Taking care of your heart is crucial to your health and wellbeing. Your heart is the hardest working muscle in your body – it’s what keeps you alive.
Consuming the right foods is essential to your heart health. Many of the foods on this list have anti-inflammatory properties. They can help reduce your risk for developing cardiovascular disease, decrease your chances for developing type 2 diabetes and lower your risk for obesity.
Heart disease is the number one cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Work to prevent your chances for heart disease by eating foods such as fish, whole grains and tomatoes, just to name a few.
Continue reading for more heart healthy foods to add to your diet.
For a healthy snack, eat a handful of almonds. They are loaded with nutrients, some of which include fiber, protein, and magnesium. They are also high in monounsaturated fats, biotin and vitamin E. Almonds contain antioxidants that help protect you against oxidative stress. They have been shown to help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk for heart disease.
Beans are a great source of soluble fiber. They have been proven to help lower cholesterol, decrease blood pressure and reduce inflammation. According to Chopra, “beans contain several phytochemicals, including polyphenols, terpenoids, and anthocyanin, that can reduce the inflammation and oxidative stress that contribute to heart disease.”
Studies have shown that pomegranates may lower your risk for numerous diseases. They have incredible anti-inflammatory effects which have been shown to decrease the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity. Punicic acid is the main fatty acid in pomegranates; it has been shown to help fight against some steps in the heart disease process.
Chocolate is believed to help protect your cardiovascular system. This is because it contains flavonoids, flavanols and other antioxidants. Flavanols have been shown to have a positive influence on vascular health. They help improve blood flow to the heart, lower blood pressure and make blood platelets less likely to form a clot.
Swap out white bread for whole wheat bread instead. According to WebMD, research shows that eating just 25 grams of whole grains a day reduces the risk of heart disease about 15%. “A diet rich in whole grains has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and some forms of cancer.” They are loaded with nutrients – high in fiber, protein and rich in antioxidants.
Blueberries are one of the many different berries that have been shown to improve heart health. They may be small but they are packed with a large amount of antioxidants and phytoflavinoids. They help to reduce blood pressure and possibly aid in the prevention of heart disease. They also help reduce muscle damage and improve memory.
I’m sure we all know yogurt is good for maintaining strong and healthy bones. But what some of us may not know is that it is actually good for the heart. A study reveals, yogurt consumption is associated with lower levels of circulating triglycerides, lower systolic blood pressure, glucose and insulin resistance. It is said increasing your yogurt consumption may help prevent thickening of carotid arteries, which ultimately results in heart disease and stroke prevention.
According to science, people who drink red wine moderately have to be less likely to develop heart disease compared to those who don’t. It raises HDL cholesterol (“good” cholesterol), which decreases inflammation and helps prevent blood clots that may contribute to a heart attack or stroke.