15 Heart-Healthy Foods to Work into Your Diet

A healthy diet can be good for your heart which we can definitely reduce risk of developing Heart Diseases.

To Keep your Heart Care you need to replace the bad—trans and saturated fats, added sugars and salt—with the good—fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains. If you’re looking for extra heart-health credit, there are certain foods that are especially good for your ticker.

That’s Important because Heart is the diseases leading cause of Heart Failure and doctors may suggest to do Cardiac Surgery etc.,

So add these 15 heart-healthy foods to your grocery list:

1. Avocados :  Instead of using a whopping dollop of mayonnaise on your sandwich, try using thin slices of avocado.

2. Whole Grains : The soluble fiber found in whole grains such as whole-wheat bread, brown rice, and oatmeal binds the cholesterol in your meal and drags it out of your body, Madden says. “And, when your body needs to utilize cholesterol in the future, it draws on your blood cholesterol supply, effectively lowering your total blood cholesterol level and your risk for heart disease.”

3. Olive Oil :- A 2011 study found that people ages 65 or older who regularly used olive oil (for both cooking and as a dressing) were 41 percent less likely to have a stroke compared to those who never use olive oil in their diet. Use a little olive oil instead of butter or drizzle some over pasta, salad, or veggies to take advantage of its high mono- and polyunsaturated fats, Madden says. “And although it’s a healthier option, remember to use these oils sparingly, as all fats still contain the same number of calories.”

4. Kidney or black beans: One cup of cooked beans can replace two ounces of fish, poultry or meat for a serving of protein, according to the AHA. Stir some beans into a soup or salad to boost your intake. Beans contain heart-healthy omega-3s and folate.

5. Cauliflower: You can eat fresh cauliflower raw as a snack or in salads or you can steam or roast it. You can even mash it, instead of potatoes. Just stay away from the cheese sauce, or you’ll lessen those heart-healthy benefits.

6. Red bell peppers: Add bell peppers to your salads, sandwiches and fish. You’ll get a dose of folate, potassium and fiber.

7. Soy milk: It’s loaded with heart-healthy nutrients like niacin, calcium, magnesium and potassium. Add this low-fat beverage to your whole-grain cereal or oatmeal or blend it in your smoothie.

8. Brussels sprouts: Sure, not everyone likes them, but they’re members of that powerful fiber-rich cruciferous vegetable family, so give them another try. They contain folate, potassium, magnesium and more. Mix thin sprout slices into a salad. For a crunchier texture, pan fry them or roast, tossed with red grape halves, olive oil and sea salt.

9. Salmon : Fatty fish such as mackerel, herring, tuna, and salmon are chock full of omega-3 fatty acids, Madden says. “Eating fish twice a week can reduce your risk of developing heart disease by decreasing inflammation and lowering triglyceride levels, and it may even help boost your HDL levels.”

10. Pomegranate : It Contains phytochemicals that act as antioxidants to protect the lining of the arteries from damage, explains Dr. Gregg Schneider, a nutritionally oriented dentist and expert on alternative medicine. A 2005 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that antioxidant-rich pomegranate juice stimulated the body’s production of nitric oxide, which helps keep blood flowing and arteries open.

11. Turmeric : “The spice turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory,” Dr. Schneider says. “It contains curcumin which lowers inflammation—a major cause of arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries.” A 2009 study found that curcumin helps reduce the fatty deposits in arteries by as much as 26 percent.

12. Orange Juice : drinking two daily cups of 100-percent orange juice can help reduce diastolic (resting) blood pressure. OJ contains an antioxidant that has been found to help improve blood vessel function.

13. Cinnamon : Just one teaspoon a day of antioxidant-rich cinnamon can help reduce fats in the bloodstream, helping to prevent plaque build up in the arteries and lower bad cholesterol levels by as much as 26 percent.

14. Cranberries : potassium-rich cranberries can help reduce LDL cholesterol levels and help raise the good HDL levels in your body, and regular consumption of the holiday favorite may help reduce your overall risk of heart disease by as much as 40 percent.

15. Coffee : According to researchers in The Netherlands, people who drank more than two, but no more than four, cups of coffee a day for 13 years had about a 20 percent lower risk of heart disease than people who drank more or less coffee or no coffee at all. Moderation is the key to coffee’s heart-health benefits—the caffeine is a stimulant which can cause a temporary increase in blood pressure, and in excess, can lead to irregular heart beat.

Visit Manipal Hospitals for preventive care visits and screenings.

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