Heart disease and stroke are always the leading causes of death. To protect your heart health and prevent the risk of many diseases, you should regularly add these 19 heart-healthy foods to your daily diet to get the best health benefits.
Animal-based heart-healthy foods
1. Wild Salmon
Of all the salmon species, wild salmon is considered the most heart-healthy food.
Wild salmon is chock full of heart-healthy omega-3s, and high in astaxanthin thanks to their natural intake. Farmed salmon is often used as a supplement because animal feed is not nutritious enough, so it cannot guarantee health safety.
In addition to omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is also a great source of protein, essential vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for overall health, helping you prevent the risk of many chronic diseases.
A study of 2,000 adults found that those who consumed only 2% of their total daily calories from yogurt had a 31% lower rate of hypertension than those who did not. This ratio corresponds to eating a 170g jar of yogurt every three days.
Adding a weekly serving of yogurt also reduced the risk of high blood pressure by 6%, and added vitamin D and calcium needed for the body. Many types of yogurt, especially Greek yogurt, are also a good source of potassium, an effective blood pressure-lowering agent.
However, you should be careful to choose zero or low-sugar yogurts, and avoid flavored ones so as not to consume unnecessary sugar.
Unflavored yogurt is the healthiest yogurt for you
Heart-healthy foods: Nuts and seeds
3. Dark Chocolate
People who consumed cocoa, whether hot or dark chocolate, experienced better heart health improvements than those who didn’t.
A nine-year study in the journal Circulation Heart Failure found that women who ate one to two servings of dark chocolate had a 32 percent lower risk of heart failure. In another long-term study, men who ate about 60g of dark chocolate per week had a 17% lower risk of stroke compared with a control group.
The health benefits of dark chocolate lie in the polyphenols and flavonoids in cocoa, antioxidant compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties that protect heart health. Therefore, you should choose chocolates with 70% cocoa or more as heart-healthy foods for effective use.
Walnuts are rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids that can reduce the risk of heart disease by 40% when eating 28g of walnuts at least 5 times a week.
Most of the cardiovascular benefits come from walnuts, so in addition to eating walnuts, you can add walnuts to a variety of dishes and increase your daily intake.
One tablespoon of flaxseed (about 10g) can provide nearly 3g of fiber, easy to fill the stomach with only 55 calories, extremely good for improving heart health.
Flaxseeds are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids that help reduce inflammation, prevent heart disease and diabetes, and limit mood swings.
A heart-healthy diet that includes flaxseeds will contribute to an increase in the level of good HDL cholesterol in the body. You can incorporate flaxseeds into smoothies, sauces, salads or yogurts. Note that it is recommended to use powder or ground flaxseed to increase digestion and absorption.
Almonds have the effect of improving cholesterol and blood sugar
Almonds are nuts with a mild sweet taste, suitable for combining in sweet dishes or making butter, eaten with cereals or eaten directly as a snack.
Almonds are rich in magnesium and antioxidants that may better protect the heart by lowering LDL levels, improving blood sugar levels and healthy blood pressure.
Heart-healthy foods: Beans and vegetables
Peanuts are a very good source of reservatrol for the body. Reservatrol is a heart-healthy phytonutrient commonly found in red wine. When eating boiled peanuts, the amount of this compound will be 5 times higher than peanuts roasted or eaten raw. Therefore, boiled peanuts are considered a heart-healthy food.
Boiled peanuts also contain fewer calories and less fat than roasted and raw beans. Eating boiled peanuts will provide fiber and healthy fats, which can support inflammation and promote digestion.
8. Soybean edamame
A popular side dish in Japanese restaurants, non-edamame soybeans are heart-healthy foods packed with essential nutrients like magnesium, folate, and potassium. These nutrients can lower blood pressure and support heart health, reducing the risk of heart disease.
The fiber in soybeans will protect the heart by promoting the body’s production of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptors to remove bad cholesterol from the blood. Every 7g of fiber consumed significantly reduces the risk of heart disease.
Tomatoes are rich in the antioxidant lycopene, which can increase in content after processing. Eating more lycopene will help reduce the risk of heart disease, skin damage and some other cancers. In addition, tomatoes improved blood vessel dilation for patients with cardiovascular disease by more than 53% compared to a placebo.
The amount of beneficial antioxidants polyphenols that help fight many diseases are often found in the skin of tomatoes, so you should eat the skin or choose cherry tomatoes to use suitable for many dishes.
