopathic Medincine in Kenmore, Washington states that “Beyond a doubt, of all the foods out there, fruits and vegetables [which are high in fiber, antioxidants, and compounds that block absorption of bad LDL cholesterol] have the most evidence of being heart protective.” Your heart is a hardworking muscle that needs the proper diet to strengthen and nourish it. Bring on the produce, and pack your food with nutrients!
Here are 4 noteworthy foods to eat to better look after your heart:
Fiber is great to ingest when it comes to healthy eating. According to Moyad, not only does it make you feel full without adding on excess weight, but it also binds to excess cholesterol in the digestive tract, aiding the body in excreting these via elimination. Moreover, in 2004, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a study that established that people who ate 10 to 25 grams of soluble fiber daily had low blood levels of C-reactive protein, which points out how much inflammation the body is experiencing. Cardiovascular diseases may be developed in a number of ways, one being when inflammation triggers the production of immune cells; these in turn create plaque that obstructs arteries and decreases the flow of blood to the heart. Beans, Legumes, Nuts, and whole grains are examples of high-fiber foods. Beans and legumes specifically contain glutamic acid which lowers blood pressure. Besides the aforementioned foods, lentils, walnuts, navy beans, oatmeal, almonds, barley, brown rice, quinoa, and air-popped popcorn are exceptional choices, according to Moyad. ½-cup servings of high-fiber foods is recommended each day.
The polyunsaturated fats present in fish, walnuts, and flaxseeds (anti-inflammatory, omega 3 acids) protect against hazardous variations in heart rate and lessen the clotting ability of blood, thus reducing the chances of possibly life-threatening blockages in one’s arteries. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the most potent omega-3 forms, exist only in algae and fatty, cold-water fish (salmon, halibut, Pacific cod, mackerel, sardines, and anchovies).
Consuming 6 ounces of omega-3-rich fish twice a week is recommended by The American Heart Association (visit edf.org for the Environmental Defense Fund’s list of mercury-free and sustainably harvested fish). For those with history of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and high cholesterol or blood pressure, consider reinforcing your diet with 1 gram additional omega-3 from fish or algae sources. On a sidenote, DHA is more likely to be anti-inflammatory than EPA, based on findings by Stephen Sinatra, MD, author of Reverse Heart Disease Now (Wiley, 2007).
By preventing LDL cholesterol from oxidizing and building up, polyphenols help avert the occurrence of the hardening of the arteries, otherwise known as atherosclerosis. Polyphenols are potent antioxidants present in intensely colored plant-based foods. Furthermore, studies hint that besides protecting blood-vessel cells, polyphenols improve blood flow as well.
Pomegranates, grape juice, red wine, dark chocolate, green tea, cinnamon, turmeric, and ginger are in high flavor, this indicates a heavy saturation of polyphenols. The goal is to consume one or two of these foods everyday and to add a tablespoon of polyphenol-laced spices that come from bark (cinnamon), seeds (anise or coriander), or roots (turmeric or ginger) to one’s meals a couple of times a week.
Presently, more and more regular grocery products (cereals, spreads, and chips) are integrating fiber and omega-3-rich seeds such as chia to their ingredient lists. There is a solid rationale behind this. A study made in 2007 found that those suffering from type-2 diabetes who ingested 2.6 tablespoons of fiber along with chia seeds everyday experienced substantial reduced blood pressure and C-reactive protein levels. This practice originating in Mexico, incorporate 2 tablespoons of these small, mild tasting seeds into yogurt or oatmeal, or topped on salads. Chia has a counterpart that is nuttier and coarser in texture, Flaxseed, but they have the identical heart benefits. To get a better nutritional value off flaxseeds, it is recommended that they be grinded up before consuming for human bodies cannot digest these seeds whole. Additionally, hempseed is also an excellent alternative.