10. Garlic bulbs
Sprouted garlic contains more antioxidants than fresh garlic
Garlic “sprouts” — old garlic bulbs that have sprouted green shoots are often thrown in the trash. However, many scientists have studied that this type of garlic contains more heart-healthy antioxidant activity than fresh garlic.
Aged garlic extracts, also known as kyolic garlic or AGE are often taken as a popular supplement because they are odorless. In addition, garlic supplements will reduce the accumulation of plaque in the arteries.
11. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a top heart-healthy food that provides good carbs that are digested slowly and help you feel fuller and fuller for longer.
This root vegetable is also rich in fiber, which can help you burn fat. Most especially, carotenoids, an antioxidant found in many sweet potatoes, can stabilize blood sugar and reduce insulin resistance, preventing calories from turning into fat. That is, sweet potatoes can reduce the risk of diabetes, thereby reducing the incidence of heart disease.
In addition, sweet potatoes contain high levels of nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin B6 that give you a lot of energy to exercise and have a good anti-inflammatory effect.
Whether fried or eaten raw, kale still provides a lot of essential nutrients for the body. In particular, this green leafy vegetable has a high anti-inflammatory ability, with only 33 calories per cup of vegetables, but can still add a large amount of fiber, iron to prevent anemia, good calcium for bones and many other vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K.
Ginger is not only a popular spice, but they also have many health-promoting uses. These include the ability to improve total cholesterol levels and very low-density lipoprotein levels.
The health benefits of ginger are mainly based on gingerol, an antioxidant compound that helps reduce inflammation, prevent inflammation and effectively antibacterial.
You can use ginger to spice up many dishes or add them to tea and smoothies for heart health benefits.
Heart-healthy foods: Cereals
14. Whole grains
Choose products made from 100% whole grains for better health
Whole grains use the entire grain, without the bran and germ removed like refined grains, so they are richer in nutrients and contain more health benefits, making them one of the heart-healthy foods. should be selected.
This food is an excellent source of fiber, which can improve blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Not only that, this good carb also provides and sustains energy, keeps you full for longer and can reduce obesity rates.
Limiting white starches and using processed foods from whole grains will provide more protein, fiber, carbs and essential vitamins for a healthier body.
15. Barley Pear
Pear barley, also known as pearl rice, pearl barley, etc. is a healthy cereal but not many people know about it. The fiber in barley will reduce bad cholesterol, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease.
This cereal can be added to soups, stews or used as a main starch to accompany other dishes.
16. Rolled Oats
Oats are the most popular ingredient, considered the perfect breakfast for those who exercise, helping to improve health and promote better longevity.
This whole grain can reduce unhealthy cholesterol and apolipoprotein, thereby promoting heart health effectively.
Each serving of oats provides about 4g of fiber, which is beneficial for both the heart and digestive system. You can add oats to salads, noodles, porridge or make overnight oats for quick and easy nutritious meals.
Tea and fruit are good for the heart
17. South African tea rooibos
Rooibos tea is both beneficial for heart health and effective for weight loss
People with oxidative stress can worsen inflammation in the body, which inflammation is directly linked to obesity, diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease.
When stress is high, you will be affected by stress hormones such as cortisol – a hormone that has the ability to take lipids from the blood and store excess fat in the abdomen. Therefore, rooibos tea contains a flavonoid called aspalathin that can effectively calm the mind.
The compound aspalathin also helps keep the heart healthy by reducing stress hormones, curbing hunger and storing fat. Thanks to this effect, rooibos tea is also popular in weight loss diets.
Avocados are a high-fat fruit that can add up most of the healthy fat in protein, fiber and carb combinations like salads or toast.
Not only is avocado delicious, the amount of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in avocados can lower bad LDL cholesterol, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and many other inflammations.
Berries like strawberries, blueberries and raspberries are all heart-healthy foods. Berries are rich in antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and protect cells from damaging free radicals. Free radicals are one of the causes of heart disease and cancer.
Plus, berries are great in fiber and have a low glycemic index, so you don’t have to worry about blood sugar spikes or insulin resistance.
Regularly adding heart-healthy foods will help you improve your heart health and reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases naturally and safely.
20 Foods That Can Help Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease. https://www.eatthis.com/foods-that-make-your-heart-younger/. Access date: October 13, 2020
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